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By PAUL SIMS
MABEN â€” Oktibbeha County School officials are finding specific ways to control utility costs, ranging from staggering thermostat times and converting control boxes to plastic.
Charles Tillery, transportation and maintenance director for the school district, spoke of some of these methods when he provided a report to the Oktibbeha County School District Board Monday. He was one of several administrators who offered updates on the state of various aspects of the district at the boardâ€™s meeting at West Oktibbeha County High School in Maben.
Tillery says school officials have changed classroom thermostat settings so instead of all coming on at a set time, some activate at 5 a.m. and others 6 a.m. â€śso that it wonâ€™t be that great a demand and therefore the price of utilities wonâ€™t be that great.â€ť
Also, school officials have been converting thermostat control covers from metal to plastic because the metal panels hold heat in the winter and cool in the summer and impact thermostat readings, he said.
Candace Cooper, director of special services, says the county district has 12 full-time special education teachers, three full-time special teaching assistants, a part-time secretary and a full-time case manager. Two speech therapists and two gifted teachers, both for each side of the county serve the district.
â€śWeâ€™re doing a great job of providing individualized servicesâ€ť to special education students, she said, adding percentages are down and attributing this to general education â€śdoing a better job on the front end of meeting individual student needs in the regular classroom.
In other matters, the board:
u Discussed but did not act on the possibility of purchasing four buses. Superintendent James Covington recommended buying one new bus for each campus. â€śAs our fleet ages, weâ€™re going to have to come up with creative ways to purchase buses,â€ť he said.
u Named M&F Bank its fund depository.