Funding comes from a $50,000 state award designating Marietta City Schools as a Title I Distinguished District for improving student achievement. Superintendent Dr. Emily Lembeck said one of the things the state money can be used for is to provide performance incentives.
In determining which school would receive the performance incentive, Lembeck said her staff examined last year's CRCT scores. Only Hickory Hills managed to close the achievement gap in both reading and math for economically disadvantaged and regular students, with the scores of both groups increasing, she said.
The $360 checks to Hickory Hills' 69 employees account for half of the $50,000 award. The other half will be used for professional development throughout the system.
Hickory Hills is a school that came back from the brink of extinction. In 2007, Lembeck advised closing the school because of declining enrollment. But the board kept it open, electing to transform it into one that emphasized an arts curriculum, offering classes in drama and dance.
Principal Diana Mills intends to have a celebration today in honor of the distinction.
"As we all know, with all the budget cuts, just the stress of being an educator any more and especially knowing what we've been through the last five years, we couldn't ask for anything better," Mills said. "... It's all paid off. All the hard work. All the dedication."
Also Tuesday, the board voted to spend:
* $31,945 for an on-demand video library of searchable video segments featuring so-called top education experts who present research-based best practices offered by the School Improvement Network;
* $5,562 with John L. Hunter Construction Co., Inc to install a new concrete retainer wall at the rear of the walk-in freezer/cooler at Marietta Middle School;
* $20,295 with Onepath Systems for a retractable screen, a ceiling-mounted projector and speakers, and wall-mounted controls in Dunleith Elementary School's gym;
* $5,694 on SMART technology items for Marietta High School, such as student response systems, wireless slates and document cameras;
* $23,919 with Multi Media Services for SMART Boards and related hardware at Marietta Sixth Grade Academy;
* $21,748 with Pride Roofing to replace the roof at the 400 building located at Marietta Middle School;
* $96,000 with John L. Hunter for renovations and modifications for a Broadcast Video Production Lab at Marietta High School;
* $43,749 with Onepath Systems for audio-visual design equipment for Marietta High School's seminar room;
* $43,057 with Budgetext Corporation, Textbook Warehouse, and Harcourt Houghton Mifflin for the blended purchase of elementary reading workbooks and spelling workbooks;
* $16,775 with Ideal Building Solutions for a gym roof at Marietta Sixth Grade Academy; and
* $630,317 with Pride Roofing for Marietta Sixth Grade Academy's roof and wall renovations.