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Community News Jan 21st, 2021 - 09:58:33

First BOE meeting of the year held.

By Dave Whitaker
Jan 20, 2021, 18:47

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The Bleckley County Board of Education held their first meeting of 2021 Tuesday night. Officers were chosen and many things were discussed.

Mike Sasser, who served last year as Vice Chair, was elected board chair. Amy Williams was elected Vice Chair. Sasser was chosen again to be legislative liaison.

While there was a quorum, there were but four members present. Jessica Smith, who was set to take the District 1 seat, had chosen not to be seated and resigned. After brief discussion over options on how to fill the term, the board chose to appoint someone to fill the term until the next general non-partisan election in May of 2022. It was the same process by which Diane Lester was chosen to fill the unexpired term of Mildred Bloodworth.

Applications are being accepted now through February 11. Those who apply will be interviewed during an open work session February 16 at 6 pm.

In discussing chaperones and volunteers for field trips, Superintendent Dr. Steve Smith confirmed both must have updated background checks on file. He will remind staff to confirm all are following the procedure. As part of the consent items, the firm of Harben, Hartley, and Hawkins were named board attorney for 2021.

Some good financial news was mentioned during the Superintendent’s Report. Smith said the district will receive $2.1 million in Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSACARES2) funding which is earmarked to help districts for the remainder of this school year as well as next year.

He also said Governor Brian Kemp’s proposed budget called for just a $600,000 cut in funding as opposed to $1.6 million. If the budget is approved by the legislature, the district budget could be amended to reflect the new numbers and lower dip into reserve funding this school year.

Remote learning numbers wee presented. Currently, 9.4 percent of students are enrolled in remote learning. Smith expressed a hope that more students could return to school in the future.

On facilities, the HVAC system at the old middle school gym had been having issues. A Carrier-certified technician looked at the units and determined the cost to get one running would be at least $10,000, the other would require even more extensive repairs. Mini-split units had been installed at the primary school gym and had been working well. They will be installed at BCMS for less than $10,000.

Smith provided an update on athletic facilities renovations. He said new bleaches have been installed at the high school track. Smith also presented some renderings of renovations to the football field. You can view them by going to

The board passed four policies regarding updated Title IV regulations. The policies were GAAA - Equal Opportunity Employment
GAEB - Sexual Harassment of Employees
JAA - Equal Educational Opportunities
JCAC - Sexual Harassment of Students

You can read more by going to and clicking on item “G.”

From the executive session: Danny Jones was named middle school boys head track coach. Porter Arnold was named a BCHS track community coach

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