School board to purchase new buses, pay off old loans

By BUSTER WOLFE,

The Lamar County School District will be able to use one-time money created by the fiscal year’s ending fund balance toward buying new buses and retiring four loans totaling $500,000.

The Board of Trustees voted last Thursday night at the Oak Grove High School library to follow the suggestion of Superintendent Tess Smith and Finance Director Jennifer Hession to retire the loans. Smith said she will ask the board to approve the purchase of new school buses at the Oct. 16 meeting in Purvis.

“(Hession) completed the closing out of our budget this year, and in doing that we had a nice fund balance,” Smith said. “It is one-time money, so I wanted to be very careful with that because it is something that we cannot use year in and year out for something.

“In looking at using that one-time money, which is right at $1 million, we are looking at paying off about four old loans that date back as far as 2001. What I would like to do is pay off those four loans and next board meeting enter into a new loan with your approval so that I can buy 10-15 buses. We’re in a situation where we need to have some plans in replacing our fleet. For one-time money, the buses are the best options for spending that.”

Smith said none of the current buses would be sidelined, but their use might be restricted.

“We are very blessed with the budget,” she said. “We have a big fleet, more than 125 buses. When you start looking at them, some of them will be restricted within district use, no more field trips, that type of thing. We aren’t going to retire any of them. I hope with some of the deals that the companies are offering, we can get as many as 15. That would be great for the district; we really need to work on our fleet.”

Smith said the buses have been worked over pretty hard during the school year.

“We put more than 1 million miles on our buses last year easily because in Oak Grove, we run double routes,” she said. “So there’s a lot of wear and tear on our buses. I have to brag on our mechanics; they do an outstanding job keeping those buses on the road.”

The increase in the ending fund balance came from various sources, Smith said.

“We have had some higher collections from the ad valorem taxes,” she said. “The 3-mill projects that we have been doing over the past three years have freed up so much money in the regular operating expenses that would have had to be spent on building repairs and things like that. That has helped us come out really good on our budgets each year.”

In other action, the School Board:

• Approved General Agenda.

• Approved FY2018 Salary Scale Change.

• Approved Accounts Payable Claims, Receipts and Disbursements.

• Introduced New Policy JG - School Wellness.

• Approved Contract between LCSD and Bailey Education Group for U.S. History Curriculum Mapping.

• Approved Contract for Services between LCSD and Bailey Education Group for Professional Development.

• Introduced Changes to Policy JQN - Education of Homeless and Policy AE - School Year (Academic Year).

• Approved FY18 IDEA Part B Budget.

• Approved Contract between LCSD and IMPACT Education Group for Effective Principal Institute and Collaborative Training.

• Heard offers of support from Lisa Browning of Lamar County Soil & Water Conservation District.

• Received a report from Ross Bell on Worker's Compensation Insurance.

• Approved Aug. 14 Minutes after changes by Board Attorney Rick Norton.

• Approved Changes to Policy IDDHB - Section 504 Grievance Procedures and Policy IDDH - Section 504--Americans With Disabilities Act – Non-Discrimination.

• Approved Monthly Financial Report for June.

• Approved 2017 Amended Budget.

• Approved FY2017 Ending Short-term Loans.

• Approved Paying off four 16th Section Loans totaling about $500,000.

• Approved Amendment to 16th Section Lands Lease No. 494.

• Approved Rental Adjustment on 16th Section Lands Lease No. 118.

• Approved new 16th Section Lands residential lease for Christopher Ford at 193 Oral Church Road.

• Set Next Meeting for Monday, Oct. 16 at the Lamar County School District Boardroom beginning at 6 p.m.

 

The board made the following actions for these schools:

Baxterville School

• Accepted the resignation of Frances Sharlene Cameron as Child Nutrition Worker effective Aug. 13.

• Approved the acquisition of two Infocus J-Touch with accessories at a cost of $5,406.82 from CDW-G, to be paid from school budget, alternate quote Connection $5,846.94; six MacBook Air 13-inch computers with Applecare at a cost of $6,192 from Apple (sole source provider), to be paid from district funds, and Motorola CP185 Handheld Radio valued at $275 from Baxterville School PTO, to be used by teacher with diabetic student in her class.

Longleaf Elementary School

• Approved hiring Amy Ostrander as ELA Teacher at Longleaf replacing Ashley Smith retroactive to Aug. 28.

