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BOE approves school nutrition program
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The Newton County Board of Education has approved several annual renewable contracts for the systems’ school nutrition program for the 2013-14 school year.

The board unanimously approved at its June 25 meeting the annual renewable contracts for Dexter’s Farms Produce for $365,000; Mayfield Dairy Farms for $705,000; Coca-Cola Enterprises for $60,000; Earthgrains Baking Company, $150,000; and PortionPac Chemical Corp., for $40,823.

Dexter’s Farms will provide fruits, vegetables and fresh eggs; Mayfield Dairy Farms will provide milk and related products; Coca-Cola will provide assorted vegetable and fruit juice blend beverages, zero-calorie sports drinks, plain and flavored waters, and numerous types of fruit juices; and Earthgrains Baking Co., will provide bread and other bakery products to the school nutrition program.

As a part of the school systems’ safety and sanitation program, PortionPac Chemical Corp., will provide the necessary chemicals and supplies as well as detailed training on Occupational Safety and Health Administration-compliant work practices, safe food handling following Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points guidelines, and regular compliance site-monitoring at all school nutrition program locations.

Contracts with Royal Flush Plumbing, for plumbing services at an annual estimated value of $200,000; and with Waste Management, for waste disposal and recycling for an estimated annual contract value of $156,000, were also approved by the board.

The contracts approved began on June 26 and will expire June 25, 2014.

Class sizes
Also at the meeting, the Newton County Board of Education approved a class-size resolution for the upcoming 2013-14 school year that will increase some class sizes above the State Board of Education’s requirements.

Newton’s BOE approved a resolution to increase class size maximums to exceed current requirements by 1 to 5 for students in K-12 regular education classes; 1 to 5 students in English language learners classes; 1 to 7 students in gifted classes; 1 to 5 students in early intervention programs; 1 to 5 students in remedial education programs; and by 1 to 5 students in K-12 physical education programs.

During the BOE meeting, new NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey explained that the economic downturn has continued to lead to declines in local revenue collections.

Additionally, the downturn in the economy played a part in the Georgia General Assembly’s inability to appropriate funds to pay for the current legal class size maximums, Fuhrey said.

Because of this, the State Board of Education adopted a resolution last year in May that exempts local boards of education from all legal and regulatory class size maximums for the 2013-14 school year, as long as a district’s BOE submits an adopted resolution that establishes its class sizes.

The resolution approved by Newton’s BOE at its meeting fulfills the State Board of Education’s requirement.