Upgrades top BOE Agenda

Published 3:21 am Wednesday, February 2, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
A "Character Education Class" and communications system upgrades topped the agenda at the monthly Escambia County Board of Education meeting held Thursday night in the Escambia County High School library.
Bill Richoux, Director of Ministries for Camp Victory, presented the board with a program called "Release Time." The program allows students, with permission from the school principal and from their parents, to leave class for one hour each month to walk off campus to a mobile teaching facility used by Release Time to teach character training in a Bible-based manner. Students from Kindergarten through fifth grade are the target base for Camp Victory.
The board approved the measure and proposed to present it to the principals of each school for their go-ahead. The board then proposed that it be given a one year trial.
Jerry Weeks, Director of Technology for the Escambia County School System, then proposed several communications upgrades for the school system. An RUS Grant to help pay for the equipment was approve, and Weeks then listed several items in need of update or repair.
He proposed buying a new computer system, with an advanced server running several computer screens at once.
"This would take away a lot of the problems generated by students on our computers," Weeks said.
Weeks also proposed buying a new phone system, as the current system in use contains over 100 lines and costs the schools $80,000 a year.
"It will cost about $21,000 to install it, but we should be able to save a lot of money by doing this," Weeks said. "In addition to simply upgrading, W.S. Neal, Pollard and Flomaton's phone lines are badly in need of being replaced."
In other business, the board:

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