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Aiken County school board to vote on canceling high school semester exams

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School board 10/13

The Aiken County Board of Education last met on Oct. 13. Board members returned to their traditional seating arrangement after using a two-tiered, socially distanced arrangement over the last few months.

After tabling the issue at the last meeting, the Aiken County Board of Education will vote on whether to cancel high school semester exams this year at its Tuesday night meeting.

School district officials requested the board cancel the exams after Virtual SC, the statewide virtual education program, canceled its semester exams.

Virtual SC designed the majority of the high school credit courses in Aiken Innovate, the school district's all-virtual program, according to the meeting agenda.

Under the school district's current policy, semester exams count for 1/5 of semester grades.

Virtual server infrastructure

The school board will vote on a request for new virtual server infrastructure for the school district.

According to the meeting agenda, the current server infrastructure is almost five years old and nearing the end of its warranty.

"The Technology Department has notified the administration of a need to replace the current infrastructure to ensure consistent, efficient and reliable operations," reads the agenda.

Grant submissions and changes

The School Food Service Department will request to submit an application for the No Kid Hungry grant.

In amounts of $25,000 to $50,000, No Kid Hungry grant is meant to "support districts and community organizations working together to serve as nutrition hubs for their communities," according to the meeting agenda.

Board members will vote on an amendment to the Head Start/Early Head Start Grant. The amendment would establish a Head Start transportation supervisor position to oversee bus transportation for the program.

Funding for the transportation supervisor would be reallocated from funds meant for two part-time bus drivers, who are no longer needed, according to the meeting agenda.


The school district received construction bids from four vendors for the Hammond Hill Elementary addition and renovations project on Oct. 8.

H.G. Reynolds Construction submitted the lowest overall bid. The company's total construction budget is $15,240,600, and the total budget needed when combined with soft costs is $20,140,600, according to the meeting agenda.

The overall cost is more than $500,000 under the total budget presented and approved on Sept. 8, according to the agenda. The school board will vote to approve this budget.

The board will also vote to approve unused allowances in the project budgets for North Augusta Middle's bathroom remodeling and the installation of flooring at J.D. Lever Elementary, North Augusta Elementary and Redcliffe Elementary.

Other business

Prior to any voting items, the school board will receive a COVID-19 update.

The school board will vote on a proposed 2021-2022 budget calendar. Board policy requires that the board adopt a budget calendar by Nov. 1 each year, according to the meeting agenda.

Board members will also vote on a budget adjustment from the Division of Fiscal Services to this year's general fund.

In a first reading, the board will discuss changes to a board policy that establishes the basic structure for district legal services.

Superintendent King Laurence will provide an update on COVID-19 testing. At the last meeting, the board voted to explore voluntary testing for employees.

The superintendent will also talk about flu shots and the Stars of Public Education Awards in his update. School district officials surprised educators with the awards Oct. 16.

Board members will also vote on Area Two Advisory Council appointments, out-of-district transfer requests, personnel appointments and a request for approval for home instruction.

During executive session, the school board will discuss an employment matter.

The Aiken County Board of Education will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at 1000 Brookhaven Drive. To view the livestream of the meeting, visit

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