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Columbia County school board OKs $1,000 bonuses, new building

Columbia County Board of Education is voting to add some interesting classes to your child's...
Columbia County Board of Education is voting to add some interesting classes to your child's school. (Source: WRDW)(WRDW)
Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 9:32 AM EDT
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EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Columbia County school board approved replacing a school building and giving employees and new hires a $1,000 bonus.

The board voted Tuesday to replace the current Westmont Elementary building with a new facility.

“We are excited for what the future holds for students and staff at Westmont Elementary and the community,” said Dr. Steven Flynt, superintendent. “Replacing this aging structure, built in 1970, will allow the academic success of Westmont to continue for many more students and generations of families to come.”

The school system also wants to acknowledge the hard work of its staff.

The board approved two steps to do this:

  • A one-time $1,000 stipend for employees that would cost the district about $4 million. It will be disbursed during Thanksgiving break, with a portion coming from the general fund.
  • A one-time stipend of $1,000 for new hires, an idea that comes as the district sees issues hiring bus drivers, custodians and even teachers. The stipend will be split into two checks, one at the beginning and one at the end of the school year. The one at the end of the year could help combat the problem of employees quitting in the middle of the school year.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, administrators of the district, which recently dropped the mask mandate it imposed after aa spike in COVID cases after the start of the school year, said COVID cases continue to remain low. They said they are looking to remove from the lunchrooms the plexiglass barriers that were installed after the spike in cases.

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