By David Meade
Anderson School District One Board of Trustees heard a report on the opening of school and an update on the local option sales tax during their regular monthly meeting Tueday.
Director of Finance Travis Thomas reported the district has begun receiveing payments from the local option sales tax which went into effect in March. Thomas said the district will receive $1,380,830 from the sales tax for March, April and May of this year. Anderson County Total collected was $4,541,784, he said. District One is allocated 30.4 percent of the total. Eighty percent of the District One allocation, or $1,104,664 will be used for capital improvements, while 20 percent, or $276,166 will go toward property tax relief.
The 30.4 percent allocation is based on the average daily membership (ADM) of students in the district on the 45th day and the 135th day of school, Thomas said.
District One Superintendent David Havird said he plans to prepare a budget for the board to consider based on the funding that is now coming in from the sales tax.
The district has designated instruction, technology and safety as the first areas the funding will be allocated toward. Havird said he expects to be able to budget $3.5 million for this year which he said “easily will come in.”
Other funding will be allocated for a new building at Concrete and a Multipurpose room at Palmetto High School. Next on the list will be new tennis courts for Powdersville High and Wren High, Havird said. “This will be pay as we go” and will be allocated “on a monthly basis” he said.
Havird said he feels good about using the first funding to be received for two areas that will directly impact students. “I feel good that we have a conservative plan with an emphasis on instruction and technology,” he said.
Havird also reported that the District will have auditors working on the annual audit during September and October.
Following up he said the District has underspent the budget by one percent for 2014 -15 school year and did not need to use money from the fund balance.
“For the first time our revenues have exceeded our expectations,” Havird told the board. “We are trying to replenish your fund balance.”
According to Havird the District’s current fund balance is at 14 to 15 percent of the yearly budget which he said is low to mid range recommended by auditors. “I want to be at 18 to 20 percent,” he said.
Assistant Superitendent of Instruction Jane Harrison told the board the district has created a High School Course Catalog which includes electives. “It is a compilation of everything we offer,” she said. The catalog also provides consistent titles for course offering across the district.
Assistant Superintendent of Adminstration Robbie Binnicker reported the nutrition services ended the year with a $9000 profit while returning $126,000 in indirect costs and $141,000 in fringe benefits to the District.
He said fresh fruits and vegetables required under government regulations were “very expensive” and that there was a decline in the number of students eating the school meals.
Binnicker said the District is going to US Foods as a supplier this year and that they will provide “a larger variety of food items to choose from.”
“We feel we will have choices students will like to eat,” Binnicker said.
“We did get off to a really smooth start,” Superintendent David Havird said about the opening of the new school year.
He said the District is better prepared for the A1 Digital Innovation project.
“We are excited to see what the new year will bring.”
Havird said the District began the year with 9687 students and he expects that to exceed 9700 this week. According to Havird, there were 103 more students on day five of this year than last year. During the first five days of school, the enrollment increased by 95 students, he said.
On the fifth day of classes, Palmetto high School had enrollment of 1032; Wren High had 1181 and Powdersville High had 830.
Palmetto Middle had enrollment of 721 students; Wren Middle had 753 and Powdersville Middle had 600.
Elementary School enrollments were as follows:
Cedar Grove 622; Palmetto Elementary 609; WEst Pelzer Elementary 442.
Concrete Elementary 656; Hunt Meadows 476; Powdersville Elementary 609; Spearman Elementary 593 and Wren Elementary 563.
The board unanimously approved the new course catalog which includes locally designed education courses and electives.
The board also unanimously approved the following personnel:
Resignations – Amanda Brown, Science, Palmetto Middle; Dr. Ashley Murray, Grade Three, Wren Elementary.
Recommendations – Shelby Litz, Kindergarten, Cedar Grove Elementary; Hayden Oliver, Art, Wren High.
Retirement – Jan Candler, Kindergarten, Cedar Grove Elementary.