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MCBOE Approves Security Grant Purchases

The Montgomery County Board of Education approved several purchases to help improve safety at the school campuses during the Board’s regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, June 20.

The Board approved the installation of bulletproof glass in the front offices and lobbies of the Montgomery County Middle/High School, a brick security wall at the Middle/High School’s cafeteria outdoor patio area, and a security fence at the Montgomery County Elementary school.

Assistant Superintendent Brian Barnhill first suggested these purchases at the Board’s called meeting on Thursday, June 1. According to Barnhill, the Montgomery County School System received $150,000 through Governor Kemp’s School Safety Grant, which gave each individual school $50,000 to upgrade its safety measures. Barnhill explained that he had discussed the safety needs of each building – the elementary school and the middle/ high school – with the principals, and the team had developed proposed changes to the facilities.

Montgomery County Middle/High School Principal Scott Barrow requested that a portion of the funds be used to construct a brick wall around the patio area outside of the school cafeteria, where many students choose to eat their lunches. Barnhill explored the possibilities of the idea, putting out a request for proposals for the project. Only one proposal was received, which stated that a wall – 8 feet in height, 2 feet in width, and 40 feet in length – could be completed for $43,950.

Bulletproof glass in the office and lobby areas of the school entrances was determined to be another necessary upgrade. The windows in front of the receptionists in the offices may receive bulletproof glass and the glass surrounding the lobby may receive flex film, which is shatterproof glass, for a price of $37,093, according to Barnhill.

With both of these purchases approved, a total of $81,043 of the received funds will have been utilized, leaving $18,957 remaining for further security improvements.

At the Montgomery County Elementary School, a portion of the $50,000 allocated for the elementary school is being used for the replacement of fencing around the perimeter of the campus at Montgomery County Elementary School and Little Eagle Learning Center. The Board previously approved the $18,776 project.

Upon the latest purchase approval, fencing will be erected between Heartland Academy and the Little Eagle Learning Center, which share a campus with the Montgomery County Elementary School. This fencing is expected to cost $10,000, and will match the black vinyl fencing that lines the perimeter of the campus.

These improvements utilize $28,776 of the received funding, leaving $21,224 to be spent on further security upgrades.

All approved projects are expected to be completed prior to the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year.

Other Action Items

The Board also approved the purchase of three school buses from Yancey Bus Sales & Services. According to Superintendent Stan Rentz and Board Chairman Henry Price, the state awarded the school system with funding for five buses last year. This funding was used to purchase two buses last fall, which the school district is still waiting to receive because of supply issues. Because of the large delay between purchase and delivery of the buses, coupled with the limited time period in which the funding requires purchases to be made, the Board unanimously agreed to complete the purchase.

A spending resolution was approved to ensure that the July and August 2023 expenses were paid, as the current budget has expired and the 20232024 budget has not yet been approved because the county tax digest has not been received. This resolution, which is passed annually, explains that the expenditures during July and August should not exceed 2/12 of the 20222023 budget.

Several personnel recommendations were also accepted, including the pay scales and salary schedule for teachers and staff. Montgomery County Elementary School Paraprofessional Nikki McDaniel’s resignation was accepted, and offers of employment were rescinded from Mallory Corley and Christopher Cowart. Johnny Snead and Quentin Thornton continued from page

were hired as bus drivers, and several community coaches (uncompensated volunteers who work with the school’s sports teams) were approved, including Brent Owens – Football, Matt Moore – Football, and Donny Harrington – Basketball.

An unused playground climbing dome from the Montgomery County Elementary School was approved to be sold to help gain funding for playground improvements at the school. Spending Resolution

A change to the Board’s purchasing policy was introduced during the policy’s first official reading at the meeting. The policy will remain on the district’s website for 30 days for the public to review and comment on before it is voted on at the next Board meeting, which is slated for July 17.

This policy amendment states that purchases less than $5,000 are not required to obtain quotes, but should use their best judgment to cost and source of supply.

Purchases more than $5,000, but less than $10,000, should have three written bid quotes or proof of attempt to acquire written quotes. Yet, where feasible, a local bid not in excess of 2% of the out-of-county bid will be considered to assist the local economy or taxpayers.

For purchases more than $10,000, but less than $25,000, three formal written quotes are required and must be presented at the next Board meeting. Where feasible, a local bid not in excess of 2% of the out-of-county bid will be considered to assist the local economy or taxpayers.

The same guidelines exist for purchases more than $25,000, but less than $100,000, except in the case of an emergency. If the purchase is determined as an emergency by the superintendent, his designee, or the Board, the formal process may be averted.

Purchases over $100,000 must be supported by a sealed bid, which will be presented to the Board for approval. Where feasible, a local bid not in excess of 2% of the out-of-county bid will be considered to assist the local economy or taxpayers. Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Stan Rentz informed the Board that student athletes are currently busy preparing for their upcoming seasons, as they attend several summer camps to gain more skills and experience in their sports.

According to Rentz, teachers in the district have collaborated to write grant applications for a variety of curriculum grants and have gained $14,810 to provide new, exciting instructional tools for math, social studies, and literacy.

Facilities work is underway to finish landscaping at Brogdon Field following the stadium’s recent renovations, and to repair a waterline at the school’s track and field.

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