PRIDE survey results were presented at the February 23 Escambia County Board of Education meeting, defining the progress made in dealing with school violence and identifying problems that need to be addressed.
District attendance officer Donna Revel presented the board with the results of the PRIDE survey, which reflects drug use and violence in the schools. The survey, mandated by the state in May each year, showed some improvements, but also where problems continue.
In the county, small increases were shown in incidents where students were hurt at school, up 1.2 percent, and increases in students afraid to be at school, up 2.1 percent from the previous year. Other statistics presented included:
* 14 percent of students say they have been bullied several times a week.
* 53 percent of students have been made fun of or teased.
* 45 percent of students feel left out by their peers.
* 59 percent of students said they have been lied about by their peers.
* 19.9 percent of students say that they have experienced electronic bullying.
Revel outlined steps that are being considered to address these needs, including a week with Jessica Brookshire, former Miss Alabama contestant and founder of K.A.R.M.A. (Kids Against Ridicule Meanness and Aggression), who will visit in the schools.
Also to aid students, the board approved an agreement between the board and Southwest Alabama Behavioral Health Care Systems, Inc., for therapeutic services for students attending Rachel Patterson Elementary School and Escambia County Middle School. Interim superintendent Randall Little said this is a pilot program.
The meeting was held at Pollard-McCall Jr. High School as part of the board’s effort to visit different schools in the county at the beginning of the year. Pollard-McCall principal Hugh White presented a plaque to the Rev. Jeff Edwards, pastor of Catawba Springs Baptist Church, in appreciation of the help received from the church following the fire that destroyed the school’s media center last June. The church shared facilities so that the school’s summer program could continue.
“It was our privilege and our joy to be able to do this for the school and the system,” Edwards said.
The financial report was given, showing a balance of 12.7 million at the end of January. This is an increase of 2.1 million from the previous month due to the ad valorem tax receipts.
In other business, the board
* approved the 2012-2013 school calendar
* tabled the following board policy: Tab 1000 #1010 disabled student to bring a service animal to school
* awarded bid for Type C regular buses to Yancey Bus Sales & Service in the amount of $76,503.00 (with the intent to purchase at least 3 type C buses)
* awarded CNP Equipment Bid 2011-2012 #2 (small equipment) to
Dixie Store Fixtures & Sales Company in the amount of $30,667.16
* awarded CNP Equipment Bid 2011-2012 #3 (Combi/Pollard-McCall)
to Dixie Store Fixtures & Sales Company in the amount of $20,575.00
* voted to re-advertise for the following: Escambia County High School / Atmore Central Office Learning Lab AHSGE remediation program, one teacher and one student worker
* approved revised salary schedule effective July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012 for child nutrition personnel
* approved Title I Jump Start enrichment program: dates: June 4, 2012 – June 28, 2012 (off on Fridays), May 31, 2012 – professional development day, June 29, 2012; times: 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Flomaton Elementary School personnel: two teachers, three aides and one custodian.
Rachel Patterson Elementary School personnel: four teachers, five aides, and one custodian.
W.S. Neal Elementary School personnel: four teachers, five aides and one custodian
* approved Title I Jump Start Enrichment Program transportation: one Atmore and one Brewton bus.
* approved Save the Children / 21st Century Community Learning Center /Title
I summer program: dates: May 31, 2012 – June 28, 2012 (off on Fridays)
times: 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Rachel Patterson Elementary School personnel: two teachers, two literacy aides, one NUPA coordinator and one site-coordinator.
Following the meeting, the board and guests were invited to tour the newly completed library / media center.
White said, “We are very proud of the work that has been done. We plan to put out our new books in the next few weeks.”
Pictured, Hugh White, left, principal at Pollard-McCall, presents Rev. Jeff Edwards of Catawba Springs with a plaque of appreciation.