Construction bid approved for District Office upgrades

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By David Meade – During their regular meeting Tuesday, Anderson School District One Board of Trustees unanimously approved a construction bid for remodeling and upgrading of the District One office and a curriculum guide for gifted and talented programs in all of the schools.

Superintendent Dr. Wayne Fowler recommended the board approve a base bid $777,000 by J. Davis Construction, Inc of Westminister for the project.

Dr. Fowler said the company had come in second on several construction bids for the District in the past. Fowler’s recommendation was to not include two alternative bids for HVAC and eliminating a folding petition which he said District maintenance personnel could do.

According to Dr. Fowler, the District One office has not been upgraded in 16 to 18 years and needs new carpet, paint and other improvements in addition to more space.

Financial Director Steve Uldrick reported the District had revenues of $3,111,045 and expenses of $5,300,418 for September.

Jane Harrison, Director of Elementary Education, reported the District One Staff Development day Monday was “a great day with lots of offerings” for teachers and staff.

Harrison told the board that the K5 through Grade 1 report cards were revised to reflect mastery instead of letter grades.

Director of Secondary Education Robbie Binnicker reported that the district is “very pleased” with SAT scores and District One scored “well above the nation and state” on math and reading with a combined score of 1029.

The district had 342 students take the test, which according to Binnicker, was 53 more than ever before. Test scores still improved by seven percent, he said.

The scores placed District One students as the second highest in the state.

Associate Superintendent David Havird reported that the nutrition program operated only nine days in August. He said with expenses of $273,000 and revenues of $151,166, the program showed a loss mainly due to start up costs.

Included in those costs were new tables and paint at some schools, new Federally required signage and new uniforms for nutrition staff.

Havird said breakfast was also added in four schools.According to Havird, District One has 46 percent of 9400 students on free or reduced lunch programs.

He also said that federal guidelines for middle and high schools mandated by the Hunger Free Act are causing some concern because of a “cut back on portions.”

According to Havird the program allows only 850 calories and only 2ounces of protein during the day which he said “is difficult.”

He said the nutrition program offered through the school may be losing some students because of the reduced portions.

He said growing middle and high school students need more nutrition to boost energy levels and pointed out that two ounces of protein for a football player is not enough.

“Our kids need more energy,” he said.

Dr. Fowler said that there is enough concern about the food portions among school officials to meet with representatives of Jim Demint and other elected officials.

“We are concerned. They really need to take another look at this,” Fowler said.

Havird also reported that the district now has a 23 page curriculum for the Gifted and Talented programs in all 14 schools.

He said the State Department requires a plan for grades 3-12.

On the recommendation of the superintendent, the board unanimously approved the plan.

In other action, the board appointed Nancy Upton, Dr. Doug Atkins and Fred Alexander as delegates and alternates to the SC School Board Assembly in December.

Personnel recommendations approved included:

Request for leave – Amy Allen, Palmetto Middle, Resource; Paula Maeger, Palmetto High School, English; Anya Stewart, Powdersville High, Guidance; and Kelley West, Concrete Primary, Grade 1.

Retirement – Karen Dean, Cedar Grove Elementary, K4.

At the beginning of the meeting, the board recognized Reagan Foster, a junior at Wren High School, who was crowned South Carolina’s National American Miss in Columbia, in July. Powdersville Boy Scout Troop 95 also attended the meeting.