The Cartersville Schools Foundation sponsors the grant program, which, according to its website, "is designed to award money for instructional enhancement to teachers who submit creative ideas through a grant process."
Foundation President Lisa Bell said the grants total about $9,000. She said teachers have previously applied for the mini-grants and have already been notified if they received a grant.
"The money actually went to the schools last week," Bell said. "The teachers needed some time in their classroom to know what they needed."
The grants span from the primary school to high school and have titles like "Taking Flight with Fluency," "Trailblazing Science and Social Studies" and "Podcasting and Booktalking."
Also recognized during the board's regular business session was board member Tim Chason and his wife, Cartersville Elementary School Media Specialist Lynne J. Chason, who are both retiring from officially serving Cartersville schools.
"This community means a great deal to us and we'll always be here to support the community," Tim Chason said.
Tim Chason was awarded a check from the school board to present to the schools foundation's Gatekey Scholarship Program, which awards scholarships for students beginning at a young age in exchange for maintaining good academic standing and good behavior.
Gatekey recipients Kevane Washington, Eric Woods and Daphanie Johnson also were recognized for their scholarship status.
Students with concerns about the schedule change from a 4-by-4 block to a seven-period day came to the meeting to address the board. For example, senior Nick Terry said, "You say that the primary motivation [for the change] is academics and you think this will increase the rigor of the courses at the high school, but you also say that you'll also have to remove some of the classes that have lower enrollment ... but from experience, I'm well aware that most of the lower enrollment courses are the more rigorous courses. I'm talking about Advanced Placement classes where you sometimes have roughly 10 students ... and by doing this I'm assuming these low enrollment courses will be cut."
Responding to Terry's question Hinesley said, "Now that you've got virtual [instruction], you can take AP physics with a well-qualified teacher and still get the same benefit. I can tell you by looking at AP test scores from South Georgia schools who are all on AP 100 percent virtual, those kids are just as well as many in the state who are taking the class with the teacher standing in front of them.
"Our goal would be to get enough kids to take AP physics so we could have our physics teacher teach it, but if we don't have the numbers, we won't be able to continue to afford that."
Hinesley will meet with teachers in the spring to discuss the number of credit hours needed for graduation. The schedule change will take effect in fall 2012.
In other school news, Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax revenue was down for October at $344,924.
"It's still above what we budgeted for, which was $325,000," Finance Committee Chairwoman Kelley Dial said during last week's work session. "It's a little lower than we've had recently, but we never could make rhyme or reason why some months are higher."
She said the board is soon to pay off the 20-year-old bond for the Cartersville Middle School and recommended approving the FY 2013 budget parameters, budget preparation and millage setting calendar.
"This is just something to give the administration to look at when they're preparing the budget to see what the big picture is," Dial said.
The board approved a recommendation to clarify language in current policies regarding their 24/7 no-tobacco use policy as suggested by Northwest Georgia Public Health. The board also approved recommendations regarding their drug screening policy for bus drivers and a policy that states any earned vacation time will not be shortened for certified and classified personnel in the case of furloughs.
Hinesley accepted the retirement from two bus drivers -- Thomas Glawson and Diane Popham -- as well as Chason and Director of Special Programs Kathy Anderson. He recommended the transfer in certified employment of Susan Tolbert to transfer from intervention specialist to acting special programs director for the remainder of the 2011-2012 school year.
Also, Carolyn Johnson has qualified for the board seat left vacant by the late Michael Dean. Qualifying will continue until 5 p.m. Wednesday.