During Monday evening’s meeting of the Union County Board of School Trustees, topics of focus included information regarding scholarships, summer school and dropout data, as well as an announcement about the price of school lunches.
Union County School District Director of Secondary Education Cindy Langley presented the board with information regarding instruction within the district.
First, Langley presented scholarship totals for the Class of 2012. She said the Class of 2012 has a projection of receiving $3,140,050 in scholarships, which comes to a five-year total of $12,132,580.
“We are delighted to give that to the UCHS Class of 2012,” Langley said. “That includes Life Scholarships, Hope Scholarships, Palmetto Fellows, scholarships from the individual schools, as well as local businesses and industries.”
Next, Langley discussed the results from this year’s summer school program, which was held over a three-week period at Sims Middle School. The program served students in grades 6-8 as well as those at the high school level.
There were 54 students in grades 6-8 who took English, math or both, and 51 out of the 54 students received the credit necessary to pass the courses. Langley also reported that 103 students participated in unit recovery, and 84 out of those 103 received credit for the units.
Board member Buck Peay asked Langley about the cost of the summer school program, and she pointed out that the program is funded by a federal Smaller Learning Communities grant. She said the state stopped funding the program 2-3 years ago, which is the reason why the program is not available for elementary grades.
Langley also presented the dropout data for the 2010-2011 school year, indicating that 42 dropout students were recorded, with 30 coming from Adult Education and 12 coming from UCHS. As board members followed along with information packets they were given, Langley said the numbers indicated that 43 students had been sent to Adult Education, with 13 students in the 17-19 age group who received either a diploma or GED. Langley said when students in the 17-19 age group get to Adult Education, they are still facing many of the same issues they faced in high school. She pointed out that older students are typically more successful at Adult Education. She said she has been talking with the current administration about the implementation of incentives and strategies to help the younger age group.
District Financial Officer Lynn Lawson spoke to the board addressing a memo from Food Services Director Susan Thompson. The memo explained that paid lunch prices will increase 5 cents, based on a 2010 federal law change. Lawson said the increase is part of a gradual adjustment to meet the definition of what the average meal price should be.
“The National School Lunch Program determined in 2010 that there were many districts across the nation that were subsidizing their lunch programs off the free and reduced lunch reimbursements,” Lawson said. “The prices were so different (between paid lunches and the amount being reimbursed for reduced and free lunches) they felt they were subsidizing.”
Superintendent Dr. Kristi Woodall mentioned that she had received a grant offer on Monday for $51,000 toward healthy choice food and physical education equipment, which would help with the lunch costs. She said she will look further into the grant funding and bring the information to the board.
The board went into an executive session to discuss contractual building issues before the conclusion of Monday’s meeting. Following the executive session, the board announced that more research is needed before a contract for construction is awarded, but they issued intent to award the contract to the lowest bidder — general contractor Melloul Blamey of Greenville — pending board approval.