Retreat: Marietta School Board off to work ‘in less formal atmosphere’
by Lindsay Field
March 01, 2013 12:00 AM | 2305 views | 3 3 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Marietta City School Board’s two-day retreat in Stone Mountain began this morning with training and will wrap up Saturday afternoon with an open discussion.

The annual retreat, which will cost between $5,500 and $6,000 out of the board’s budget, will be at the Marriott Evergreen Conference Center in Stone Mountain, district spokesman Thomas Algarin said.

All seven board members, along with six district cabinet members, Marietta Superintendent Emily Lembeck and her assistant, the district’s finance director, two representatives from the Georgia School Board Association and two district attorneys, will be in attendance.

Sixteen of the 20 will stay overnight.

“The two-day opportunity when staff and board members are totally removed from daily responsibilities to focus on important initiatives, progress and planning is really value-added,” Lembeck said.

Board Chair Randy Weiner said the retreat is held out of town because it gives the district staff and board time to work together in a less formal atmosphere.

“It’s also good for the board to get away as a group,” he said.

On Friday, the board will participate in a two-hour training session with Tony Arasi from the Georgia School Board Association, followed by a budget discussion and updates on the recently approved Strategic Plan.

The next day, they will get updates from district staff on the teacher and principal evaluations, which are being piloted in Marietta City Schools but will kick into full gear next year.

They will also talk about SPLOST IV that will go before voters March 19; the Marietta High School auditorium construction tapped to be done in late July; changes to the balanced scorecard and how the College and Career Ready Performance Index will be weighed; and status of the graduation rate.

Weiner said he’s most interested in finding out where the district will be financially in looking at the FY2014 budget and the status of how they are planning to improve graduation rates.

The board must approve a budget before June 30, but Weiner said he personally hasn’t seen any figures regarding a possible deficit.

“I don’t expect that we’ll have a huge deficit, and we should be able to take care of that with our reserves as we did the last three years,” he said.

Last year the board approved a $77.7 million budget, which included a $3.8 million deficit. They elected to dip into their $17.5 million reserves to cover the shortfall.

For a detailed copy of the retreat agenda, visit the district online at marietta-city.org.
Comments
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Children First
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March 03, 2013
As previously stated by the MDJ, “Marietta City School’s big challenges are keeping the graduation rates increasing, increasing excellence in education, both potentially with a lower budget, and rolling out the Common Core Standards,”

Obviously, the rules of austerity during challenging economic times, do not apply to the board and the superintendent’s cabinet. Instead of spending six thousand dollars on a weekend retreat, the board should have used the money to train teachers on Common Core Standards. Why spend money on a weekend retreat at a resort? They could have used one of the conference rooms at the Central Office or at the high school and saved money. If they want to be pampered, they could have catered in the food for the event. The board should start spending more money directly on the children.

Mom b4
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March 06, 2013
Oh please, spare us all your trivial complaining. Do you think the teachers are not being trained? My kid is already learning the CCGPS Math in 5 the grade. My friend's child in CCSD is still being taught only GPS Math. Please inform yourself or stay in bed!
Davis McCollum
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March 01, 2013
Well deserved...! Look at our surrounding Districts and the turmoil they are in. Hit 'em straight!
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