Appling County Board of Education (BOE) members Stewart Reeves, Justin Orvin, Sabrina Turner and Dr. Lynn Overstreet met for a regular monthly meeting at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, September 13 at the BOE office located on Highway 15 South. Board member Dr. Areatha Virgil was not present at the meeting.

During the meeting the board voted unanimously to approve the FY2022 Budget. The expenditures for the school year are projected at $53,881,613.02. The anticipated revenue is projected to be $49,852,750.90. The overall budget includes $37,356,882.66 in General Fund spending, $6,525,000.00 in Capital Projects spending and $9,999,730.36 categorized as Special Projects. The anticipated fund balance as of July 1, 2021 was $20,900,000.00 (for all accounts) and $12,500,000.00 for General Fund, $5,700,000.00 for Capital Projects and $2,700,000.00 for Capital Projects. The projected total fund balance for all accounts for June 30, 2022 is $16,871,137.88.

Other business

The board approved changes to Policy IDE(3), which involves Competitive Interscholastic Activities for Grades 6-12, and Policy GARH, which pertains to Employee Leaves and Absences.

Fundraisers were approved for the Appling County High School (ACHS) Football Cheerleaders, several fundraiser requests for ACHS Track and Field and Cross Country Team and two requests from the ACHS Future Farmers of America (FFA).

Under information items, Superintendent Dr. Scarlett Copeland updated board members on COVID-19’s impact on the school system. Dr. Copeland showed data from the past five weeks of school and noted the school system is showing a decline in COVID-positive cases.

The superintendent informed the BOE of coming changes with math standards recently adopted by the Georgia Department of Education. The standards have been revised based on a citizen-led, student-focused effort that was first announced in 2019. The state department of education will now begin the task of reviewing English/Language Arts standards.

Dr. Copeland reported Appling County Middle School (ACMS) was awarded a $10,000.00 Rural Education Fund Grant. ACMS’s Project ABC Literacy project will engage with community partners, including First District RESA, The Baxley News-Banner and The Okefenokee Library System, to deliver high-quality reading content – both digital and physical materials – and programming to students attending ACMS.

At its next meeting, the BOE will consider a field trip request from the ACHS Cross Country Team on November 4 to Carrollton.

Dr. Copeland reported that safety is very important to the Appling County School District. She added that all six schools have recently conducted initial Safety Drills.

The board will vote on wording changes to Policy BCBI at the next meeting. This policy applies to Public Participation at BOE Meetings.

The BOE will consider a fundraiser request at its next meeting for the School Nutrition Program.

Information was presented to BOE members to review regarding out of county tuition for Appling County Schools. If a student from outside of Appling County attends the school system, the cost of tuition for 2022 is proposed at $1,720.00 per semester. Last year’s cost per semester cost was $1,590.00.

Board members voted to enter into an executive session for personnel and potential litigation purposes.

Following the closed session board members approved the FY21-22 School Nutirition Bids and Procurement Plan.

Board members accepted the resignation of bus driver Shirley Altman.

The board hired Hadley Avera as a SPED Paraprofessional at Appling County Primary School.

The final action taken by BOE members was the hiring of Shane Reeves as a mechanic for the Appling County School District’s Transportation Department. Board member Stewart Reeves abstained from voting since Shane Reeves is his brother.