January 28, 2019 – The first Buford Board of Education meeting of 2019 was called to order at 7 p.m. at the Buford City Schools Central Office by Board Chairman Phillip Beard. After the Pledge of Allegiance, four high school students were recognized for their outstanding achievement. Trevor Dodge, Ben Espy, and Mitchell Whalen are National Merit Commended Scholars for 2019 and Zane Harkness is a National Merit Semifinalist for 2019.
Interim Superintendent Mrs. Joy Davis stated that the operating budget balance as of December 31, 2018, was $7,016,412.72. Director of Finance, Angela Adams went over a revision to Policy DJE which is a purchasing and procurement policy. The system updated their policy to reflect changes in a law that took effect last year.
Mrs. Davis presented numerous pay requests to the Board for approval. Three pay requests to Charles Black Construction for the new BHS totaling $3,124,333.00 was approved (SPLOST V). A pay request to Breaux & Associates in the amount of $20,896.15 for the new BHS was approved (SPLOST V). A pay request for a new bus was approved for $116,478.00 to Peach State Freightliner (State Grant/Transportation). A sound system upgrade costing $9,974.00 at the BHS Baseball Field was approved payable to KCO Audio (M & O).
Eleven field trips were approved which included two from BMS FBLA, one from BHS FBLA, four BHS Band, one from BHS Audio Visual Technology Film Students, one from BHS Dance, one from BHS FCCLA, and one from BHS Art Students. Three fundraisers were approved, as well as, one community service project.
Ms. Tara Prince from Buford Elementary said attendance at BES is 721 students. Dad’s Day is Friday, February 1st. The Kindergarten music show will be held on February 7th at the Fine Arts Center. Ms. Kaleen Pulley from Buford Academy reported their current enrollment to be 1,537 students. They recently celebrated the most improved students and the 100th day of school. Their All Pro Dad’s event at the Arena attracted approximately 500 dads. Ms. Melanie Reed from Buford Middle stated their enrollment is 1,182 students. She reported that several band members made the Honor Band and attended the state event. Several chorus students made the All-State Chorus and will attend that event on February 14-16th. February 5th is Family Engagement Night. Mr. Ed Shaddix from Buford High says 1,449 students are currently enrolled. Dance students will attend their first ever GHSA Dance Competition on February 16th. Eight chorus students will participate in All-State Chorus February 14-16th. Boy’s basketball coach, Eddie Martin got his 800th career win on January 22nd versus Johnson. Girl’s basketball coach, Gene Durden currently has 799 wins and will be seeking his 800th this week.
Finance Director Angela Adams went over the system’s CCRPI Financial Efficiency Ratings. This “provides a measure of a district’s per-pupil spending in relation to the academic achievements of its students,” said the Georgia Department of Education. The ratings utilize a three-year average of per-pupil expenditures and the College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) scores to determine a school’s rating. Buford’s system-wide rating is 3.5 stars. The system-wide average that is spent per-pupil is $9,919.98. This is higher than Gwinnett County spends. Board member Bruce Fricks said he was not overly concerned about the score saying that the system’s CCRPI score was one of the highest in the state and if they (the school system) must spend a little more to ensure higher CCRPI scores.
Dr. Crystal Beach was asked to inform the audience about her participation in the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). The main purpose of NCTE is to be a support system and resource center for teachers. Dr. Beach has served on the council since 2012.
Ms. Lacrecia Smith, Director of Diversity/Inclusion Program, updated the Board on the committees stating that both committees have set short term and long term goals. The second round of Diversity and Inclusion training for staff would begin soon and they were working on highlighting Black History Month in February.
Former Buford City Schools Superintendent, Ms. Beauty Baldwin informed attendees that they had received 92 applications for the position of BCSS Superintendent. Applications were received from all over the country. The nine-member search committee put in over 40 hours in order to narrow down the applications to nine. They then conducted phone interviews and were able to give the Board of Education their top three picks plus two additional picks so basically the top five applicants. The search committee’s job is complete. A big thank you to the nine members who gave up their time to find Buford a new superintendent.
This concluded the meeting agenda. Chairman Beard went around the room to see if anyone had any comments or questions. No one had anything further to add, so the meeting was adjourned.