PICKENS COUNTY — The Pickens County School Board, in a 4-2 vote on Aug. 25, approved a motion to spend $250,000 from the general fund on two new activity buses.
The new buses will replace two older ones from the school district’s fleet of 18 that are no longer safe to drive, School Board Public Information Specialist John Eby said.
“The school buses you see picking kids up in the morning are all state owned,” Eby said during a phone interview. “These activity buses are the ones that transport kids on field trips, band competitions, or to football games, things like that. Buses are expensive, but we need them. Our after-school programs are essential for keeping kids engaged with the school.”
The dissenting votes were from Jimmy Gillespie and Alex Saitta.
Policy changes implemented were bringing the district’s Wellness Policy in compliance with federal guidelines, and the reinstatement of a “hard limit” to the executive sessions of the school board.
Previously, executive sessions — held prior to the public meeting — had no set time limit. With executive sessions now capped at an hour, the public meetings will be able to consistently meet at 7 p.m.
Also discussed was a motion to have the instruction committee review the district’s at risk programs, including the “Twilight Academy” and C3 Instruction.
Vice Chairman Jim Shelton also made a motion to review the district’s current policy that doesn’t allow those who have retired from the school district to be eligible for re-hire.
“That’s going to be a big one,” said Eby. “Right now, as it stands, we are losing dedicated educators to other school districts because of this policy.”