By: Jeremy Handel, Staff Writer
The Spartanburg County School District Four Board of Trustees were presented with the district’s most recent annual audit results and heard the first presentation of the annual bond resolution for the next school year at their February meeting.
Due to the COVID pandemic, the presentation of the district’s annual audit was delayed by a month through an extension approved by the State of South Carolina. The delay didn’t change the good news for the district as the audit was returned with an unmodified option.
“This is the clean opinion that we want,” said Chris Benfield, district business manager, who presented the results to the Board.
The financial, internal controls and federal funds portions of the audit were all considered to be in good shape and the district was labeled as a low-risk auditee. The audit would normally be presented to the board by the auditing firm; however, because of COVID precautions and the clean result of the audit, the firm deferred to Benfield.
“This is the very best result it can be,” Dr. Rallie Liston, district superintendent, said. “It’s a testament to our staff and the board who keep a keen eye on our spending. There were absolutely no negative findings and we continue to qualify as a low-risk, which is what we expect and we are very pleased.”
In other financial news, Benfield also presented the Trustees with their first look at the annual bond resolution for the 2021/2022 school year. The district is planning to bond for $1.2 million for the year, which will cover a number of repairs, improvements, and equipment at the schools and across the district as a whole. Half of the bond amount will be used to retire the $600,000 bond outstanding from the previous year. The bond issue will to the Board in March for a vote.
Other business covered by the Board included an update on the impact of the COVID virus and various actions being taken to keep the schools safe. Britt McKinney, director of federal and state programs, reported that the district is now providing daily updates regarding positive tests and quarantines among students and staff at the schools.
The district has also been authorized to provide testing at the district office for any students or staff who are showing symptoms. This allows the district to more quickly identify positive cases and take action much quicker to help prevent any spread or major outbreaks. Since the beginning of January, the district has conducted more than 150 tests, with approximately 20 percent returning positive.
Under new business, the Trustees approved recommended revisions to the COVID-19 leave policy for professional and support staff. The revisions provide an extension of the relief period for COVID leave days that had been put into effect at the beginning of the year.
Finally, the Board convened an executive session to discuss various personnel, property, and legal issues.
The next meeting of the Spartanburg County School District Four Board of Trustees is scheduled for March 1 at 6:00 p.m. in the Woodruff Elementary School media center.