• Approved the acquisition of Moby Max renewal fee at a cost of $5,698 from Moby Max (sole source provider), to be paid from Title I funds, and LOOK Notebook & Kid Navigator plus LOOK Data Coaching software at a cost of $5,950 from Bailey Education Group, to be paid from district funds, alternate quote PDAnalytics $7,500.

Oak Grove High School

• Approved hiring Santana Thigpen as Substitute Bus Monitor effective Sept. 8; Fallon Hartfield as Full-time Bus Driver replacing Tina Turner retroactive to Aug. 21;

• Sarah Bass as Career Center Tech Assistant Teacher replacing Cindy Cater retroactive to Aug. 28, and Kelly Lofton as Sped Assistant Teacher replacing Kia Morris effective Sept. 11.

• Approved the transfers of Billy Devine as Substitute Bus Driver at Purvis to Full-time Bus Driver at Oak Grove replacing Anthony Hicks effective Sept. 8 and David Turner as Substitute Bus Driver at Oak Grove to Full-time Bus Driver at Oak Grove replacing Sharon Powell effective Sept. 8.

• Approved the acquisition of compliance inspection of sprinkler systems (repairs & follow-ups) at a cost of $8,100 from Southern Fire, to be paid from district funds, alternate quote ICFP $8,750, and three Canon Imagerunner Advance 8555i copiers at a cost of $1,395/month for 48 months plus $75/month maintenance per machine and 39 cents/copy per machine from Owens Business Machines.

Oak Grove Lower Elementary

• Accepted the resignation of Ivy Moore as Custodian effective Aug. 25.

• Approved hiring Stacey Niemeyer as Part-time Tutor replacing Laura Papp retroactive to Aug. 31 and Suzell Cain as Part-time Title I Tutor replacing Jessica Wozniak retroactive to Aug. 30.

• Allowed permission to use Goodwin Imaging as a vendor for the 2017-2018 school year.

Oak Grove Middle School

• Approved the transfer of Azizi Shelby as Cafeteria Employee Cafeteria Employee at Purvis replacing Stephanie Morgan retroactive to Aug. 29.

• Approved the acquisition of two Infocus JTouch Screens with cables, wall mount and license at a cost of $5,406.82 from CDW-G, to be paid from school budget, alternate quote ITSavvy $6,722.12 and two Samsung Chromebooks Model Code: XE500C13-K04US valued at $339 from PTO, to be used in classroom by students.

Oak Grove Primary School

• Approved hiring Melissa Burrel replacing Gaylyn Miller, Anna Bush replacing Valencia Harris, Melissa Taylor replacing Linelle Johnson, Hope Biesinger, Vicki Miller, Amanda Scott, Tammy Crosby, Shannon Mitchell, Belinda Haeusler, Toni Wesley, Janice Gordy and Jennifer Powell, all as Part-time Title I Tutors retroactive to Aug. 28.

• Approved the acquisition of five Macbook Air computers with Applecare at a cost of $5,160 from Apple (sole source provider), to be paid from Title I funds, and 12 Projector bundles with installation at a cost of $10,128 from AXI, to be paid from Title I funds with no alternate quote available due to other companies being unable to install.

Oak Grove Upper Elementary

• Approved the transfer of Christina Strahan as Custodian to Cafeteria Employee at Oak Grove Middle School replacing Azizi Shelby retroactive to Aug. 29.

•          Approved the hiring of JoEllen Colee, Lynn Hightower, Kerri King, Charlotte Rayburn, Gina Sims, Khanda Ward and Joycelyn Williams replacing Rachel Thomas, all as Part-time Title I Tutors effective Sept. 8.

•          Approved the acquisition of a Rope Course at a cost of $19,581.85 from Adventures Unlimited, Inc., to be paid from Blue Cross Blue Shield Grant, Alternate quote Signature Research, Inc. $24,396.28; and 8-by-12 Playground Wall System at a cost of $9,000 plus $2,400 installation from KorKat, to be paid from Blue Cross Blue Shield Grant, alternate quote Everlasting Climbing $10,288 installation unavailable.

Purvis High School

•          Approved the acquisition of books valued at $624.50 from Workman Publishing and Penguin Publishing, to be placed in library for use by students and faculty, and $975 cash donation from Purvis High School Softball Booster Club, to be used to help purchase an ice machine for the softball program.

