The Stokes County School Board approved a request to expand the field hockey team at West Stokes High School on Monday.
“Participation has increased dramatically and now they are wanting to do a junior varsity team,” said Director of Finance Lanette Moore, noting that the program had grown from a club to a full fledged competitive sports offering.
The board agreed to place coaches for both the varsity and junior varsity teams on an appropriate pay scale.
Board Chair Sonya Cox noted that parents had been very active with fundraising efforts to help expand the team.
“They are already actively working to help pay for the additional equipment they will need,” she said.
The board also heard a request on Monday from Stokes County Manager Rick Morris to allow RiverStreet Networks to continue installing fiber optic equipment at schools as part of a plan to create a new fiber optic network int he county to provide high speed internet access to un- and under-served residents in rural areas of the county.
RiverStreet Networks had hoped to get a contract to provide Wide Area Network (WAN) service to the schools, but were significantly underbid by Time Warner Cable earlier this year. At the request of the Board of County Commissioners the school system is in the process of rebidding the contract, but no new bids have come in yet.
Morris told the board that allowing the installation of the the fiber to each of the schools in the county would not cost the school system anything and would provide redundancy to the existing cable already on site at each school.
“Installation now prevents splicing and a return visit to each school, which involves significant additional cost and has a schedule impact,” said Morris. “Presence of additional cable infrastructure places the school system in an improved competitive posture for current and future solicitations. This infrastructure installation is needed now for second competitor to have a fair chance at meeting the aggressive schedule of July 1, which is contained int he current solicitation.”
Morris added that he saw no downside to the school system allowing the installation.
“Bottom line – It’s a gift horse,” he said.
School Board Chair Sonya Cox said the infrastructure had already been installed at four schools and noted that the school board would consider the request, but offered concerns about its ability to do so while there was no contract between the school system and RiverStreet Networks.
The School Board had a chance to get some additional Christmas cheer during their regular meeting Monday when fourth grade students from Mount Olive Elementary School performed a variety of Christmas carols for the board.
Board leadership elected
The School Board unanimously elected Sonya Cox to serve as Chair and, on a 3-2 vote, Pat Messick to serve as Vice-Chair.
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.