During their meeting Tuesday (Jan. 26), the Anderson School District One Board of Trustees approved the 2021-22 school calendar, heard an update on the building program and approved a one time “COVID Bonus” for permanent employees.
District One full time permanent employees will receive a one time check for $1,082.84 and part-time permanent employees will receive check for $541.42. Total cost to the District is $1,350,780.33.
Superintendent Robbie Binnicker said District One employees had an incredibily difficult task and amount of work to create the environment for face to face and virtual learning during the pandemic. District One was one of the first and few to return to five day a week face to face instruction early and responded well to providing virtual learning to finish out last year.
“We feel we are really good where we are with face to face,” he said. “Our employees are working incredibly hard and have shouldered the burden of working face to face.”
“I believe we do this from the general fund and still be in good shape the rest of the year. All full time and part time permanent employees will receive the bonus. Substitute teachers and employees who have a time sheet will not be eligible, Binnicker said. Those who are eligible will receive their check this week.
The recommendation was approved 6-1 with Board member Mike Wilson abstaining.
Binnicker updated the Board on COVID. He said the District has seen a decrease in new cases since a peak during the Christmas break. He said from the week of Jan. 11 to Jan. 18, District One has had 120 quarantines and 15 positive cases. Some employees included in the Phase 1A vaccine plan (nurses, OT, PT, Speech) have received vaccines. The District has preliminary systems in place with Prisma and AnMed and is talking with local pharmacies about the possibility of having vaccines available on-site for teachers, staff and others who qualify under the Phase 1B guidelines, he said.
Binnicker said response to a survey showed 18 percent of district employees indicated they did not want to have the vaccine at this time.
In the building program update, Binnicker reported that work has been completed on the Powdersville Middle addition, Powdersville Elementary addition, Spearman elementary addition, Powdersville High addition (minus punch list), Powdersville High multipurpose room (minus punch list and weight equipment), Pelzer Auditorium HVAC and Wren High roofing.
The District has finalized the bid for the Powdersville Middle roof and should have a bid in the next two weeks for roof repairs for Wren Elementary, Palmetto Elementary and Spearman Elementary.
Binnicker said the Cedar Grove addition will be complete by the end of February.
Preliminary design on renovations to Palmetto High, Wren High and the Adult Education building have been completed.
In other action, the board unanimously approved the extension of a lease with the Town of Williamston for the ball fields located behind the Municipal Center. The current 20 year lease, signed in 2007, has seven years left. The new lease will be effective 2021 to 2041. Binnicker said Williamston Mayor Rockey Burgess requested the 20 year extension which will allow the town to get more grant money for the ballfield area.
“This is a win-win for the District and the Town and the lease can stop at any time,” Binnicker said.
The board also heard first reading on a new organizational chart which removes the Director of Personnel position and adds a position for director of Elementary and director of Secondary. The Assistant Superintendent of Administration will add Instruction and the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction will be Assistant Superintendent of Personnel.
Superintendent Binnicker said the Assistant Superintendent of Personnel was added last year but the District never hired for that position.
The change also reflects an announcement by Superintendent of Instruction Jane Harrison, that she will be retiring at the end of the school year. Harrison, who has served 37 years in the District started as a teacher and is currently the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, said she has “loved every day.”
The Board approved $120,000 from the Local Option Sales Tax fund to be used for equipment and facilities for the Agriculture program at the Career and Technology Center.
The Board also approved second reading on policy ADF-District Wellness.
The Board went into executive session to review the Superintendent’s contract and to discuss a land sale contract.