News, notes from Coweta School Board Meeting on Tuesday

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From Coweta County Schools Press Release

The regular monthly meeting of the Coweta County Board of Education was held on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. This meeting was conducted virtually through a Google Hangout platform. All Board members were present through the platform.  The meeting was conducted by Superintendent Steve Barker and incoming Superintendent Evan Horton, and presided over by Chairman Amy Dees.

To see the agenda and supporting documents for this meeting, go to the Coweta County School System’s EBoard Solutions site and select the 05/12/2020 meeting.

• The Board heard an update on the school system’s ongoing COVID-19 response. Assistant Superintendent Marc Guy discussed ongoing school system operations and plans for the school system to resume face-to-face instruction on August 6.  Guy also described system preparations to develop digital lesson plans for every grade level and subject area, in the event that they are needed in the future.

Guy said that the Coweta County Board of Education’s goal to “‘ensure autonomy at all levels to meet goals for student achievement and to provide safe and effective day-to-day management of schools…’ has been evident throughout the system’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This unprecedented situation continues to challenge Coweta County School System students, families, teachers and staff in a variety of ways.”

“Since this crisis began, system stakeholders have worked together to devise remote learning plans, develop fair and equitable plans for grading students in a way that does not penalize them, serve over 60,000 student meals and plan innovative ways to recognize the achievements of the Class of 2020,” Guy said.  “There will be many more decisions to make as we continue to navigate the challenges of COVID-19 with the best interests and safety of our students and staff in mind. We will continue to examine any guidance that is given to us by state and local authorities when making these decisions.”

“System leaders, principals and teachers have begun work to develop digital lesson plans for every grade level and subject area in the event that they are needed in the future,” said Guy.  While the school system currently plans to resume face-to-face student instruction on August 6, Guy said plans for digital instruction “will allow us the flexibility to adapt quickly in the event that conditions warrant. In addition, system and school administrators have also begun to develop operational contingency plans for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year that will be used in the event that they are needed.”

• The Board approved a revised Worker’s Compensation Panel of Physicians.  The panel is a list of local, approved physicians who can provide immediate care to system employees who have been injured on the job.

• The Board adopted School Nutrition Bids for the 2020-2021 School Year. Recommended bid awards for each category included Royal Produce (-$11,338 off of the market price) for produce; Imperial Dade ($70,790.65) for warewashing and chemical products; Mayfield Dairy Farms ($586,182.25) for milk; and Manning Brothers ($29,168.98) for smallwares.

• The Board approved a proposal of $539,375 for J&R Construction Company to provide security upgrades at Newnan Crossing and Thomas Crossroads Elementary Schools during the coming summer. The scope of work consists of adding the SHIELD electronic entry and emergency response system and required door hardware to the two schools.  With completion of these schools over the summer, all Coweta County elementary schools will be covered by the SHIELD security system, in addition to other security improvements that have taken place at all schools.

• The Board heard a budget report from Assistant Superintendent for Finance Keith Chapman.  Chapman said that the system has completed 83.33 percent of FY2020 and has expended 80.33% of its budget. The system was under budget by $523,141 and cumulatively under budget by $3,167,012 for the year.

Chapman also said that sales tax receipts were $2,377,681.67 FOR April which is above the average ($2,171,558.09) for the last 12 months.  Sales tax collections for the most recent 12 months are 8.68% above the prior year,, though upcoming sales tax collections are expected to decline significantly in coming months, given the impact of COVID-19.

Chapman also provided the board with dates for the upcoming school system budget process for the 2021 fiscal year:

Budget Workshop:  Called meeting on June 2, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.

Budget Workshop: Regular meeting on June 9, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.

Tentative Adoption:  Called meeting on June 16, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.

Formal Adoption:  Called meeting on June 30, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.

Chapman said that the state of Georgia had informed school systems to expect significant cuts to state funding this year.  He said that Coweta County expects a reduction of between $16 and $17 million in state funding, based on current projections.

• The  board heard a facilities and construction report of ongoing and upcoming capital projects:

New Middle School on Shaw Road – All building pads are on grade and installation of foundation block is complete. Installation of underground stormwater piping and underslab electrical and plumbing installation is proceeding. Floor slabs have been poured on sections A, B, and C of the new school. Partial structural steel should be delivered and erected this month, and installation of curb and gutter on driveways should be installed this month. The project is on schedule for occupancy August 2021.

Northgate High School Addition, Renovations & Modifications – Engineering design work is complete. Incoming Superintendent Evan Horton said that subcontract bids for the expansion project have been postponed. Though construction is scheduled to begin on the expansion is scheduled for summer of 2020 and for completion in 2021, phasing and project scope are being reviewed to align with anticipated reductions in SPLOST revenues.

Nixon Centre Addition and Renovations – Work is progressing on the addition with masonry blockwork substantially completed. Electrical and plumbing rough-ins are proceeding, as are brickwork and roofing on the new addition. Substantial completion of the addition is scheduled for August 2020.

Middle School Gym HVAC Modifications – Electrical rough-ins are proceeding at all locations and major HVAC equipment has been delivered. Substantial completion in court areas is scheduled for mid-May 2020.

High School Tennis Court Replacement – Installation of the new tennis courts at Northgate High School and East Coweta High School is underway. Work is substantially complete on the high jump area at East Coweta High School.

Sewer Line Extension – Extension of the main trunk line is being completed under an intergovernmental agreement with Coweta County Water & Sewerage Authority. Installation of the lift stations at Northgate High School and Canongate Elementary are complete, and installation of the main trunk line is proceeding. Work on on-site collector lines should begin this month. Both phases of the project are scheduled for completion in summer 2020.

 East Coweta High School Paving – An additional traffic lane on the west car rider drive and turning lanes on Old Highway 16 are to be constructed under an Intergovernmental Agreement with Coweta County. Clearing and grading are proceeding and installation of storm drainage is proceeding. Work is to be completed in the summer of 2020.

East Coweta High School Parking Lot – Demolition of the old tennis courts is underway, and completion of the new parking lot is scheduled for July 10, 2020.

Security Upgrades – Newnan Crossing Elementary & Thomas Crossroads Elementary – Bids were received on April 30, 2020. These projects are scheduled for summer of 2020. With completion of these schools, all elementary schools will have the SHIELD System.

Centegix System – The Centegix Security System is being installed at all schools and administrative facilities utilizing state security grant funding. Equipment installation is substantially complete, and administrative training will be scheduled for June 2020.

• Board members also commended Superintendent Steve Barker at the end of the meeting.  Member Andrew Copeland noted that it was Dr. Barker’s last meeting as Superintendent before Barker’s retirement on May 30, “and I wanted to thank you for your service.” Barker is retiring after a 30-year career in education in the Coweta County School System, including 9 years as Superintendent.

“Your leadership will not be forgotten,” said Board Chairman Amy Dees.  “The students of Coweta County were lucky” to benefit from Barker’s leadership over the school system, she said.

Barker thanked board members for their service and dedication as well, and said that the community needs committed board members to remain focused on students.   He said that the board and incoming Superintendent Evan Horton had his complete confidence.  “Great days are ahead,” he said.  Barker thanked his wife, Karen, and their two children for their support, and also thanked the community for their support during his tenure.  Barker also commended the hard work, dedication and excellence of Coweta County School System faculty and staff members.

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