March’s Rome City Schools Board meeting was packed full of new information for the RCS system. Superintendent Louis Byars, along with the RCS School Board are rolling out new policies that detail their future plans and set aside time to recognize outstanding achievement in their schools.
Families can note that administrators have added an additional flexible learning day to the current school calendar. That date will be April 2.
Because of the partnership Rome City Schools shares with Floyd Medical Center, administrators and educators with RCS will receive COVID-19 vaccinations on April 2 during the flexible learning day. Those in the system who choose to receive the vaccination will be given access. Vaccinations will take place at the RCS College and Career Academy.
Board members also approved changes to policies that address out-of-district students and students who are currently in the system and wish to change school locations. Currently, students who are outside of the Rome City Schools system can pay tuition to attend one of their elementary schools. In the past, they had to be considered for the school location closest to their address. Now, the system is offering families the opportunity to choose which elementary school they would like to attend based on available space.
Current RCS students will also be able to apply to transfer to their desired school location with consideration of available space through the first day of school.
All applications will be available in April and accepted up until the first day of classes start for Rome City Schools.
Also on the agenda was discussion the Rome City Schools Virtual Learning Academy. RCS administrators will be sending out a survey to gauge interest in this program and will decide on implementation after the feedback has been collected from parents, students and system stakeholders. This plan includes a proposal for Kindergarten through eighth grade students to be instructed by RCS teachers, teaching daily (online). Grades 9-12 will be instructed via Georgia Virtual School. Students who choose this option will be locked in for one year.
The Board also approved the Superintendent to negotiate lease agreement with Harvey-Given that will secure apartments for new educators joining the RCS system. The apartments are a part of the Midtown Alli Townhomes and the lease will span 12 months for four units. This program is part of the system’s teacher recruitment efforts and was decided after identifying housing as a major concern for educators moving to the district to teach.
The school board approved a resolution to submit a five-year facilities plan to the Georgia Department of Education to improve school facilities. Plans including using the current North Heights Elementary School as the RCS Sixth Grade Academy. With the adoption of this resolution, Rome City Schools also plans to adopt the K-5(elementary grades), 6-8(middle grades) and 9-12 (high school grades) model.
Because of the expenses associated with maintaining a clean and safe environment for their students, Superintendent Byars and the RCS School Board have approved a $500 reimbursement for all employees in the system. Monies from the CARES act will be used to fund this effort. In addition to the bonuses for teachers, Rome City Schools will also replace 7000 Chrome Books and will be purchasing seven new school buses. Plans are also in place to purchase two new Special Education buses with monies from the general fund. The system is also purchasing 600-plus new laptops for faculty and staff members to replace outdated technology.
Rome City Schools also recognized the RCS School Board members as a part of School Board Appreciation month. The system will honor their Board members throughout the month of March to show appreciation for their support of education in Rome City Schools.
The Rome City Schools Board of Education appointed Vice Chairperson, Jill Fisher as the delegate for the 2021-2022 school year for the Georgia School Boards Association. Elaina Beeman will serve as the alternate.