Purvis Lower Elementary

•          Approved the hiring of Kristi Fowler, Susan Miller, Pamela Powell, Larke Ready, Christa Tynes and Nichole Werle, alls as Part-time Title I Tutor effective Sept. 8.

•          Approved the acquisition of $2,128.73 cash donation from PTO, to be used for Library Activity Fund.

Purvis Middle School

•          Accepted the resignation of Katherine Michelle Davis as Custodian effective Aug. 4.

Purvis Upper Elementary

•          Approved the transfers of Stephanie Morgan as Cafeteria Employee to Cafeteria Employee at Baxterville replacing F. Sharlene Cameron retroactive to Aug. 29, and Alyson Speights as Assistant Teacher to District Sped Long-term Substitute retroactive to Sept. 5.

•          Approved the acquisition of a Handrail to cafeteria at a cost of $6,500 from Precision Fab & Refurbishing, to be paid from district funds, alternate quote Mid South Glass $8,275.

Sumrall Elementary School

•          Accepted the resignation of Samantha Groth as Custodian effective Sept. 1.

•          Approved the transfer of Sheila McLemore as Custodian to Cafeteria Employee replacing Jessica Dickens retroactive to Aug. 29.

•          Approved hiring Beverly Gore, Barbara Graham, Kathy Greene, Karen Loftin, Angela Pickett, Jamie Rodney, Michaela Broom, Dianne Prince, Sharon Russell, Jessica Saliba and Valeria Michelle Green, all as Part-time Title I Tutors effective Sept. 12.

•          Approved the acquisition of 24 Asus Chromebooks with licenses at a cost of $4,584 from Howard Tech, to be paid from Title 1 funds and school account, alternate quote CDW-G $4,587.36; six Projector bundles with installation at a cost of $5,064 from AXI, to be paid from Title I funds, no alternate quote available due to other companies being unable to install, and four Chromebooks valued at $1,200 from Donors Choose, to be used in Ashley King's classroom.

Sumrall High School

•          Accepted the resignation of Nancy Aultman as Custodian at SHS effective Sept. 4.

•          Approved the transfer of Julie Clinton as Counselor to Part-time District Test Coordinator (new position) effective Sept. 11.

•          Approved the acquisition of $2,000 cash donation from Michael Landrum, to be used as needed by football; $1,500 cash donation from Class of 2015, to be used at Mrs. Kribbs’ discretion; $10,000 cash donation from Sumrall Gridiron Club, to be used for uniforms, footballs, and various other needs for football team; $450 cash donation from anonymous donor, to be used as needed for archery, and $500 cash donation from Sumrall Lions Club, to be used for expenses to travel to nationals.

•          Accepted the retirement of Robert Sutton as Teacher effective end of 2017-18 school year.

Lamar County School District

•          Accepted the resignations of Joseph Green as School Resource Officer effective Sept. 8 and Luivith Hurt as Cafeteria Worker effective Sept. 1.

•          Approved the transfer of Tony Gaumer as Substitute Routing Specialist to Part-time Routing Specialist for District (new position) effective Sept. 11.

•          Approved hiring Lauren Keller retroactive to Aug. 24 and Dayvi Difatta effective Sept. 8 as Substitute School Nurses and Suzanne Berry as District Long-term Sub retroactive to Aug. 14.

•          Approved a One-Year Educator License for Veteran Teacher Melissa Smith.

•          Approved the acquisition of Reach-in Refrigerator at a cost of $4,374 from Hotel & Restaurant Supply for Child Nutrition, to be paid from Child Nutrition funds,

•          Alternate quote Grover Equipment $4,743.

•          Allowed Child Nutrition permission to refund account balances to parents of students as follows: No. 000847888 - $20.85, No. 000996959 - $24.25 and No. 001211576 - $49.85.

•          Allowed LCSD Police Department permission to retire Ford Expedition and send to auction.

Approved acquisitions for the Alternative School of seven Touch Screen Promethean Boards at a cost of $14,495.99 from Venture, to be paid from 3 Mil funds, alternate quote Howard $30,653, and two Switches at a cost of $5,850 from World Data Products, to be paid from 3 Mil funds, alternate quote ITSavvy $9,490.18.