Dougherty County School Board Chair Carol Tharin and Interim Superintendent Butch Mosely listen Monday to Child Nutrition Services Director Blaine Allen discuss the district’s progress in meeting new federal school nutrition guidelines. (Staff Photo: Terry Lewis)
ALBANY — The Dougherty County School Board breezed through a light agenda Monday night, hearing presentations from Child Nutrition Services (CNS) Director Blaine Allen and Information Technology Director Maurice Ficklin.
Action items were few and far between. The board approved a five-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany and a list of six recommendations from the finance committee.
The memo with the Marine base basically confirmed a de facto agreement with the school system that allows the children of service members attached to the base to attend county public schools outside of the district for which they are zoned whether they live on or off the base.
The DCSS also agreed to provide student transportation to and from the schools.
In the final action item, the School Board approved the finance committee’s recommendations for an IT audit, Microsoft software support and licensing, a behavioral health and disabilities contract, and Title III-A, LEP and Title I-C migrant education grants.
The School Board heard a presentation from Allen outlining upcoming nutritional changes in student meals in the 15,000-plus system. Allen said that last school year CNS had removed all deep fat fryers from the District’s 23 schools. The system also established four teaching gardens and in 2014-15 fresh herbs will be used to season meals with the goal of eliminating all salt from the schools.
Allen said the district was nearly in line with new federal school nutrition guidelines. Once certified to be in compliance, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will add six cents to each reimbursable meal served. Allen added that students eating breakfast at school has risen by 10 percent and that lunches were up by nearly 20 percent.
The system is currently serving more than 21,000 meals per school day.
The School Board also heard a proposal from Ficklin to consider placing the system’s technology assets on a five-year “refresh plan” beginning in Fiscal Year 2015. Ficklin told the committee that spending $12.5 million on a five-year plan would ensure a smooth transition, keep the district’s computers up to date and establishing a steady budget line of $2.5 million per fiscal year over that period.