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BOE approves magnet school name, makeup day

JONESBORO — Clayton County Public Schools officials have announced the district will make up one of its snow days this month using a staff development day.

The move was one of a handful made by the school board Monday. The body voted unanimously to approve Superintendent Luvenia Jackson’s recommendation to change March 17, a scheduled professional learning day, into a student instructional learning day. The calendar previously called for that date to be a day off for students.

“We have heard our student families and understand the importance of already scheduled family time for spring and summer breaks,” said Jackson in a written statement Tuesday. “Of course, this decision is subject to further discussion if we should have to again cancel classes due to hazardous conditions caused by severe inclement weather.”

Jackson said the decision was made after several considerations, including input from principals and teaching and learning staff.

“While we believe professional development is critical for our staff to hone both their focus on proven instructional methodology and their teaching skills, we must put instructional time for our students first under these circumstances,” she added.

Jackson said school attendance will be strongly urged and heavily promoted.

“We are calling upon everyone to do his or her part,” she said. “Academic achievement is a partnership. Parents and students must join with the district’s administration and staff in a committed effort for academic success to occur.”

The district will delay the onset of the Criterion Reference Competency Tests from April 15 until April 17.

“Having some flexibility in the upcoming testing schedule allows some additional instruction time and still ensures that we receive results in time to make promotion and retention decisions and give parents time to make appeals, if needed,” said Jackson.

The board also took four other actions during Monday’s meeting.

Changes to its Policy Series G regarding personnel were approved 7-2 with Goree and Michael King casting dissenting votes.

Members voted 8-1 in favor of naming the district’s new fine arts magnet school the Martha Ellen Stillwell School of the Arts. King was opposed.

The board resolved unanimously on an amended version of the Georgia School Boards Association’s legislative positions.

Member Goree expressed concern about the association’s support of an idea to allow the appointment of the state school superintendent by the elected state school board. Collectively, the local board agreed and redacted the position from its resolution.

The board also named its chair, Dr. Pam Adamson, and vice chair, Dr. Alieka Anderson, as the delegate and alternate to the upcoming GSBA conference. The appointments were approved 8-1, with Mark Christmas opposing.