May 17, 2021 — Chairman Phillip Beard called the May meeting of the Buford Board of Education to order at 7 p.m. at the Buford Arena. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, several groups were recognized for their accomplishments. Those recognized were the Metro RESA Finalists for Georgia Young Authors Writing Contest, BHS and BMS students selected for All-State Band, Buford High School’s State Literary Champions and the three students who earned the STAR student award and the teachers they selected as their STAR teacher.

Dell computers and IPads were surplused. A pay request for $18,402 was approved for the roofing and HVAC repairs project at BES. A pay request was approved for the roofing and HVAC repairs project at Buford Academy in the amount of $15,666. The second installment for the turf project at Tom Riden Stadium in the amount of $278,946 was approved. Permanent combination locks to be installed on the BHS lockers were approved for purchase at a cost of $28,800. Every summer, BCS does maintenance to all gyms in the system. The annual project was approved at a cost of $21,497. The FY22 Capital Improvements project was approved, which will replace the carpet in the BA Media Center at a cost of $20,000 and the carpeting in the BMS theater is also being replaced for $8,000. Equipment once associated with the middle school’s print shop was sent to surplus.

One field trip request and two fundraising requests were approved by the board.

The current enrollment for BES is 395 kindergartners and 88 in the day care. The enrollment for Buford Academy is 1,191 students. At Buford Senior Academy, the current enrollment is 868 students. The current enrollment at Buford Middle School is 1,306 students, while the enrollment number at Buford High School is 1,929 high school students. At all of the schools, the PTO made Teacher Appreciation Week extra special for the teachers at BCS. Each school is busy wrapping up the school year.

The board held a hearing for the FY22 tentative budget, which includes a 2% raise across the board. The schools’ FY22 Liability, Worker’s Compensation and Student Insurance renewal was approved. The board approved the purchase request by the Nutrition Department to buy a pizza preparation system for $19,761. The nutrition department recommends the approval of bids for current vendors to be carried over into the next year. Dr. Lacrecia Smith gave a brief update for the Diversity and Inclusion Program. Soon the program will be accepting applications for its community board.

With no further business, Chairman Beard went to the audience for comments or business. Several parents spoke against the mask mandate, calling for the board to have an optional mask policy. Many asked for the school system to repeal the policy effective immediately, but Beard told the parents that the school will be putting out their policies for the 2021-22 school year. He also said he would take into consideration their views and opinions when they make those decisions. The parents plan on attending next month’s meeting as well. 

This concluded the May 2021 meeting of the Buford Board of Education.

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