HAMLET — The Richmond County Board of Education’s Tuesday meeting was the last for members Pam Easterling and Cathy Wilson, and the board sent them off with kind words.
Richmond Community College President Dr. Dale McInnis made an appearance especially to thank Easterling, Wilson and outgoing superintendent Dr. George Norris.
“Pam has been on this board since 2002 — 12 years,” said board Chairman Wiley Mabe. “She is a friend to all. Her interests are for the children. She’s a hard worker.”
Wilson has been on the board since 2006, filling in for the late Ed Ormsby in her latest term.
Said Mabe, “She works behind the scenes. Her love is for the children of Richmond County.”
Fellow board member Thomas McInnis echoed everyone’s sentiments, saying “They’ve both expended time, talent and effort. It’s been an honor to serve with both of you.”
“I appreciate your kindness and support during my tenure here,” Norris added. “I appreciate all that these ladies have done.”
Bobbie Sue Ormsby and Don Greene will replace Easterling and Wilson on the board in July.
Board picks food vendors
Child nutrition director Lois Hood told the school board that vendor bids for school meals have been received for the 2014-15 school year.
The board voted unanimously to approve the main food bid of $811,250 from U.S. Food Service in Fort Mill, S.C. and the fresh produce bid of $46,727 from R&H Produce in Raleigh. The milk bid went to Maola Dairy, the ice cream bid went to Hershey Ice Cream and the beverage, water and Gatorade bid went to Pepsi bottling for water and Gatorade. U.S. Food Service will provide bottled juice products.
Hood originally recommended that the board approve Saffelle Inc.’s offer of $15,368 to be awarded the chemical bid for floor cleaners, dish machines and sanitizers. The board, however, amended the chemical bid process in order for Sunbelt Distributors, a Rockingham company, to have the opportunity to submit a proposal.
Grant funds new position
Marsha Porter presented the board with the highlights of the 2014-15 Title I and Title II plan.
In describing Title I, Porter said the federal government allocates money to public schools with high numbers or percentages of poor children to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic content and student academic achievement standards.
Individual public schools with poverty rates above 40 percent may use Title I funds, along with other federal, state and local funds, to implement a schoolwide instructional program, Porter said.
Title I funds are for Title I schools only, and the funds are allocated for such things as professional development, parent and family engagement, funds for arts education and pre-kindergarten education.
The highlights of the 2014-15 Title I plan include certain district positions paid by Title I such as the Richmond County Schools parent bilingual liaison, the Leak Street High School academic coach and a new position, Richmond County parent and family engagement coordinator.
Twelve schools in Richmond County will participate in the next school year as Title I schools: East Rockingham, Fairview Heights, L.J. Bell, Mineral Springs, Monroe Avenue, Washington Street, West Rockingham, Ellerbe Middle, Hamlet Middle, Rockingham Middle, Rohanen Middle and Leak Street.
“Unfortunately, our district allotment was cut $40,000, ” said Porter. “Each school will receive a per-pupil allocation that qualifies for free or reduced lunch status.”
Title II, said Porter, is a federal program that provides funds to school districts including charter schools and state-operated programs. The primary goals are to promote teacher, principal and paraprofessional quality through professional development, promoting the hiring and retention of highly qualified teachers and reducing class sizes to boost student achievement.
Richmond County’s 2014-15 Title II plan include the allocation of Title II funds for the salaries and benefits for four teachers for class size reduction, professional development, travel to job fairs, mentor stipends and employee education reimbursement.
“All 16 schools in Richmond County benefit from Title II,” Porter said. “Unfortunately, our district allotment for Title II was cut $55,000. The 2014-15 budget reflects removal of a class-size reduction position.”
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-997-3111, ext. 18.