Polk County Board of Education - Aug. 7, 2018 meeting

School board members spoke briefly before breaking up after their Aug. 7 work session. / Sean Williams

Class is once again in session, but with over 180 school days left, Polk's school board is making an effort to salvage and replace the various desks their students use.

For $53.60 each, 630 desk tops will be purchased for a total $33,768.

“We have desk tops that were purchased for schools that were built between 2001 and 2003,” Superintendent Laurie Atkins said. “The desk tops are deteriorating rapidly. They have been for quite a few years.”

Teachers have made efforts to revitalize and decorate the tops, but the functionality of certain desk tops remains questionable. With the continued inspection of desks, more may be purchased in the future.

Polk students will be doing plenty of learning away from their desks, however. The board approved new field trips that will send 50 students from Eastside's gifted PEP program and 15 chaperones to a night trip of the Georgia Aquarium, 24 Cherokee students and 4 chaperones to the Georgia Aquarium, and the entirely of Rockmart High's baseball team to Thomasville, Ga., later in February for an annual competition.

After their trips, students will return to squeaky clean schools thanks to EcoChem services who provided interior and exterior cleaning for the district. With the job done, the board approved their final payment of $30,000 which successfully ended their payment schedule.

The cleanliness offered by EcoChem and the safety offered by the new fences and security left positive impressions on Arkins who spoke highly of the year's first day.

“Our schools look great, our schools are clean, our kids are smiling, our teachers look great and are smiling, so we had a wonderful first day,” Atkins said.

The new Polk School District police force also began their first year on the job on Aug. 3, so each school now has an officer in place on campus. 

School board members are back in session on Aug. 14 after press time for Wednesday subscribers, and their agenda was light as of press time. It included the requirement they pass a millage rate before tax bills go out in September, which this year is set at 16.08 mills, a rollback from last year’s rate of 16.15 mills.