COVINGTON, Ga. — Members of the Newton County Schools Board of Education convened Tuesday night to approve the following business items:
• Renewal of a contract to McPherson Companies, Inc., of Atlanta, for the utilization of a fuel card system for the transportation department, effective Oct. 25, 2020, through Oct. 24, 2021. The estimated cost of the contract was $790,000.
Fuel cards allow drivers to refuel at the service center or a designated location that is along drivers’ routes. The contract is to be funded as a General Fund Budget item.
• Renewal of a contract for printing services to Ricoh USA, effective Oct. 30, 2020, through Oct. 29, 2021. The estimated cost of the contract was $230,000, but since the school system’s copy center program began, the district has save more than $57,000, according to Chief Operations Officer Mike Barr. The copy center has averaged more than 657,000 copies per month, he said.
• Purchase of Classworks from Curriculum Advantage, Inc. in the amount to $32,905. Classworks is an online tiered intervention solution that combines assessment, instruction, progress monitoring and “powerful” reporting into one “easy-to-use” platform, Barr said. The platform uses student performance results to deliver individualized learning paths matched to students’ specific needs. The program is a continuation of something established last year and will only be used at Heard-Mixon Elementary, Porterdale Elementary, South Salem Elementary, Clements Middle and Indian Creek Middle schools for a specific group of students, Chief Academic Officer Benjamin Roundtree said.
• Purchase of professional development services from North Star Education Partners of Decatur in the amount to $136,277 to be funded by Title II A funds earmarked for professional learning support.
• Purchase of internet connectivity needed for the school system from Kajeet, of Bethseda, Maryland, in the amount of $363,187.41, funded by CARES Act funds. Barr said the system has purchased a total of 1,500 of Kajeet hotspots “at the intervals as required based on updated needs assessments.” He said the approved purchase extended the coverage on devices through June 30, 2021. Parents assume responsibility of equipment. No new devices were included in the purchase.
• Purchase of SIM cards from T-Mobile USA, of Bellevue, Washington, in the amount of $76,810.80, paid from CARES Act funds. Barr said the school system would disperse the cards to “select students” that need such support for their devices. The school system will a utilize contract managed by state of Georgia through the Georgia Technology Authority to purchase the cards.
The board declared various items as surplus and approved to take action on the superintendent’s recommendations from an executive session.
Before any business items were approved, a report on the district's 21st Century program was delivered to the board by Deena Sams.