Polk BoE Meeting, April 3, 2018

The Polk Board of Education approved new bus leases during their combined sessions on April 3, 2018. (Sean Williams/SJ)

No student will be left behind now that the Polk school board has approved the leasing of nine new regular buses and one tiny bus.

International Bus is the approved vendor for the vehicles, and at $86,421 and $82,368 for each short and regular bus respectively, approximately 750 more kids will have access to bus rides to school.

“We were going to look at another one (bus vendor,) but we went back and discussed it with Mr. (Jeff) Little and also with the mechanics and asked how comfortable they were using International,” Polk School District Superintendent Laurie Atkins said. “They did have the lowest bid, and they said, based on conversations they had with the company and their use of the warranties, they feel like maybe they’ve stepped some things up and they would be comfortable using International.”

The board is leasing to own, and five years of payments will put full ownership of all 10 buses into the hands of the district.

“At the end of the five-year lease we own those buses which will last us a good long time,” Atkins said. “It’s for 9 buses and one short bus which we commonly refer to as our special needs bus. It’s a pretty good bit less than what the next competitor was.”

Fence Quotes

Among other increased security efforts, the board decided to update or add fences to Polk County schools, and Barrow Fencing is the approved vendor.

At $31,950, the company will be responsible for fortifying local schools with new and additional fencing as one of several measures to limit access to outsiders on the 11 campuses across the district.

Policies, field trips and more

During their combined April meeting ahead of Spring Break at the Polk School District for April, the board also took up several other items of note. Among them is a policy change coming down from the state school board association around how to help homeless students, and what resources can be made available to them.

It had been tabled for 30 days back in March.

Along with that, school board members also approved of field trip requests for College and Career Academy students to participate in Georgia’s Future Farmers of America state convention at the end of the month in Macon, and for Rockmart High’s Yearbook students to participate in a camp in Athens in June.

Financially, the school dsitrict is more than 66 percent through the fiscal year as of the February figures, with revenue slightly higher than expected, and expenditures down 12.55 less than the annual budget. The general fund balance for the district was at $11.7 million, with SPLOST proceeds at $393,484.44 for the month.