Dade Board of Education Hears Carols, Accepts Bids

The Davis Chorus performs for the Dade B of E at its Dec. 10 meeting.

The December meeting of the Dade County Board of Education is traditionally an occasion for student musical performances and there was plenty of singing Monday night, but the board did manage to work in a little business between renditions.

Chris Greene, one of the school system's IT techs, addressed the board about a computer emergency before the first reindeer was roused: One of the main servers at Dade Middle School had gone pfft Friday afternoon. The techs had worked through the weekend so that school operations had gone uninterrupted, but Greene needed authorization to replace the unit. He said that all the servers had been due for replacement in any case and that buying one modern one would replace all four old ones. The board approved $47,855 for this purpose. Greene said the system could be reconfigured over the Christmas break and be ready to go when school resumed in January.

The board then lapsed into holiday mode to hear carols from the Dade County High School chorus and a hearty set from the Davis Chorus before resuming its agenda.

As jingle bell notes faded into silence, the board renewed its agreement to be the financial overseer for the Dade First social services agency. Superintendent Jan Harris also secured the board's consent for the schools to participate in the "Great Promise Partnership," a work-study program whereby students will work four hours a day in participating local companies and spend the remainder in school. The program will start in January, said Dr. Harris, and several major Trenton manufacturers had signed on. "It costs nothing for us to join that," said the super.

The board accepted a fuel bid from Jatt Oil for $2.205 a gallon for diesel, $1.889 per gallon for regular gas, considerably down from recent months. In response to a question from the board, Cynthia Daniels from Central Office explained that the fuel contract was usually awarded to Jatt because though other suppliers were offered the opportunity most did not wish to send a truck to the Dade area.

A low bid by Arcadia Renovations was accepted for painting the high school cafeteria for a cost of $10,300. The board also okayed $15,384 in SPLOST (special purpose local option sales tax) funds to SWC Technology to buy speakers for some areas indoors and outside in the four Dade schools and replace a few that don't work. "We have found there are a few gaps," said Dr. Harris.

Additionally, board members agreed to pay $21,138 in SPLOST to replace sneeze guard panels in the high school cafeteria serving line.

The super presented board members with routine approval requests for a list of school fundraisers (including one called "Teachers Got Talent") and one of computer equipment to be designated as surplus. Chris Greene assured them all the affected units had lived long useful lives and that their time had come.

Finally, the board approved the following personnel recommendations from Dr. Harris: The hiring of Jill Brown, who also works in the cafeteria, as bus monitor; the resignation of DCHS's Candria Eddinger; the leave request of Jamie Bonner; and the approval of coaching staffers Matthey Sweat for Esports, Jeff Scott for assistant baseball coach at DMS, and Alicia Bell and Brandon Ballard for halftime girls' basketball coaches.

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