Honoring staff, board members and locking down annual agreements were all on the agenda for the March Polk County Board of Education’s regular session for the month.

Among the items approved unanimously during the March 12 session included an agreement for the Polk School District to continue on with school nursing services provided by Floyd Medical Center’s regional program with only a slight increase in the amount the district is paying for nurses in every school.

Superintendent Laurie Atkins told board members that per their agreement previously made with Floyd Medical Center for providing the services in their renewal for the rest of the year and into 2020 with a 3 percent increase over the previous amount of $359,000 made in a deal in 2017. That’s just a $10,770 increase in the agreed upon price for services.

That now put the total cost at $369,770 for the program, which provides nurses at the high schools, middle schools and all the elementary school campuses within the district. The board agrees to make quarterly payments to FMC to the tune of $92,442.50.

Board members also approved the annual agreement to pay part of the cost for the 4-H Extension Program Assistant Position at a total of $5,004. That goes back to the University of Georgia who runs the Polk County Extension Office headed by Ricky Ensley in a program for youth organized by Dora Williams.

These are just some of the expenditures in the FY 2019 budget that is moving right on track for the year, and has additional funds within the general fund set aside for summertime payroll costs. As of the end of January, the board had $17.2 million and change available in the general fund balance, though Financial Director Tammy McDonald reported that some of the money in the general fund will be needed when school is out to help meet payroll costs during the break.

The district’s SPLOST funds remain healthy as well, with combined funds from SPLOST V and SPLOST VI accounts at more than $4.8 million, and much more set aside in construction accounts as work continues at buildings around the district programmed in the 2017 E-SPLOST request from the district.

That money has and is being used for improvements at Cedartown and Rockmart High Schools and other campuses, including some athletic facility improvements as well. The keystone projects remain the soon-to-open Animal Sciences facility at Rockmart High School, and the under construction Fine Arts addition to Cedartown High School.

Board members honored, GSBA delegates chosen

National School Board Appreciation Week was being celebrated a bit early for board members at their latest meeting. The opening of this week marked the start of the week celebrating those who serve local districts across the country, and Polk School District administrators and staff took the time early during the March 12 session to ensure that board members know they care and appreciate all their hard work.

Cakes were made for each board member to take home with the PSD logo on top, and board members were honored with certificates for their service as well. That includes the 27 years on the board for Tommy Sanders, who was re-elected for a new term in 2018.

When certificates celebrating the board’s service were handed out, Sanders said that during his term he’s had children and grandchildren graduate from Rockmart High School, and the legacy continues with more Sanders in the district. One final grandchild graduates with the Class of 2019 and great-grandchildren have already begun their careers in the Polk School District.

School board members also had the task during the night to determine who’d represent the district at the Georgia School Board Association’s annual assembly in Savannah in early June. Board Chair Bernard Morgan was nominated to serve as the delegate for 2019, and board member J.P. Foster was nominated to be the alternate at the forthcoming assembly. Both were approved unanimously.

Educators and staff honored in March by district, PREA

School nutrition workers were given the spotlight during March for the monthly M.E.R.I.T. Award given out by Polk School District in cooperation with Floyd-Polk Medical Center.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Katie Thomas said during the awards presentation that when nominated, everyone provided all positive remarks about the service that Julie Durham at Van Wert Elementary presents daily with a smile.

“She’s a wonderful inspiration to all students and staff,” Thomas said that one nomination form included, and more. “She’s always kind and friendly, and always has something nice to say to everyone.”

M.E.R.I.T. nominations are gathered for a 30 day period for consideration.

The Polk Retired Educators Association also took time out during the March 12 meeting to hand out their annual new teacher grant. This year, Gladys Gipson gave the $500 grant to Young Grove Elementary’s Timothy Warren. She said it was his passion for education that provided PREA with the perfect nominee for 2019.

“It is a joy to hear him talk about his children, and selected him some time ago based upon the answers to the questions on the application,” Gipson said.

Warren is the music teacher at Youngs Grove, a graduate of Shorter University with the Class of 2017.