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HVAC improvements set for Charleston Elementary with $300K air quality grant

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CHARLESTON — The Charleston Elementary School Board met on Wednesday, April 10, with a focus on debriefing a recent community forum and awarding a bid for an HVAC upgrade project.

During the discussion of the community forum, which centered on the possibility of sending 7th and 8th-grade students to North Country Union Junior High School, board members noted that the majority of the community opposed the idea. Sarah Jenness suggested that while most people appreciate the small school setting, more could be done to prepare 7th and 8th-graders for high school.

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In other business, the board:

  • Approved the consent agenda, including minutes from March 13 and April 1, warrants totaling $383,913.70 for FY24 orders, $6,201.35 for food service, and $21,823.09 for the student activities fund, and the adoption of revised NCSU common board policies.
  • Received a financial report from NCSU Staff Accountant Debbie Brunelle, who noted that the school is approximately $65,000 over budget but has $87,000 left from the previous year.
  • Heard from Principal Chris Lawson about ongoing state assessments, a recent circus performance at the school, and the replacement of siding on the school’s modular building.
  • Discussed board goals, with members expressing interest in being more involved in facility issues, the hiring process, and understanding complex topics before making decisions.
  • Appointed Chris Lawson and Kevin Charbonneau as truant officers for the school and supervisory union, respectively.
  • Approved a 5.5% support staff wage increase for FY25, including a $750 retention bonus.
  • Awarded a bid for the school’s HVAC upgrade project, funded largely by a $300,000 Indoor Air Quality Grant, to Mountain Air Systems, Inc. for $293,670, contingent upon waiver approval from the Vermont Agency of Education.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for May 8.

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