School board prepares for heavy decisions

The Moore County Board of Education met for a work session Jan. 10 at 12:30 to discuss COVID guidelines and receive presentations on other school business. The board met again the same day at 6:30 for a business meeting. This article covers the other business.

Informational Presentations on School Improvements

Moore County Schools Executive Officer of Operations John Birath presented bids for two projects and the yearly report on improving existing school facilities during the 12:30 work session.

ELJ, Inc had the lowest bid at $609,600 for sewer lift stations at Highfalls Elementary and New Century Middle School. During the evening meeting, the bid was accepted.

ACI Systems had the lowest bid at approximately $94,000 for restorations for the leaky roof on the technical building on the Pinckney campus. Birath recommended conducting restorations now to prevent damage to equipment and disrupting communications, instead of waiting for later scheduled renovations. During the evening meeting, the bid was accepted.

Birath’s yearly report on capital improvements showed $2.1 million in approved priority improvements and that $11.7 million is needed to complete the current improvement list, which covers a 20-year improvement plan.

The bottom line for the 20-year plan is $98.4 million.

The school system receives $750,000 yearly from the county, and the board discussed a request for an increase, perhaps generated from sales tax.

Superintendent Position

After a lengthy discussion on including a list of qualifications for the open superintendent position, the board decided to forego the list for now and simply post the position’s availability.

The board expects 30 to 40 applicants for the superintendent position governing the 1,600 employees and 12,800 students.

During the discussion, Chair Robert Levy said the announcement’s qualifications list should be designed to draw the widest group of applicants possible.

There was discussion over the qualifications list being in level of importance.

Board members discussed the verbiage of “observing academic performance” versus “improving academic performance.”

Online applications are on the Moore County Board of Education website and the deadline is March 7.

The board plans to make a decision by late May and for the new superintendent to begin July 1.

Advertising for the superintendent position is restricted to school systems, due to budget restraints.

A survey for school staff and for community is planned to gather items and levels of importance for the qualifications list for the new superintendent.

Audit

The financial year ending June 30, 2021, was reported as comparative and respective for the State and Federal Grants funds were in line with accounting principles.

Hearing Impaired Contract

The board amended its hearing impaired services contract with All American Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc from $150,000 to $300,000 to accommodate three additional students.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Journalist Stephanie M. Sellers. Contact her at [email protected].

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