The ninth-grade center would be adjacent to Harrison High School. SPLOST Chief Doug Shepard said that of the four high schools in the west Cobb area - Harrison, Hillgrove, Allatoona and Kennesaw Mountain - Harrison has the least amount of space and the most portable classrooms.
Board member Lynnda Eagle said the center would be a good way to get students out of trailers, an issue that SPLOST has always intended to address.
Board Chairwoman Alison Bartlett said she has concerns about the placement of the ninth-grade center, and the costs associated with building a new school.
The board also discussed its plans to purchase three parcels of land to make up an 18-acre site for the new school, which will back up to Campbell High School property. About 9 acres of the proposed school site is part of the 48-acre Belmont Hills redevelopment, owned by Halpern Enterprises.
Tim Stultz, who represents the Smyrna area, will conduct a town hall meeting on Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the site plans for the school.
The board will vote on purchasing the land and is expected to hire an architect to design plans for the school at its Feb. 17 meeting. The board will also vote that day on hiring an architect for the ninth-grade center.
Following an executive session that lasted for nearly four hours, during which the board received a review of the 16 applications for the superintendent position from Georgia School Board Association, the board discussed several policy issues and the district's Strategic Plan.
During the board's Strategic Plan discussion, Chief Accountability and Research Officer Dr. Judi Jones presented the board with a flash drive of information that contained data in an excel spreadsheet on various math test scores broken down by each school, area, board post, and even by ethnicity of student. Jones said she would present this data to the board for each of the areas in which students are tested by August. The next section to be presented to the board in March will be English/language arts.
David Morgan, who asked that the board review how it organizes each of its content areas in the Strategic Plan, pushing for a more detailed breakdown of test scores. Morgan argued that the board receives a detailed SPLOST notebook and should receive an equally as detailed breakdown of test scores. The board will continue its discussion on the Strategic Plan at its March 9 work session meeting.
The board also discussed how it communicates with one another, the superintendent and district employees with respect to the code of ethics the board recently adopted. Bartlett reminded the board that the only employee it oversees is the superintendent, and that if any board member wants to meet or speak with a district employee they must make the superintendent aware of that meeting.
During a break, Bartlett said there had been an issue with board member communication, although she would not elaborate on the issue.
District CFO Mike Addison presented the board with the district's comprehensive annual financial report, saying that the auditing firm of Maudlin and Jenkins affirmed that the district ran efficiently during the 2010 fiscal year.
After voting to table a vote on a cell tower at Compton Elementary School in Powder Springs at its Jan. 27 meeting, the board voted unanimously to remove the item from its agenda indefinitely, in a motion made by David Morgan, who represents the area.
The board will hold its first of several budget meetings on March 1 at 5 p.m. in the boardroom.