PSD November 2019 M.E.R.I.T. Award winner

School Board Chair Bernard Morgan and Superintendent Laurie Atkins presented the November M.E.R.I.T. Award winner Tim Rowell with a certificate during the Nov. 5 work session.

Bringing the various buildings under Polk School District’s control up to greater standards continues to be the goal of the Board of Education, and plans are in the works for another move to provide better space for students.

During the school board’s latest work session, the facilities committee turned the floor over to Superintendent Laurie Atkins to discuss the future of Polk School District’s Alternative School. She, along with board members on the committee and other administrators, took their latest tour of facilities around the district.

One area of focus was to provide a better learning atmosphere for the students who are in Alternative School. Currently, both high schools have alternative school classrooms within the campuses.

“It has worked for us,” Atkins said. “Is it the best model that we can have? No.”

“We want to make sure the kids have every minute of the day occupied,” she added.

So part of the tour’s goal was to look at options and develop a plan to have classroom space in a separate building for alternative school students within the district. Those options include the Julia Dean Center, the Adult Education building next door to the Central Office in Cedartown, and a couple of other spaces the district still owns.

Atkins said fencing already exists with the Julia Dean Center, and would be equipped to handle students. However, any move would require work to make facilities ready for students and teachers in the near future.

“We’re looking at the cost of the projects, and determining whether they are fiscally sound,” she said. “We want to make sure this is in the best interest of everyone.”

She thanked the board for being flexible with approaching the idea she began to consider in just the past few weeks, and being able to have a facilities committee tour so quickly.

“I think that’s how we progress forward,” she said. “We get an idea and research and be wise about it before we spend money that we don’t need to spend.”

She said cost estimates are being generated and will be available soon for review by the board.

The district also took time out to celebrate their latest November M.E.R.I.T. winner, Cherokee Elementary Principal Tim Rowell. The district honored administrators for the month of November, and Rowell’s nomination pointed toward his compassion, his drive to make positive changes for staff and students at Cherokee, and the rapport he has with youth in the school.

Board members also approved several field trips planned for the month ahead. Those included a November 18 and 19 Cedartown Middle Band trip for the All-District Jazz Clinic, Van Wert Elementary Beta Club’s pending trip to the state convention in December in Savannah, Rockmart High Thespian ‘s trip to the state conference in Columbus in February 2020, selected seniors from Cedartown High heading to Saitama, Japan on the annual trip overseas for a debate competition in February 2020, and Cedartown Middle’s National Junior Honor Society’s trip to Chicago for a tour in May 2020.

The board is back in session on November 12 for their regular meeting, where Teacher of the Year honors are to be presented.

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