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More renovations considered for Button Gwinnett school

The Liberty County Board of Education is considering more renovations to Button Gwinnett Elementary School.

The board recently approved having Jason Rogers, the school system’s chief operations officer, to ask an architect to provide plans for more possible renovations to Button Gwinnett work session.

Rogers said the master plan includes building a free standing cafeteria. Currently the cafeteria and media center share the same space. With a separate freestanding cafeteria, the space would be reworked into a state-of-the-art media center. The school’s playground area was recently refurbished, and old portables were removed from the property before the school year started.

In other business during the Sept. 22 work session, Patti Crane, the district’s chief information officer, gave the board the latest enrollment report. She said enrollment continues to increase, and the number is around 10,011 students.

And in another matter, the school system is in the process of implementing a courier service for interoffice mail to all district sites. Chief Financial Officer Roger Reese told board members that the service will enhance communication between the central office and district sites. The couriers will be bus drivers who will deliver the mail between their morning and afternoon bus runs. Drivers will use the driver’s education cars at the district’s transportation office to deliver the mail.  Reese said that there have been trial runs, and any problems have been worked out. The courier service was scheduled to start Monday.

Board member Marcia Anderson asked, “How are we expecting bus drivers to perform additional duties, other than their bus route, with no additional cost?”

Reese answered that last year, four bus drivers provided courier service for Ombudsman, the online alternative-education program the district used for several years. The district stopped using Ombudsman after the 2014-15 school year, and its services have been replaced with the Horizons Learning Center and Coastal Academy. The drivers were previously tasked with performing other duties at the district transportation office and were given the job as courier between shifts. Reese said those people are currently “in play,” and it will be at no additional cost to the district.

Anderson talked about delivering confidential information.

“I’m concerned about confidentiality. We’re going to have different people transport different things, information, that should not be made available to anyone outside the central office and school,” she said.

Extra measures are being taken to make sure that information is secure, Reese said.  

“The only thing the bus drivers will be doing is picking up the mail, which is actually secure as it leaves the central office, and deliver it to the site, as well as picking up the mail from the site and deliver it to the office,” he said.

Board member Carolyn Carter said the courier service will free up school personnel who otherwise have to leave their job to pick up mail. She said that when schools send information, it is usually sealed — just like the U.S. Postal Service — and there’s never been a problem with confidentiality. Carter said she remembers that at one particular school, it was the duty of the custodian to pick up the mail.  

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