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School board handles policy, routine business


Bonnie Coblentz



STARKVILLE -- The board of the Oktibbeha County School District handled a variety of business matters Monday night that included approving handbooks and a new policy, and approving a propane gas vendor for the year. 


All board members were present for the meeting, which followed a public hearing on the proposed budget for the 2009-2010 school year. 


Most items of business were fairly routine. The board approved handbook and training guides for the new and beginning teacher mentoring program and substitute teachers. They also approved the agreement with the Mississippi Forestry Commission that they had been considering for some time and the teacher evaluation instrument required by the state Department of Education  


The board concluded their discussion of a district-wide confidentiality agreement required of all employees, then approved both the policy requiring it and the agreement itself.  


The board discussed at some length the two bids they received for the district''s propane contract and chose Scott Propane over Johnson Propane. While Johnson Propane offered a lower rate for the initial tank fill-up, Scott Propane offered a lower rate for all later fill-ups. This part of the bid won over the board, who voted unanimously to award the contract to Scott Propane. 




Fresh fruit, wrecked bleachers 


Superintendent James Covington brought a few other items to the board''s attention in the course of the meeting which were not on the agenda nor required action. He announced that West Oktibbeha Elementary School received a $10,000-$11,000 fresh fruit and vegetable grant. 


"Every day, the children will get fresh fruit or vegetables for a snack," Covington said. "It has nothing to do with the breakfast or lunch programs." 


He said the new pre-kindergarten program being offered at East Oktibbeha Elementary School is getting more children registered each day, and there is a waiting list for the program at West Elementary. 


Covington also told the board that a storm last week picked up the visitor bleachers at East Oktibbeha County High School and "dumped them on the fence and into the football field." 


He is working with the insurance company to assess this damage and the possibility of repairs, but Covington said he thinks the bleachers are destroyed. The district has a $5,000 insurance deductible, and he said they have "plenty of time" to get the bleachers ready for the first home football game in about a month. 


The school year kicked off for teachers Monday with an opening convocation. Students will report to school Aug. 6. The board will meet at 6 p.m. Aug. 15 in the central office to adopt the budget. 


Before adjourning, the board went into closed session to discuss personnel matters.




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