The Bibb County school board decided Thursday night to make modifications to a contract from the Georgia School Boards Association in the search for a new school superintendent.
According to a contract the GSBA sent to school board attorney Andrea Jolliffe, the school system would pay the GSBA $10,000 plus travel expenses. Of that amount, $3,500 will be paid with a signed letter of agreement, another $3,500 to be paid 60 days from the agreement and the final $3,000 paid when a new superintendent is selected.
In a 7-1 vote, with board member Tom Hudson voting against it, the board authorized Jolliffe to contact GSBA and propose changes, setting a travel cap for GSBA employees to conduct the search. Additional expenses outside of the scope of the agreement would need to go before the board.
Last week, the board voted to start work with the GSBA to help the district find an interim and a permanent replacement for former Superintendent Romain Dallemand, who stepped down in February in a buyout deal with the board.
The board also authorized Jolliffe to talk to GSBA about its plans for an interim superintendent. Acting Superintendent Susanne Griffin-Ziebart will step down from that role at the end of the month per the terms board members set in February.
The GSBA is tasked with taking applications from superintendent candidates and evaluating them based on qualifications the district would like to see in a new leader.
In other business Thursday, the Bibb County school board decided to postpone a decision on signing a lease for a network operating center that would be owned by the school district within five years.
School board members made that decision after Jolliffe raised concerns that she had not received and reviewed the terms of an agreement between Macon-based Progressive Consulting Technologies Inc., and the school system.
Without seeing the document, Jolliffe said she could not give the board advice on how to proceed.
We havent seen the terms of the contract, she said.
The network operating center, which would be housed at a facility owned by Cox Communications, would allow school technology staff to control and manage the systems information as a whole.
The move would make network operations more reliable and improve its performance, provide more data backup and make it easier for school technology staff to address problems. The board would lease the network operating center for $12,600 a month for five years, said Henry Scott, Bibb Countys program director who works with Progressive Consulting. At the end of that time, the district would own the equipment.
Approving the lease would not add costs to the school districts spending, as it is already factored into $39 million in infrastructure upgrades in the districts schools.
Technology upgrades at Bibb County schools began in late 2012 at Northeast High School. Central and Southwest highs, as well as Hutchings Career Center, were next on the list. Along with the improvements there, work is under way at several other Bibb schools, including Appling Middle and Burdell-Hunt Elementary schools, according to a board presentation.
One of the upgrades include hand-held virtual computers at $380 apiece, half the price of the traditional computers they would replace. The virtual computers, with no moving parts, would use less energy than traditional computers. It also would eliminate the problem of different computers running different versions of the same software.
Not only do these cost less, (but) your energy bill will be significantly lower, Scott said.
The district will also use Safari, a program that allows teachers to upload lesson plans from home and allows students to access educational content from home. It also gives users access to videos and can be used on various operating systems, including Apples IOS, Windows and Android.
The district also applied for more than $16.1 million in federal E-Rate money to help schools upgrade their technology, according to James Banks, who also works with Progressive Consulting.
So far, the district is eligible for more than $4.2 million in E-Rate reimbursements. Banks said it was probable the district would receive another about $350,000.
Another $6.7 million that was requested is either awaiting approval or under appeal.
Another project costing about $4.8 million was denied because the company the district would work with did not provide information needed to receive approval.
To contact writer Andrea Castillo, call 744-4331.