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NEWLAND — The Avery County Board of Education met in regular session on May 9, voting unanimously to adopt the proposed budget for the 2017-18 school year, as presented by Avery County Schools Finance Officer Jeff Jaynes.

All told, the coming year’s budget for Avery County Schools weighs in at $25,593,338. Of this total cost, the Board of Education requested $5,252,582 of the Avery County Board of Commissioners during a joint budget meeting on May 16. This number represents both capital requests from throughout the school system, as well as a portion of the school system’s operational costs. While this meeting occurred after press time, a report will be included in next week’s edition.

“We’ve really worked to get this as bare-bones as we can,” Jaynes told the board on May 9. “There’s no fluff, there’s no hidden agendas in there. We’re presenting a budget with what we need.”

In other business:

  • During the evening’s curriculum spotlight, board members witnessed a presentation from young scientists A.J. Ayers and Bryce Jaynes on the physics of multi-rotor propulsion, a second presentation from D.J. Fields and Andrew Knowles on creating blast-resistant walls, and a third from Cassie Bailey and Sophie Banner on the ways nature reclaims abandoned mine sites.
  • The board recognized Bradley Calhoun and John Hicks as May Employees of the Month, Brittany Story for being accepted into Governor’s School, Sophia Carpenter for winning the North Carolina Soil and Water Poster Contest, and Jay Smith for being named Region 8 Athletic Director of the Year.
  • A number of students were recognized for achievements at the Regional Science Olympiad, the NC Student Academy of Sciences and NC Science and Engineering Fair.
  • The Avery High Key Club was recognized for being named a distinguished club.
  • Board members unanimously approved seven field trips.
  • The ACS Scottie Bus will run on the same schedule as summer school from June 12 to 29, with a Family Fun Day at noon on June 30 in the Newland Town Park.
  • Board members unanimously approved a resolution encouraging the General Assembly to mandate that lottery funds be paid out to counties at statutory levels to help fund capital needs.
  • Board members reviewed one policy for first reading regarding prohibitions against retaliation.
  • The board unanimously approved changes to nine policies for second reading including: (3410) testing and assessment program, (3470-4305) alternative learning programs, (4100) age requirements for initial entry, (4110) immunization and health requirements for admission, (4120) domicile requirements, (4125) homeless students, (4700) student records, (5023) registered sex offenders and (9030) facility construction.
  • The board unanimously approved rollovers on the school system’s ice cream, juice and bread bids.
  • The board held closed session for the purpose of discussing students and personnel, as well as initial employment.

The next meeting of the Avery County Board of Education will take place at 6 p.m. on June 13.

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