BOE approves purchase of three new buses and expels two students

Published 3:41 pm Friday, March 10, 2017

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By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal

The Lowndes County Board of Education voted unanimously to expel two Calhoun students and to purchase three new school buses among actions taken at last Thursday’s regular school board meeting held at the Central High Library in Mosses.

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Lowndes County School Superintendent Dr. Daniel Boyd also reported on positives such as a review of the Head Start Program and grant funds and explained the Calhoun School land ownership situation.

On Boyd’s recommendation, the school board approved the indefinite expulsion of two Calhoun students for a minimum of the remainder of the second term of the 2016-2017 school year. One is retroactive to Feb. 6 and the other to Feb. 16.

Boyd would not go into detail, but said of the expelled students, “It’s unfortunate that they did what they did. We offer an opportunity to get a good education, and they choose to indulge in things that put them out of school.”

Upon a recommendation by Boyd, the board approved the purchase of three news 72- passenger buses at a cost of $75.257 each from Busworx Blue Bird.

He said the school system should be able to purchase the same buses next year for the same price.

Boyd said the school system was “real pleased” with the results of its Head Start Program Classroom Assessment Review and recognized Lowndes County Head Start Director Samita Laniece Jeter.

Boyd said, “This is extremely important because there have been quite a few programs that have received defunding letters.” He said the Lowndes County Head Start Program has been in service for about 50 years, “And we want to make sure it continues to stay funded and managed by the Lowndes County Board of Education.”

Boyd said Dr. Benitha D. Mathews, director of technology/supervisor of the library media program, was able to secure $3,100 from the Lowndes County Commission for rewards for school students.

He said, “Reading is truly fundamental, and it’s really important… And this is a token to show the students we really appreciate them and want to reward them for their good work.”

Board also reported on the receipt of $20,000 from the Lowndes County Commission, which provides $20,000 annually for office supplies for the central office.

In answer to a question raised at the last school board meeting regarding the land acreage at The Calhoun School, Boyd said there are 120.01 acres. He said it is divided in plots of 23, 95 and two acres.

Boyd said the timber rights on the property behind the school is managed by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Lands Division and the school system does receive income from timber rights on occasion.

Boyd said there has been “misinformation” that thousands of acres were associated with The Calhoun School. He said before 1945 there were 1,408.37 acres. However, he said, “A lot of land was sold to local farmers and people who wanted to build houses on the greater Calhoun property.”

Boyd agreed to research a question regarding 16th Section land for the next meeting from which the school system receives funds.

According to The Andalusia Star-News, in 1785, the U.S. Congress committed the 16th section of every township for the maintenance and promotion of public schools. This commitment continued as a stipulation when Alabama was admitted to statehood in 1819.

Boyd  announced that an auction will be held on Wednesday, March 22 at 9 a.m. at the school system bus shop for busses, cafeteria tables and computers.

He said spring break begins March 20.

And Boyd announced that the annual Lowndes County Relay for Life will be held April 28 at the Old Russell School Site baseball complex in Hayneville.

The board did go into executive session for general reputation and character of individuals, but took no action.

Callie Griffin along with two students, Kenneth V. Bell III and KenDarious D. Bell, parent Teresa Bell and grandparent Janet Bell appeared before the board representing Pastor Sylvester Hardy of Jonathan’s House of Prayer Outreach and Worship Center.

They presented a plaque in appreciation to the board for allowing Jonathan’s House of Prayer to use the Hayneville Middle School gym facilities for its youth basketball league in connection with the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association).

School Board member Robert Grant said, “The gyms and the things that we have are available to the public. But people have to understand that they have to be responsible when they go in and be responsible for what happens to the children.” He said, “And that’s what it’s all about. It’s for the children. So, we want to say we thank God for you. Keep doing the great things that you are doing.”

The board approved the following action items;

Contracts between the board and:

  • Temple Gate Church Inc. for extended use of the Lowndes County Middle School.
  • The Dallas County Umpire Association for Calhoun and Central High home baseball and softball games.
  • Neely Charter Service LLC for character bus service for The Calhoun School ROTC.
  • Cline Tours Inc.-Birmingham for charter bus service for the Jackson-Steele Elementary fifth grade.

Bids from:

  • Hawk Inc. for Child Nutrition Program equipment.

•   Buxworx Blue Bird for three new 72-passenger school buses.

Also approved:

  • Service as sponsor and vendor for the 2017 Summer Food Service Program.
  • The 2017 Financial Statement, Profit and Loss Detail Report and Check Detail Report for Lowndes County Head Start.
  • The Revenue and Expenditures Report, Financial Statement and Payroll Register for January 2017 based on reconciled bank statements.
  • The personnel report.

The school board will next meet April 13 at 7 p.m. at the Central Office.