White County School System has served 103,302 meals during COVID-19 shutdown


Dr. Laura Burkett

WHITE COUNTY, Ga. – School Superintendent Dr. Laura Burkett announced during today’s (May 19) Board of Education meeting the White County Schools System has served 103,302 meals since schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In a really small school district, that just blows me away,” Burkett said. “That couldn’t happen without our transportation department and nutrition department teaming up.”

Friday will be the last day meals will be served until June 1. “Usually the summer feeding is a condensed version,” Burkett said. “But (Nutrition Director Abby Rowland) worked it out with a very limited staff that we will serve every single place we normally serve.”

Burkett also noted that Rowland had applied for an innovation grant through the Georgia Foundation for Public Education and, as a result, White County is one of only four school systems that will receive the $10,000 grant.

Assistant Superintendent Scott Justus led a discussion of potential special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) expenditures, that included retrofitting school busses with air conditioning and cameras, copiers for each school, cleaning products and Georgia Department of Education assistance with new facilities’ planning.

He estimated the cost to air condition the buses and outfit with cameras at approximately $28,400. The cost to purchase copiers would be between $134,000 and $150,000 depending on how many color copiers were purchased. There was a discussion about whether it would be best to lease the copiers or purchase them. Justus said, “There is no price difference lease vs. purchase.” But if the Board decides to  purchase, the amount could be funded by SPLOST proceeds over a five-year period rather than come out of the General Fund budget.

Adam Wiley told Board members that plans for White County High School’s drive-in graduation ceremony has attracted national attention. The event scheduled for Friday will be streamed on live video via a fouAdar-story projector with U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter hovering overhead as the National Anthem is played.

“A reporter from Time Magazine found the video advertising our graduation and sent us an email,” Wiley said. “I  — in all my infinite wisdom – accidentally deleted it,” he said. “Fortunately, she emailed me again and let me know it is on their website. She said they don’t plan to put it in the magazine, but she said that could change very quickly.”


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