Board Approves New Freezer

Board of Education, Community

WHITE COUNTY, Ga.- Assistant Superintendent Scott Justus presented the board with November’s ESPLOST request which included a new freezer for Tesnesstee Gap Elementary School and the board approved the purchase of the freezer.

School Nutrition Director Abby Rowland gave the board an update on the free and reduced lunch count. Justus also informed the board of the sale of surplus buses.

On Wednesday, the 23-year-old freezer that had been planned to replace this summer, during the roof construction project, went out. They were able to use an army surplus freezer they had on hand to save all the food in the freezer. The surplus freezer is currently being run on a generator.

“That was the army surplus freezer on the trailer, and it worked perfectly,” commented Vice Chair Charlie Thomas.

Justus found a freezer for $15,900.00 in Florida. The timeline for getting the freezer up here and installed is unknown at this time. The board amended their agenda to make this an action item to try to speed the process up since Thanksgiving break begins on Monday, Nov. 22.

Rowland presented the board the numbers for free and reduced lunches for the past three years. For the district in SY20, they had 54.66 which is around the normal number. The following school year, SY21, the number was 52.79 and this year SY22’s number is 46.44.

Due to the pandemic during SY21 the schools were able to begin offering free lunches to all students in September. They were able to still encourage parents to fill out the forms due to not knowing how long it was going to last. This school year began with free lunches and they will be offered until June 30, 2023, so parents did not understand the need to fill out the forms.

“This information is used for so many other things besides whether their student eats free, reduced, or paid rate. It’s used for technology funding, it is used for our type 1 funding, it’s used for every grant that we apply for, for the students individually during high school it is used for waivers for college applications fees, for your SATs, ACTs fees, for your AP fee,” explained Rowland.

Justus also gave a breakdown of surplus buses that have been sold in an auction. Currently, five buses totaling $18,150.00. Three of the five were sold to the tubing companies in Helen.

An additional bus was sold but then returned due to a miscommunication. It is on auction until Nov. 29, with bids already ranging around $2,000.

The ESPLOST request breakdown.

The remained of ESPLOST requests will be voted on at the meeting on Thursday. That is $154,403.20 and it is broken down between Erate CAT 2 funding for updating firewalls on the system and signs to hang up outside the administration offices. The Erate CAT 2 funding will reimburse $417,536.00 to the system.

For a look at what is coming up at the board meeting on Thursday, Nov. 18 at 6:00 p.m. please visit

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