County schools open to outsiders

Published 11:00 pm Monday, July 30, 2012

The Pike County Board of Education approved a policy regarding the admission of non-resident/out of zone students at its Monday meeting.

Dr. Mark Bazzell, superintendent of Pike County Schools, made the recommendation for the non-resident school policy in the wake of a similar policy adopted by the Troy City Schools on July 16.

“Our policy is not identical but close,” Bazzell said. “It allows two different ways that students can transfer into our system.”

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One way is based on the court order when the school system achieved Unitary Status and the other will be on the newly adopted non-resident school policy.

Bazzell said he recommended that the board approve the policy because it would level the playing field established when the Troy City School System adopted a similar policy.

“My preference was not to pass such a policy but, after the Troy City Schools adopted the non-resident school policy, we were left with no alternative but to pass it and level the playing field,” Bazzell said.

Students who attend private schools in the county, who are home schooled or live outside Pike County will be considered for enrollment. Students enrolled in the Troy City Schools are not eligible for non-resident status, according to the policy. The board set the tuition for non-residents students at $400 per semester, the same as the tuition set for Troy City School non-resident students.

Also at Monday night’s meeting, the board took action that will pave the way for the Pike County Board of Education to assume responsibility for the recreation department in Brundidge.

Bazzell said this is a unique opportunity for the board to enter into an agreement that would allow the school system to be in charge of the recreational facilities and programs in Brundidge.

“This would give us an opportunity to continue to build and grow a program,” Bazzell said.

“We would want a long-term lease that would allow us to make capital improvements to the property. I believe this agreement would be very positive for our kids.”

The board granted permission for Bazzell to move forward with the negotiations with the City of Brundidge.

Bazzell told the board that it is time to begin looking seriously at acquiring land for future capital improvements.

“There is property in both the western and eastern part of the county that would be beneficial to secure,” he said.

Bazzell also brought back to the table a lease agreement the board made with Time Served, Inc. at its July 16 meeting.

Bazzell said any use of the school property should benefit the community and that statements made later by a representative of Time Served were not consistent with what he had understood.

Bazzell recommended that the board rescind its lease agreement with Time Served. The board accepted his recommendation.

In personnel action, the board approved several teacher hires including Rachael Brooks as counselor at the Pike Center for Technology, Rodney Jordan as physical education teacher at Banks Middle School, Tayamoko Iverson as physical education teacher at Pike County Elementary School, Kyle Davis as physical education teacher at Pike County High School, Sylvania Brundidge as science teacher at Pike County High School and Jeff McClure as teacher at the Alternative Learning Center.

The board also approved the employment of Bruce Campbell as mechanic.

In other business, the board approved the lease purchase of a copier for Goshen Elementary School and approved the sale of a surplus floor mixer to the volunteer fire department. The board also approved the Central Office reorganization plan and changes to the organizational chart.