By PATRICK CASEY
The Walton County School Board met on Tuesday, May 20, to discuss a much lighter agenda than at their previous meeting in the month as air-conditioned school buses was the highlight of the agenda.
The school board members voted to add air-conditioning to eight previously approved school buses that are on order and to purchase one additional bus with air-conditioning. The district will also purchase one smaller bus for a total of 10 new carriers next year. Walton and Jackson counties are two of the last school districts among those east of our location to purchase buses that house air-conditioning. Several nearby school districts began to purchase buses with air-conditioning at the beginning of the decade. The cost to add air conditioning to the eight previously approved buses is $66,400. The additional bus to be purchased with air conditioning costs $86,670 for a total of $153,070. Superintendent Carlene Anderson recommended that students who are on buses for the longest amount of travel time will likely be those that get to ride on the buses with air conditioning.
Dixie Burgess, from the Walton County Education Association, presented the board with the five USB temperature loggers that were offered at a March meeting to be placed on selected school buses to monitor temperatures on the vehicle. The data loggers take the temperature every five minutes for 56 days once activated.
Board members approved the 2008 summer voluntary pre-kindergarten calendar, discipline policy and attendance policy. The program must consist of 300 hours to being on June 6 and continue to August 7. Maude Saunders, Freeport Elementary and Van R. Butler schools will serve as the school sites. Breakfast, lunch and snack are provided for all children who attend.
Paxton High School’s boys basketball team will join several other of our other high school boys basketball teams at the Troy University Boys Basketball Camp on June 20-22 as their trip request was approved.
The district also ordered all the copy paper expected to be used by all schools and departments for the financial year of 2008-09 from Ricoh Corporation at a cost of $54,407. The district will be ordering 2,060 cases at a cost of $26.46 per case.
The Walton County School Board will hold their next regular meeting on Tuesday, June 3, at 5 p.m., at the Tivoli Administrative Complex in DeFuniak Springs.