By SHEA STASKOWSKI
Oktibbeha County School Board members want to see students in the schools they serve living healthier lives.
The county school board on Monday approved the 2010–2011 district wellness plan to help them do just that.
Each year, the board must revisit and revise the previous year’s wellness plan to update it for the new school year.
“We’re encouraging students to make healthy choices,” Supt. James Covington said regarding the policy.
He explained that the wellness policy covers a myriad of wellness issues, including a breakfast program, facilitating a snack program for elementary children, eliminating deep-fat fryers in cafeterias, committing to 150 hours per week of physical activity for each child, emphasizing disease prevention, ensuring quality health services in the form of school nurses, eliminating chains and pad locks on exterior doors and providing counseling for students.
The board approved the new wellness policy as presented by Covington.
School bus fleet aging
In other business, board members
discussed options upgrade the district’s aging bus fleet.
“Our fleet is aging,” Covington said. “We still have some ‘99s out there on the road... We’re putting a lot of miles on our buses.”
Covington informed the board that a company in Jackson is selling used buses, but that he wanted to look into the budget and current bus situation further before making any decisions about buying the used buses.
Board member Herman Bush estimated that a used 2003 bus could possibly cost the district between $20,000 and $25,000. He added that new buses typically cost $80,000.
“Hopefully by next board meeting I’ll have looked into the matter deeper, identifying funding and what we can afford,” Covington said.
“I would like to see us get a minimum of four (buses) — that’s at least one for each school.”
Though the purchase of new buses would not go into affect until next school year’s budget was approved, Covington explained he was looking ahead as the current fleet is continuing to age.
The next board meeting will be held Monday, Jan. 3 at 5:30 p.m.
The earlier time is to allow for the board members to complete their self-evaluation.