MCS approves bids focused on higher quality food

Bus upgrades to include student ridership tracking

CARTHAGE — The Moore County Schools Board of Education met Monday, June 12, with several items on the agenda, including bids for food and updates to bus technology.

The board approved the 2023-24 Child Nutrition bid awards for groceries, supplies, beverages, produce, milk and ice cream.

The companies that will be providing these supplies are Sysco Raleigh, Pepsi, Honeycutt Produce, Hershey Creamery, Maola Dairies, and Saffelle.

“This is a total projected cost of $2,506,331.45. However, keep in mind that the actual cost will be based on the amount of product used, and any increase is projected to fit within the Child Nutrition Department operating budget,” said Assistant Superintendent for Operations Jennifer Purvis.

According to the board, this represented an increase in total cost, but it was because they really wanted to focus on higher-quality food for students.

“Increasing the quality of food is well worth the investment that we make into it,” said Vice Chair David Hensley. “We owe it to the parents who entrust their children to us each and every day to give them as good a quality as we can within the limits of our abilities.”

The board also approved an agreement with Cal/Amp Synovia to both equip the entire district fleet with GPS and to equip all yellow buses and bus garage vehicles with an updated GPS platform to include student ridership and navigation.

“This is about equipping our entire fleet,” Purvis said. “Currently, only our yellow buses and our state-issued vehicles within the transportation department are equipped with GPS. What this will do is equip our entire district fleet to provide a higher level of safety and efficiency in regards to our daily use.”

“Currently, our buses are equipped with keypads which are just a simple GPS and clock in and clock out for our drivers,” Purvis said. “We will be replacing all of those keypads with tablets, and those tablets will allow core GPS tracking and student ridership, so students will be able to scan with a barcode on and off the bus. This will enable us to see when that student gets on a different bus in real time and a report of what students are on that bus. So, this would track student ridership on and off the bus, and also allow our drivers to clock in and out and would also provide our drivers with navigation.”

The board also approved a revision of the Moore County Board of Education Meeting Calendar to keep up the rotating location schedule to different parts of the county, the 2023-24 risk management coverage plan which amounts to $556,061 for all district risk management policies, an amendment to the 4th quarter FY 2022-23 budget resolution to account for a $4,988,586.02 increase in allotments, three out-of-state field trips, an increase to after school and daycare fees, 2023-24 CTE Comprehensive Needs Assessment and Funding Plan, 2023-24 Exceptional Children’s Contracts, amendments to the contracts for Exceptional Children’s Nursing Services and Interpreter Services for 2022-23, and the purchase of iReady Magnetic Reading for Grades 3-5.

There was a bit of contention early in the meeting, as Board Chair Robert Levy and Vice Chair David Hensley engaged in a spirited discussion after Levy removed some of the items Hensley had requested to be brought before the full board.

“My job as chair is very unique,” Levy said. “Based upon Policies 1322.2, 1200, as well as other policies, I have the right to refer certain matters to the committee prior to board consideration. I have decided to take certain matters off the calendar and send them to the committee. They have not been discussed in our work sessions, and I do not have any advanced information about them.”

The items in question were a report, information and discussion item labeled “Correcting Misinformation about the Role of School Counselors,” and three board actions labeled “Comprehensive Trauma Medical Plan for Moore County Schools,” “Reform of Moore County Schools Police,” and “Removal of Mandatory Fees.”

“These items were added to the agenda at my request and some of them just five weeks ago,” Hensley said in response. “Because the public really needs to know where we stand on some of these things.”

Levy later closed the meeting stating, “You’re going to see, from time to time, a school board that sometimes may get mad at each other, and sometimes our school board may be so called ‘divided’ but that is what democracy is all about. Our school board represents a very, very diverse group of people all putting together a school system for great children.”

The Moore County Schools Board of Education will next meet July 10.

By Ryan Henkel, North State Journal

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