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Feeding program serves almost 40,000 meals over summer hiatus

The Emanuel County Board of Education began its latest monthly meeting Tuesday, July 20, at 5:30 p.m. at the Central Office with new superintendent Scotty Hattaway at the helm.

One of the highlights of the meeting included Chandra Hooks, Director of School Nutrition, at the request of the superintendent, providing an informative overview of the Summer Feeding Program. The initiative wrapped up recently, ending with a bottom line figure of 38,486 total meals served throughout summer break. Last week alone, Hooks and staff served 779 kids.

Jansen Ware, Director of Operations, then gave an update on various school renovations.

More in-depth stories about both these topics—the Summer Feeding Program’s success this year as well as school facility improvements across the district—will be forthcoming in The Chronicle.

Additionally, the BOE approved a handful of personnel changes following an executive session.

Four new teachers will join the district this year. Those individuals are Dinah Cobb and Natalie Jordan, both of whom will teach at Swainsboro Middle Schooland Emily Renfroe and Wayne Vashaw, both of whom will teach at Swainsboro High School.

Teresa Burke will return to the district as human resource director on a 49 percent basis. (She announced her retirement in February, effective July 1.)

Jodi Singletary will be Swainsboro Primary’s new instructional coach.

Additionally, the BOE hired several classified employees, including: Bonnie Bullock, 49 percent clerk; bookkeeper Toribia Collins; Melissa Fulmer, Melinda Futch, and April Purvis, school food service substitutes; clerk Jennifer M. Harrison; paraprofessional Sarah Smith; and nurse Lisa Youngblood.

Completing personal changes, the board also approved the resignation of paraprofessional Tiffani Nealey.

The board unanimously approved the consent agenda. This particular portion of the meeting consisted of minutes from the regular June 8 meeting, minutes from the called June 24 meeting, the financial reports, the ESPLOST VI Resolution to be advertised and placed on voters’ ballots as a referendum later this year, the FY22 Capital Outlay Contract, and the approval of two policies, GARH and IDE(3).

Thanks to the newly approved GARH Policy, paid parental leave will now be available for all eligible employees who meet one of three qualifying events. The employee must, of course, be classified as full-time by the district and eligible to participate in either the Teacher Retirement System of Georgia or the Public School Employees Retirement System. Additionally, the employee must have six continuous months of employment with the board, regardless of whether he or she is eligible for paid or unpaid leave under federal law. An employee paid on an hourly basis must have worked a minimum of 700 hours over the six-month period immediately preceding the requested paid parental leave date.

A qualifying event means: the birth of a child of an eligible employee, the placement of a minor child for adoption with an eligible employee, or the placement of a minor child for foster care with an eligible employee.

The maximum amount of paid paternal leave that may be taken by an eligible employee during a rolling 12-month period is 120 hours, regardless of the number of qualifying life events that occur during the period. The rolling 12 months will be measured backward from the date an eligible employee first uses parental leave, which may be taken as needed and in increments of less than eight hours. (The smallest increment of parental leave that may be taken is half a work day.) Any unused paid parental leave that remains 12 months after the qualifying event will not carry over for future use, and unused paid parental leave will have no cash value at any time of the eligible employee’s separation from employment with the BOE. Lastly, paid parental leave under state law will run concurrently with any leave provided under federal law.

Policy IDE(3) allows home study students to participate in extracurricular or interscholastic activities if enrolled in and attempting to complete one qualifying course as defined in state law for each semester of participation.

One board member, Del Brown, was absent. Chairman Mase Henry called the meeting to order and delivered the invocation, then Johnny Parker led the Pledge of Allegiance, and the agenda was approved as presented.

The BOE will next meet August 10 at 5:30 p.m. at the Central Office.

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