Education news

The Polk School board gathered for the first time in the 2017-2018 school year for a meeting that resulted in the approval of numerous items such as an upcoming early release, a special election contract, the purchasing of new school buses, food vendors, and a field trip.

During his report, interim Superintendent Greg Teems mentioned that the school would be getting an later release on Aug. 21 because of the solar eclipse. They'll hold students an extra 30 minutes for the day. 

"We're gonna push all of our times by 30 minutes,” mentioned Teems. “Letters will be sent home so parents know, and we'll allow them to make it a family event if they want to check their child out and view it as a family somewhere. It's the first solar eclipse across the United States in it's entirety since 1918.”

The total solar eclipse will span only the northeast corner of Georgia for the 6 minutes between 2:34 and 2:40 p.m., so early release is necessary for onlookers who want to see the darkened sky.

The board approved a special election contract that will fill the vacancy left by former school board member Hal Floyd. Taking place in November 2017, the election will be handled by the county and will include a SPLOST payment in the form of “being placed on the ballot and the election notice,” said Teems.

School boad chair Tommy Sanders regarded that it “be public knowledge this will be a $6,000 expenditure by this board.”

Until the election, the board approved Judy Wiggins as the district 6 stand in.

The school's nutritional plan is now set in stone with the group approving the final vendor for school meals. The various bakery, milk, produce, and frozen products a school feeds its students are purchased from the highest bidding vendors who apply.

The school had filled vendor slots for all foods except for fresh bread, but the board finally settled on an unnamed bidder during the August 8th meeting.

The board later approved the purchase of two new school buses and plans to offset the cost of the vehicles with the year's allocation funds. “The two gas powered buses will cost $85,708 each or $171,416 total,” said Interim Superintendent Greg Teems. “

We have 2017-2018 allocation money that equals $154,536. That leaves us with a difference of $16,879.”

The purchasing of the buses brings the county's total number of conventional buses to 70 and helps with the county's over crowding issue.

For the 2016-2017 school year, two new routes were added to Cedartown because of overcrowding, and more buses seems to be the answer to packed, uncomfortable transportation.

Rockmart's softball team requested permission for a field trip that will take the athletes to Chattanooga, Tenn., from Sept. 15 through Sept. 16 for a softball tournament. The board found little issue with the trip and unanimously approved the team's travel.

The Chattanooga tournament is not listed in the team's official game schedule, but the lady jackets have already won the first game of the season versus Cedartown and have good prospects. Last season, the school's softball team went 32-4.

The board will next meet for a work session on Sept. 5 before moving into a regular session on Sept. 12. Both meetings begin at 6 p.m. and they are always held at the school board at 612 S. College St., Cedartown.

Board members have held special sessions over the past two weekends in Cedartown to host candidates for interview for the position of superintendent. Both meetings opened briefly to the public before they went into a closed session to speak to candidates.