Superintendent of Schools Terry George updated Randolph County Board of Education members on how the first day of school for county students went Monday.
George said all the children got where they needed to go and back home safely. He said the only issue was an alarm at Jennings Randolph Elementary School.
"The fire alarm was activated today when a heater was inadvertently turned on while the air conditioning was running, causing the melting of a wire," George said. "The Elkins Fire Department responded.
"There were no flames and they evacuated the smoke from the building using the exhaust fan. Our HVAC techs corrected the problem and students were returned to the building."
In other business, George said he was very happy with the bid process for buying new buses.
"We will be purchasing five new buses this year, including two 53-passenger buses, a 65-passenger bus with a chair lift for special needs and two conventional 65-passenger buses," George said. "The cost for the buses is $452,572.
"The Matheny Motors buses have significantly lower maintenance costs," he said, noting that the company's bid includes all five buses. The funding will come from the school system's transportation budget.
Board member Harvey Taylor asked about seat belts for the buses.
"Our buses do not require seat belts," George said. "They are compartmentalized and they do not recommend we put seat belts on them. They are safer than seat belts, and the seat belts become a hazard."
George said students enjoyed the schools' breakfast and lunch programs Monday.
"We had an increase in service of all meals, and our programs have been very well-received," George said. "At one school, we had 100 percent participation at breakfast today. This is fantastic. We will give you a more detailed report on this at a later date."
George said he was pleased with the first day of classes.
"I am very happy with the enthusiasm of our staff and our students," George said. "Everything went very smooth."
Taylor said he is praying for a great year.
"I hope our sporting events go a lot better than last year," Taylor said. "I look for a great year and I want to thank everyone from the principals on down. A lot of people do not realize how much time they put in free on their own time.
"It's amazing. You go by schools and see cars there and you know they are there working in their own room and taking out some time of theirs. I appreciate all you do and I hope everything works out great. I am looking for a wonderful year."
Board member Ed Tyre reminded everyone to remain safe.
"Well, school has started and I want everyone to be careful," Tyre said. "Kids will be darting here and there, so make sure you keep an eye out for those fellows and have a safe year."
The next meeting for the Randolph BOE is slated for 6 p.m. Sept. 3.