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Barry ISD hires new social worker

Jessica Courtright

Contributing Writer

The Barry Intermediate School Board Tuesday unanimously approved the hiring of Rachel James as a new social worker.

Though James is new to the position, she previously worked for BISD as a part-time transitions coordinator. James had left to take a full-time poison as a social worker in another school district.

When the full-time opportunity opened, she said she was interested in returning BISD Superintendent Rich Franklin said.

Assistant Superintendent for Special Education Dawn Weeks said that in the past, a grant was available specifically for the transitions coordinator position, which was required by state law. The law changed, and the position is no longer required.

“Rachel was a fantastic transitions coordinator,” Weeks said, adding that James missed the work.

In other business:

-The board voted unanimously to approve the endowment fund procedures and forms for the disbursement of funds housed at the Barry Community Foundation. The only change was a step in the form regarding evaluation of the grant to determine if grants achieve their purpose. 

-The board voted in favor of adopting attendance procedures. Franklin said one change noted before the meeting under excused absences should read “a written statement from a healthcare provider.” He suggested adding a note explaining that “illness does not just include student illness; it can also include family illness.”

Board Vice President Dr. Robert Becker suggested changing a sentence to “excused absences include but are not limited to the following.” The board agreed and the words “not limited to” were added. 

-Weeks informed the board that with the help of various employees, the district is now keeping track of attendance electronically using Google Sheets. Previously, teachers kept track of attendance manually. Electronic attendance allows teachers to take attendance twice a day and give office professionals access to attendance records.

-Franklin gave a brief update on the early childhood fiscal monitoring. He said, “There really is not much to update you on.” A team of auditors from Maner Costerisan finished their audit in early December and took the information back to review and write their report. It has only been a few weeks since the audit, Franklin noted, but the auditors were hopeful that they would have a quick turnaround. ISD officials are waiting to hear back from the auditors and the state regarding this new audit.

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