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As classes begin, Hall school board looks ahead
Only empty parts of buildings will be renovated during spring, fall
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Hall County Board of Education

What: Work session
When: 5 p.m. Monday
Where: Hall County Schools Central Office, 711 Green St. NW, Gainesville
Contact: 770-534-1080


The school year is just starting, but Hall County Schools Board of Education members already have projects in the works to discuss at Monday's work session.

"One of the big things, now that we've passed (Special Local Option Sales Tax IV) we'll have an extensive plan for instructional technology," Superintendent Will Schofield said. "We won't ask the board to approve it until the meeting next Monday but we'll be talking about it."

Aaron Turpin, technology director for Hall County Schools, said he will be proposing a 14-month timeline to get new laptops, digital tablets, HoverCam scanners and digital cameras in schools.

"We're looking at a per-enrollment allotment," he said. "Each school would be given ‘X' amount of dollars for who's enrolled at the school. It's an equalization allocation."

For example, he said, schools with more students would get more money than smaller schools because there are more students to use the equipment. The school board will decide the exact amount of money allotted per student, Turpin said.

Schofield said the board will also hear a presentation about upcoming construction undertakings. Two Hall County schools will be getting major campus renovations — the former Jones Elementary School building and the old South Hall Middle School building, which house the Early Language Development Center and Da Vinci Academy, respectively.

"At this point we're in the very beginning stages of discussing these projects. In the next 30 days we'll be hiring architects," said Damon Gibbs, SPLOST coordinator for Hall County Schools.

Both buildings are occupied during the school year, so only the empty parts will be renovated during spring and fall, Gibbs said. The rest of the buildings will be worked on during summer 2012. The renovations include heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades and replacing the roofs.

"We won't be tearing any walls out or adding additional space," he said.

Schofield said hopefully head count numbers will be available to help the district get a better view of its student demographics.

The school board will also be viewing a video from Gov. Nathan Deal that endorses a new program Hall Schools are piloting.

"I am going to ask for up to $25,000 for combination dual GED and post-secondary education programs," Schofield said. "The message encourages kids to participate."


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