School Board approves Adult Education campaign, policy amendments, ELA project [PREMIUM]

MANNY VITAL, a grandfather with students in the Walton School System, suggested a “Troops for Bus Drivers” program that may assist in the bus driver shortage.

Story by ADRIANNE WALLINE CAMPBELL

The Walton County School Board held its regular meeting on Oct. 4, 2022, at the Tivoli Complex/Board Room. 

The consent agenda included: 

• Paxton High School FFA students to travel via Charter Bus to Moultrie, Georgia on October 18-19, 2022, to attend the SunBelt Ag Expo. 

• Walton Middle School Ag class to travel to Moultrie, Georgia on October 18, 2022, to attend Sunbelt Ag Expo.

• Approval was given to purchase a 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 double cab, 8 speed, 2.7L Turbo, work truck from Alan Jay Fleet Sales in Tallahassee for a government price of $35,386. 

• Emerald Coast Technical College received approval for a $47,900 transaction for an Adult Education advertising campaign. The funds are to be spent on a 12 – month contract with Lamar Companies for two regular billboards and three digital billboard slots. They are to be funded through the Adult General Education (AGE) Grant which is through the FLDOE. The billboards will advertise the adult education programs, to increase awareness, and enrollment. 

Approval was given to Emerald Coast Technical College for the submission of an application to Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities to develop and implement a Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Program (FPCTP) for transitional adults with intellectual disabilities. They intend to submit a grant application to FCSUA for funding and for federal approval and to be recognized as a Federal Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary (CTP) Program. 

The board approved a Plumbing Program at Emerald Coast Technical College DeFuniak Springs Campus in January of 2023. As well as a Patient Care Tech Program at ECTC at the Watersound Campus in January of 2023. 

Approval was given to advertise amendments to School Board Rules/Policies. These are found on the Boarddocs website: https://go.boarddocs.com/fl/waltonsd/Board.nsf/Public

Glaze Communications Services Inc. received approval to continue security (Panasonic) managed services, all locations, for the next year for $20,846.64, or $1737.22 monthly. On average the labor time is around 16 hours per month. 

The contract was renewed for the Remind Base Plan. It is a platform for communication and learning and includes SIS (Student Information System) sync and voice calls. 

The board approved the 2022 -23 Title III, Part A: English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement and Academic Achievement Project Application. There are 709 non-English speaking students in the county, most are from Guatemala. The Title III, Part A project provides resources to ensure non-English speaking students are provided with comprehensible instruction to acquire English skills to master Florida’s standards and to enable them to graduate with a standard high school diploma. 

The board approved 2022-2023 Title IX, Part A – Education of Homeless Children and Youth Project. There are 113 homeless students in 6 schools within the county. There aren’t any students that live on the streets or in a car but stay in what’s considered an unstable situation. The Federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which guides Title IX, Part A, states that children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence are considered homeless. If, due to a loss of housing, a child must live in a shelter, motel, vehicle, or campground, on the street, in abandoned buildings, or doubled-up with relatives or friends, then he/she is eligible to receive services provided under the McKinney-Vento Act. The McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program is designed to address the problems that homeless children and youth have faced in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school. Under this program, state educational agencies must ensure that each homeless child and youth has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool education, as other children, and youth. Homeless children and youth must have access to the educational and other services that they need to enable them to meet the same challenging State student academic achievement standards to which all students are held. In addition, homeless students may not be separated from the mainstream school environment. 

Approval was given for the 2022-2023 Title I, Part A – Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged Project Application. Title I, Part A, provides local educational agencies (LEA) resources that help children gain a high-quality education and the skills to master the Florida Standards. Title I provides additional resources to schools with economically disadvantaged students. These resources provide additional teachers and paraprofessionals, professional development, parent involvement activities, and other activities designed to raise student achievement. 

Approval was given for Mobile Modular Leases for Relocatable Classrooms. 2 buildings are at Freeport Middle School and 4 buildings at Magnet Innovation Center/STEAM School at St. Joe Watersound. 

Manny Vital, a grandfather with students in the Walton School System, suggested a “Troops for Bus Drivers” program, training military members transitioning to civilian life for employment in school systems, that may assist in the bus driver shortage.