By Leah Allen
BC Staff Writer
Maintenance, repairs and personnel were all important topics for the West Bolivar Consolidated School District Board of Trustees during its meeting Thursday.
One of the critical subjects for board and community members was the state of the grounds and buildings at McEvans School in Shaw.
McEvans School, located on Miss. Highway 61, serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade and the roof in the school gymnasium has been leaking.
During the meeting Superintendent Dr. Beverly Culley informed the board that the roof will be “reevaluated on (Friday). They told me that there was a leak due to wind damage.”
“When it comes to building and grounds, the board is directly responsible for that. The only way we can know what is happening is if the persons who are hired to do these particular things will let you know so you can let us know. That leak at McEvans has been there for a while and that roof is only four-years-old. You still may have a warranty,” said Board President Everest Stanton.
Stanton explained that the roof was part of a building project that was not even complete until after the district consolidation was finalized in 2015.
“We need to make sure when things happen in the district we are notified, you guys request to get bids, contact the insurance companies and all that stuff; you have to do it,” Stanton continued.
Board Attorney Willie Griffin said, “I don’t recommend that we have any work done because if that roof is still under warranty we need to look at that. If someone goes up there and does some work, that could be construed as a breach of the warranty and it could be voided.
“I realize that some of the floors are buckling so that means a lot of water is coming through but we need to find out the status of our warranty prior to anyone coming in.”
Another concern at McEvans was the status of the grounds.
Marathon Lawn Services was approved to cut the grass at the school but has not provided adequate proof to the district of insurance for the automobiles used to transport employees and equipment.
As a result, the board has been unable to finalize a contract with the company so they can begin lawn care work at the school.
“We’ve got to do something; our kids can’t even go outside because the grass is too tall. Why don’t we use who we had last year? Let’s just authorize K&W services to continue to cut the lawn until a contract can be signed,” said trustee Jacqueline Lloyd.
After verifying that the company would be available to do the work, the board voted and approved K&W to serve the district in an interim capacity.
Also discussed were a number of personnel changes.
In addition to the four resignations accepted, the board approved six new part-time employees and 13 full-time employees including long-term substitutes.
The board hired nine new substitute bus drivers for the district and approved 24 individuals to serve in various volunteer capacities.
There also were five individuals who were approved for additional endorsements or supplemental duties.
Stanton and others did caution campus principals in attendance to exercise extreme caution with the duties assigned to long-term substitutes.
One person had been listed to both teach and help with the band at West Bolivar Middle School.
“Long-term subs can not perform the duties of a certified teacher. We just got in trouble last year for sending a long-term sub with the baseball team. We cannot allow you all to make these same mistakes. We are paying attention to these things and we will not allow it,” Stanton said.
“He is not certified to be working with students by himself. They have been practicing and been at football games. What certified staff person has been with him and how have these student been getting home. We want a band in Rosedale but we have got to do things decent and in order,” she said.
West Bolivar Middle School Principal LaKymba Longstreet assured the board that a certified staff member was assisting with the band but agreed to not continue having the substitute work with students outside of regular class house.
The board went into executive session following the regular meeting for personnel and legal issues but no action was taken on any of the matters discussed.