LAURINBURG — No date has been given for when the Scotland school board and county commissioners can meet to discuss the system’s consolidation plan, but officials on both boards hope it will be soon.
School board members met on Monday as part of the Committee of the Whole to discuss how to move forward on the project that is expected to cost $41 million to consolidate some underpopulated schools in the district and build a new one.
Superintendent Ron Hargrave said commissioners — who must sign off on the plan — expressed support when he and other school officials met with them last week, but they still had questions about how the project would be paid for.
“We shared with them we’re closing buildings, we’re creating savings but the district has needs and those needs don’t go away because you close some buildings,” Hargrave said.”Now you have less per building, but the children are the same.”
Officials said the commissioners suggested that the board hold a joint meeting this week, but school staff said they would have to put off that session because Nick Sojka, the school board attorney, cannot attend.
No date has been set for the meeting of the boards.
In other business, Assistant Superintendent of Auxiliary Services Larry Johnson talked about upcoming projects to beautify Scotland High School, including the replacement of a chiller at Scotland High School.
The old chiller has been removed and the new one should be operational by Friday.
Johnson said he and staff are monitoring the school to make sure students are not getting too hot in the classrooms.
The high school will also replace tiles and lights throughout the facility. The front lobby has already been done, officials said.
New security cameras will also be installed at the school. Johnson said the new system will be installed over the summer.
Current cameras don’t allow school officials to see to all parts of the school and are recorded in black and white. If an event occurs, staff is not always able to identify the people involved, Johnson said.
“The high school is our biggest issue. We have to make sure we protect, not only students but staff in that building. The system that we have is a very antiquated system,” he said.
The new system will allow access to any point on the campus, except bathrooms and classrooms. Law enforcement will also have be able to tap into the system remotely.
The estimated cost for the surveillance is $180,000.
In other business, board members heard a report on the grading policy by Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Valarie Williams.
Williams said based on feedback from teachers, progress reports will reflect the actual average of the student instead of giving them a 50, if the student’s average is below that. Teachers are also required to use the automated comments so that parents are aware of what is going on in the classroom.
The board will consider the policy change at its May 9 meeting.
Maria D. Grandy can be reached at 910-506-3171.