"We will be going with the tour company that we have used for a number of years. This company had a school group in Washington, D.C., on September 11 and they had the kids back home by 2 a.m. the next day. I do not think they would take the kids if they thought it was dangerous."
"Our kids have been paying on this for eleven years," Director of Schools Mike Prock said. "We want to do what is best for them, but I don't want to see our kids knocked out of a trip."
"We can not live our lives in fear," Prock continued. "That's what they want. We have to go on and live life. I know every one of them is precious. We have to do what's best for them."
Board Chairman Chuck Cowan stated that "it's ultimately up to the parents to let the kids go or not. The first thing we need to do is see what kind of policy the company has on refunds."
"We will not get a full refund," Director Prock stated "and I don't think they would either."
"We need to have information in case we are approached by a parent or a kid," Prock stated. "it's definitely a concern." Representatives from both schools that will be taking Senior Trips this spring (MCHS and RBSHS) were asked to contact their tour group and find out the policy information in the event it was needed.
Another trip related problem discussed during the February meeting concerned the temporary increase in trip surcharges from 35 per mile to 45 per mile.
"In October, we were paying 94 - 95 per gallon for our fuel," Director Prock reported. "Now we are paying $1.16 per gallon. In RBS we are paying $1.26 per gallon. I want to ask the school board if we could go to 45 surcharge per mile on school trips and extracurricular trips for the remainder of the year."
"If the price goes down, then we can go back down to 35 per mile when the new school year starts. But, before the price settles out, we may have to pay $1.50 - $1.65 a gallon."
Board approved the increase in trip surcharge and will reevaluate the surcharge when needed.
"As you all know, " Director of Schools Prock stated, "we have missed 13 days of school (as of 2/13/03). We had 11 snow days built into the year and we had 2 personal development days put in the calendar. On September 27 we used one of the personal development days. I had requested the Department of Education to allow us to use our other personal development day as a snow day. I did receive permission to do this. With that and us going to school on Monday (February 17) our current snow days will be made up."
"This way we won't have to cut into Spring Break or extend the school year as long as we don't have any more snow," Prock concluded.
Shannon Rogers appeared before the board to discuss the roofing projects. He detailed some structural damaged to the roof and the supporting walls at some of the schools in the county that was resulting in leaks and possible further damage. He also discussed the current information on the warranty on the roofs that had been repaired.
Director of Schools Prock notified the Board that the plans for the Agricultural Building construction project were being evaluated and the appropriate electrical outlets were being added to the architectural design. Once this is completed, the plans will be delivered to the State Fire marshal's office.
School Nurse Janice York presented the Macon County School Health report for August 2002 - January 2003. York also informed the School Board that the nurses would soon begin BMI (Body Mass Index) screenings at the schools.
A representative eo the Macon County Education Association appeared before the School Board to hand deliver a letter requesting the start of negotiations of contracts for the upcoming year. The current contract expires n June 30.
Other items voted on during the February School Board meeting included the following:
Board member Ron Birdwell requested that teachers who will be going up for tenure this year attend the next work session of the School Board so the board member s can talk to them.
The work session for the Macon County School Board ws set for Thursday, February 22 at the central office at 4:30 p.m.
The next meeting of the Macon County School board was scheduled for March 13, beginning at 6 p.m. in the Macon County Junior High School Auditorium.