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Community News Nov 18th, 2020 - 21:10:24


Many things discussed at BOE meeting.

By Dave Whitaker
Nov 18, 2020, 23:07

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Last night’s monthly Board of Education meeting was different in that only two items were acted on before executive session. But many things were discussed.

There was brief discussion regarding the FY22 calendar that was voted on by school employees. You can see the calendar and survey results by going to
. https://simbli.eboardsolutions.com/SB_Meetings/ViewMeeting.aspx?S=4014&MID=88924

This year’s REACH Scholars were recently recognized in a ceremony held at the middle school media center. Smith asked the minutes reflect congratulations to the recipients. They are Alesha Ates, Annabelle Bentley, Ella Copeland, Sedarian Nelson, and Lillian Schmittel.

In discussing financials, Superintendent Dr. Steve Smith said with 31 percent of the year elapsed, 29 percent of the budget had been used. He said they were on track to have a great year financially.

Looking at enrollment numbers, Smith noted their enrollment was only down three students, FTE count down only five from 2019. He said they were truly blessed as a district as some districts had seen significant enrollment decreases.

When looking at the number of students enrolled in traditional learning versus distance learning, he mentioned a meeting held recently with administrators at both Bleckley Elementary and BCMS. Both expressed concern that remote learners weren’t progressing properly. A letter was sent home to students in grades 3-8 offering them an opportunity to return to school.

There was a discussion regarding the conflicting designation of school teachers by government agencies. Department of Homeland Security had declared them “critical infrastructure workers” meaning they, like nurses who were also declared “essential” could return to work the next day even if exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. The Georgia Department of Public Health has declined to provide any designation on teachers.

It was presented just as a discussion topic Board members expressed concern about having someone at school who had been exposed to COViD. On facilities, Smith said the new entrance for car riders was being used at Bleckley Primary and expanded parking would start tomorrow (Wednesday.) He said construction on the new primary school was ahead of schedule.

The only two items acted on were renewals of workers compensation and fleet insurance. Approved was a renewal of workers compensation insurance with United Heartland through the Saunders Stuckey & Mullis Insurance Agency. The premium of $122,910 was a four precent decrease from last year’s cost of $127,998.

Fleet insurance which covers buses and school vehicles was renewed through Auto Owners, represented locally by Cochran Insurance and Reality. The premium of $44,927 was five percent higher than last year’s cost of $42,811. Smith said he had gotten a competing quote from GSBA last spring when they quote the rest of the district property/casualty insurance on a school-year basis

Two additions to coaching staffs came from the Executive Session. Caroline Thrower was added as a graduate assistant tennis coach at BCMS. Former BCHS baseball player Dylan Churchwell will be a community coach for the Royals.

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