School Board Awards $330,000 Access Road Contract

The Dade County Board of Education met briefly Monday night, after severe weather warnings delayed its scheduled March 19 meeting, to finalize the agenda items it had discussed at an informal workshop the week before. Among those items was approval of contractor Ron McBryar's low bid to build an access road at Dade Middle School for the new cross-country track now under construction there.

(Photo: Dr. Harris shows the board a plaque awarded the school system with its accreditation by AdvancEd.)

Dr. Jan Harris, superintendent of schools, revealed at the meeting the dollar amount of that contract: $330,000. Architect Ken Cress said that amount should cover the entire cost of the road, including paving.

The cross-country track itself is slated to cost about $71,000--the board approved a change order last month for $10,000 over the original bid of $60,000, plus around $1000 for drainage pipes.

Other agenda items approved at the March 26 meeting, which had been discussed at the March 15 workshop, were an overnight trip request from the school band leader for school year 2018-19; an agreement with Coca-Cola Bottling Co. to provide scoreboards; flexible medical spending accounts for system employees; and minor changes to the school system's homeless policy necessitated by federal regulations, which must "lie on the table" for a month for comment before they can become official.

Dr. Harris announced the schools had had a perfect audit--again--and congratulated Paula Stallings, the system's financial director, for a job well done. "People want to know about test scores but they also want to know about money," she said.

The super also exhibited a plaque awarded the schools by the educational organization AdvancEd on the occasion of its renewal of the system's accreditation. "While we take it for granted, this is an important question for parents to ask: Is my school accredited?" said Dr. Harris.

The answer for this year is yes. Dr. H said the schools had done well in AdvancEd's critiquing process though an "opportunity for improvement" had been named in technology. That, coincidentally, came just before the board had beefed up its tech with 1600 new Chromebooks. "We're well on our way," said the super. "We can check that one partially off."

In other business, the B of E approved a bid from Jatt Oil to supply diesel fuel for $2.309 per gallon.

After its usual closed-door executive session to discuss personnel, the board accepted the resignations of Rainey Hartman, custodian at Dade Middle School, and Wendy Bryant and Pamela Smith, teachers at Dade County High School. The board also approved leaves of absence for two more DCHS teachers, Megan Baugh, whose leave will be effective March 30, and Savannah Madison, whose leave begins May 17 and culminates in her resignation at the end of the school year.

Lori Cates was approved as a substitute teacher, and Russell Raney was appointed as a part-time certified public accountant.

And finally, the board approved previously discussed agreements with both the Dade County Sheriff's Office and Trenton Police Department to provide law enforcement officers in the schools.

The Dade Board of Education's next formal meeting is scheduled for 5 pm. on Monday, April 16. The B of E generally holds an informal workshop at 5 p.m. on the Thursday before the regular meeting, which in this case is April 12.

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