Students place in top three in Web project

WINDER - Barrow County's Board of Education honored 22 Kennedy Elementary School students Tuesday.

Those students placed in the top three in the University of Georgia region in a statewide Web page contest sponsored by Promote Georgia.

The student-designed Web pages, "Go Peaches About Georgia," and "Fossils" placed second and third respectively in the second- and third-grade division. "The Road to Revolution" Web page tied for third place in the fourth- and fifth-grade division. The pages can be seen at www.promotega.org/winners2006.htm.

The contest began in October 2005 and judging took place in April. The students worked in teams learning to design the Web page, hyperlink pages, hand draw or trace artwork and scan that artwork to be uploaded to the Web page. Teacher Caroline O'Bannon oversaw the project and KES classroom teachers Cindy Ellington and Tonia Paramore supervised the teams.

In other business:

•Winder-Barrow High School received the Governor's Office of Student Achievement Platinum Award for greatest gain in percentage of students meeting and exceeding standards. They placed in the top 2 percent statewide and were one of eight high schools in Georgia. To earn that distinction, Winder-Barrow had to meet Adequate Yearly Progress for three consecutive years and achieve the greatest gains in percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards.

•Board members voted 7-2 to amend the textbook selection regulation that gives the school superintendent the right to develop regulations and administer procedures for situations dealing with sensitive and controversial issues. The amendment comes about in response to an issue from last February in which a classroom teacher compared the pig-killing scene in the novel "Lord of the Flies" to rape. Parents complained and a certain edition of the book containing a controversial essay was removed.

A number of teachers voiced their disapproval of the amendment, which is comprised of half sentences, in e-mails to board members. One teacher called it, "a witch-hunt waiting to happen," according to Chairman Bill Bramlett.

"We don't want teachers to think we are trying to impede what they do in the classroom or threaten them in any way," said Lynn Stevens, school board member.

Board Member Rickey Bailey voted against the amendment.

"We don't need it, it doesn't add anything and we are treading where we don't need to tread," Bailey said.