By REBECCA HAZEN
The Dade County Board of Education members heard multiple school department reports during the monthly board meeting on Monday, Nov. 15, which had a condensed consent agenda.
Director of Nutrition, Dr. Cleta Long, reported that the cafeteria managers were recognized last month. Long noted that the managers have maintained a score of 100 in their health inspection scores, with the high school maintaining that perfect score for five years.
“We are fortunate to have staff members that are so good at what they do on a consistent basis,” Long said.
During the month of October, 26,651 lunches were served, and 14,347 breakfasts were served.
“We are still below our pre-pandemic numbers,” Long said about the number of meals served.
Long noted that students that bring their lunch from home are welcome to pick any 3-5 items to add to their lunch for free, out of the five food groups.
The supply chain is challenging, according to Long, with 20 to 25 percent of items having to be substituted, but the substitutes are equal or acceptable. This has led to minor menu changes.
Long anticipates an increase in prices, especially for milk, paper, and chemicals.
Pam Barton, Director of Career, Technical and Agricultural Education, spoke about Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs).
Barton noted that all the CTSOs are focusing on volunteering. The Future Business Leaders of America students went to Dade Elementary School, and they gave out candy to the students for Halloween.
Students attended the National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis, Ind., last month, where they participated in workshops, training sessions and entertainment events.
“It gets these kids excited for upcoming competitive events in the spring,” Barton said.
Students in the Health Occupations Students of America organization attended the Fall Leadership conference in Atlanta. There, the students completed all competitions available, including state t-shirt designs, HOSA recruitment posters, and a speech competition.
Be Pro Be Proud, an initiative led by the Cherokee Office of Economic Development, is bringing a mobile career exploration virtual experience to rural high schools. It’s coming to Dade County on Nov. 29.
“We are pleased to be in on this. Some of the careers touch several of our pathways,” Barton said.
Shenea Hill, Director of Career and Technology Innovation, spoke about the NASA Hunch Smithsonian Museum Project.
Students received blueprints of the Astro 1 Space Telescope, which flew in 1988. The students are challenged to decipher the missing pieces not included in the blueprints.
Students at Davis and Dade Elementary Schools are working with 3D printers that have recently been purchased.
“They are working on their first designs,” Hill said. “These students are unbelievable. I am so excited to give them the opportunity to start this young.”
Hill gave a special thank you to Dr. Cathy Freeman and Cynthia Ellison on behalf of the Bob Freeman Donation Fund, which has helped expand the 3D printing program, and the Greenpower USA program at the Middle School.
During Superintendent Josh Ingle’s report, he thanked the Southeast Lineman Training Center for a donation of a section of a power pole, a bucket transformer, to the electrical program, taught by David Howard.
Ingle reported that there were a record low number of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic started, with only two students having positive cases.
Paula Stallings gave the financial report. Stallings noted that 33.33 percent of the fiscal year is complete. Revenue collected through Oct. 31 is $5,259,259.96. Expenditures through Oct. 31 are $6,586,127.17. Stallings said that the schools have collected $30,000 more in SPLOST revenue in fiscal year 2022, compared to last year’s revenue.
The board approved the purchase of diesel fuel from company Jet Oil, which had the lowest bid at $2.875 per gallon
The board went into executive session to discuss personnel. The board approved the retirement of Kelly Bradford and Pam Barton, the resignation of Heidi Wilson, voluntary transfers of Tonya Gatlin and Loran Grasham, and the hiring of substitute teachers Avery Blye Case, Lauren Cruz and Holly Parris.
The next Board of Education meeting will be Dec. 13.