A campus-wide renovation for DeLand-Weldon schools has begun, and now the district has a mechanism to fund it after approving $4.3 million in borrowing at its June 24 meeting.

“Work has started, and we are working on our secure vestibules,” said School Superintendent Amanda Geary, noting that secure entryways are being constructed at both the high school and elementary school doorways.

Working on a new surface and improved drainage for the parking lot has also begun, and roof work will also start soon for both school buildings.

“It should all be done before school starts,” noted Geary on a busy summer of work.

To pay for the project, the board approved the purchase of $4.3 million in general obligation bonds. Since other borrowing was recently paid off, the district tax rate should not increase as a result of the new bonds.

Another campus improvement could be a digital school sign to replace the current non-digital one that currently sits in front of the high school. Geary is gathering cost information before the project is considered formally by the school board.

Technical math course

Also approved was the implementation of a new math course, technical math, as part of state requirements on making sure students are ready for math needs in college and the workplace.

Geary said D-W math teacher John Yeakel worked with Heartland Technical Academy and Richland College staff to “make sure this matches up with the coursework there, so that it matches up for our students.”

Drug testing

Random drug testing will be required of many students beginning this fall. The testing pool will include students who take part in extracurricular activities, as well as those who drive and park on school property.

In other action, the board:

–approved a $10 increase in substitute teacher pay to $100 per day;

–discussed whether to repair the current 2007 Chevy Impala driver's education car, or purchase a new one;

–accepted the resignation of Becky Dodson as middle school head track coach;

–approved the hiring of Megan Porter as middle school math and science teacher; and

–renewed agreements with Milligan Academy and the Futures Unlimited High School, both in Decatur.