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Community News Jul 10th, 2019 - 15:55:46

BOE votes to continue school meal program, approves location for primary school.

By Dave Whitaker
Jul 10, 2019, 18:33

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“You can’t teach a hungry child” was a comment made by someone during School Nutrition Director Kelli Green’s presentation on the CEP (Community Eligibility Provision) that took place at last night’s monthly Board of Education meeting. Green was there to ask the board to continue participation in the program which provides free meals to students who receive any type of government assistance (IE: SNAP Benefits.)

The amount of revenue for the program is based upon the number of claimants. Because the numbers are down from 86.75 percent to 70.90 percent, it would mean less revenue for the school nutrition budget. However, board members as well as Superintendent Steve Smith all spoke of the program’s value in ensuring students received needed meals.

Continued participation in the program was approved, with the understanding the nutrition budget will be monitored because of decreased revenue. Sites where free breakfast and lunch will be provided are: Bleckley County Learning Center (Pre-K), Bleckley Primary, Bleckley Elementary, and Bleckley County Success Academy. No cost breakfast and lunch at Bleckley County Middle School and Bleckley County High School will also continue.

In an update on the new primary school, architects sent a site application to the board also sent to the Georgia Department of Education for the school’s location, 242 East Dykes Street, the current Pre-K. The board approved the application and site location. It should also be noted that the scheduled August 6 work session was rescheduled for September 3 at 6 pm where the architects will provide an update on the school project.

In other project news, most of the HVAC units to be replaced at BCES and BCHS have been removed. The replacement united for the elementary school gym has been installed. It will be tested once sock ductwork and the air handling unit comes in. The project is expected to be completed by July 31.

The board voted to approve a new SPED bus from Yancey Bus Sales and Service, a Blue Bird company. Though their bid of $101,500 was higher than that of the $96,720 by Peach State Freightliner, the Yancey bus met requested specifications and was recommended by Transportation Director Stan Thompson.

Approved en masse was changes to the Student Code of Conduct as well as student handbooks, coaches handbook, and employee handbook. To view the updates, go to

BCHS Assistant Principal Matt Godwin presented attendance numbers since the implementation of a policy which banned students from attending prom or driving on campus with excessive absences, but also rewarded students for good attendance by giving them gold cards which provided admission to regular season sporting events. The BCHS staff was congratulated on the new procedure’s success.

Smith congratulated the board for being named a Georgia School Board Association Exemplary Board. Bleckley was one of 55 out of 180 school districts to receive the highest honor in the GSBA Board of Distinction program.

From the executive session, a new substitute teacher pay scale was approved. The board also approved its annual evaluation and contract extension for Smith.

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