School Board OKs replacement bleachers for A.L. Corbett, South Aiken

March 14, 2018 GMT

GRANITEVILLE — A.L Corbett Middle School in Wagener and South Aiken High School are getting new bleachers.

The Aiken County School Board approved replacing the bleachers Tuesday at its regular meeting at Midland Valley High School in Graniteville. The meeting was the board’s second community meeting of the school year.

The Aiken County Public School District received two bids for the replacement bleacher projects. Learning Environments Inc. submitted the lowest bid.

The cost of the bleachers is $58,750 for A.L. Corbett Middle and $121,500 for South Aiken High. The total cost for the projects is $180,250.

The project budget will come from the athletics funds account.

The board approved the submission of a $20,000 Verizon Innovative Learning Project Lead the Way Gateway Grant for Ridge Spring-Monetta Middle School for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 fiscal years.

The two-year grant will support the implementation of the program’s Introduction to Computer Science units. The units give students access to the computer science curriculum and teach them some of the skills they will need to succeed in a “rapidly advancing, technology-based economy,” according to the meeting’s agenda.

The program also will provide a strong foundation for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics courses in high school, according to the agenda.

The funds will be distributed as follows: $15,000 for 2018-19 and $5,000 for 2019-20.

The funds will be used for participation fees, teacher training expenses, required technology for the program, instructional supplies and equipment for each unit.

The board also approved a contract for substitute teachers and paraprofessionals.

The Affordable Care Act prompted an initial review of the district’s procedures for securing substitute teachers and paraprofessionals, according to the agenda. After the review, the district determined the substitute function would be more efficient and better meet the needs of schools if it were contracted to a staffing company.

According to the agenda, managing substitutes in-house has resulted in lower than desired fill rates for substitute positions: 82.3 percent in 2015-16, 82.2 percent in 2016-17 and 84.8 percent through December 2017.

The review also determined substitutes were not so well prepared as schools would like. The district does not have the personnel to provide ongoing training for substitutes, according to the agenda.

Professional staffing companies provide initial and ongoing training for substitutes and guarantee a fill rate of about 95 percent, according to the agenda, because they have a corporate mission and dedicated staff to accomplish those goals.

The board will hold two more community meetings this school year. The board will meet March 27 at Silver Bluff High School and April 17 at Wagener-Salley High School.