D45 considers grand jury findings

The Barnwell District 45 School Board had a short 30-minute meeting Oct. 23 before going into an hour long closed session.
Superintendent Jay Grissom said the district has received the 2014 Barnwell County Grand Jury Report. This comes after the grand jury inspected county facilities, including school buildings, on an annual tour over the summer.
While the primary school was not inspected due to the school being locked, the grand jury had some findings of District 45 facilities, mostly cracked concrete floors, leaks and drainage issues. "We've begun work on most of the findings," said Grissom.
The grand jury also noted pot holes in the parking lot of Barnwell High School as a "safety issue." They suggested resurfacing and restriping the parking lot.
Grissom said that solution will have to wait. "It's a money situation," he said, though they will work to patch potholes for the time being.
Grissom also discussed the 2014 state report card that was released recently. The district received a ‘D', the same as last year, though their numeric value was seven points higher.
"Although our scores are not where we want to be, none of our schools are failing," he said.
In other news:
•The district received two more requests for high school diplomas under Act 155 since their last meeting. Grissom said both met the criteria and were approved.
The 2014 state law eliminated the HSAP high school exit exam and allowed former students who did not receive a diploma solely due to not passing the exit exam to petition their school board for one.
•The board held the first reading of five policies, but did not vote since it was the first reading.
One concerns staff conduct while another is about support staff hiring. The final three are due to changes at the state with certain curriculum requirements.
•Coreen Parler-Myers, director of the alternative school, updated the board on how things are going, and a few changes they've made, such as extending the time from six to seven hours.
She said they have 19 students from the eighth through twelfth grades. Four students opted into a new program they implemented to help students get back on track so they can graduate on time.
•Four new employees were introduced and stayed until after the meeting was over so the board could welcome them. They were: Supreethi Mukthipudi, a resource teacher at the primary school who came from India; Samuel Liska, a high school science teacher who came from Putman County Schools in Tennessee; Casey Deer, a Barnwell High School alumna who is the guidance assistant at the high school; and Roy Walker, a bus driver.
•The board entered into closed session for a little over an hour to discuss a personnel matter and receive legal information, according to the meeting's agenda. No action was taken when the board returned to open session.