The Dawson County Board of Education recently approved ESPLOST projects for 2020 as well as the school calendars for the next two years.
The board unanimously approved approximately $6 million of ESPLOST funds to be used on facility and technology upgrades including wifi, computer and technology upgrades, a new roof and HVAC upgrade at Black’s Mill Elementary School, stadium scoreboard upgrades, and retrofitting 23 buses with air conditioning. Also approved are system-wide upgrades of flooring, elementary playgrounds and parking lot.
As of the Dec. 10 board meeting, approximately $30.8 million of the allotted $36.5 million has been collected in the current ESPLOST. Superintendent Damon Gibbs estimated that in late spring or early summer, the new ESPLOST 2020 which was approved by voters in November, will take effect.
During the regular meeting, the board also approved school calendars for 2020-21 and 2021-22.
“Generally the process that we use is on a yearly basis. I gathered our parent cabinet as well as our teacher forum. We get info from both of those groups and we develop a calendar. Then we go back to those groups asking them with options and we ask them to pick the calendar that they would prefer the most,” Gibbs said. “They go to their respective schools and get feedback from their colleagues and then they send me that information. We did that this year, but we put a twist into that conversation and that was would there be any interest in approving two-year calendars and there was great interest in that.”
According to Gibbs, there was overwhelming support for the calendars that were approved at the meeting which pushes teacher pre-planning into August as opposed to pre-planning in July. The school year begins for students on the first Friday of August and ends before the Memorial Day holiday.
“The conversation that we had really ended with a great deal of support for the calendar that you see because there’s still a complete two-week break at Christmas,” Gibbs said. “It does push you a little later, but it gives you a full two-week break in that time frame.”
School start and end times were not changed.
The 2020-21 and 2021-22 school calendars are available to view or download at dawsoncountyschools.org.