Aiken County school board ‘pleased’ with Superintendent Laurence’s performance | Education | #Education

The Aiken County Board of Education held a special called meeting Saturday morning to receive legal advice concerning in-house counsel and discuss an interim evaluation of the superintendent.

The bulk of the 8:30 a.m. meeting was spent in executive session, in which the school board members went through the two discussion items in a private manner for about three and a half hours.

Chairman Keith Liner said at the end of the meeting that the board has been pleased with Laurence’s performance.

“Overall, the board is very appreciative and pleased with your performance, Mr. Laurence, and delighted with your leadership,” Liner said before the meeting’s noon adjournment. “We feel that the district is headed in the right direction. Thank you for your service and what you’ve done for us since February.”

The board took no action with the legal advice.

At its Sept. 22 meeting, the board voted to “explore” hiring an in-house attorney for board members.

John Bradley, school board member, explained Sept. 22 that he enjoyed seeking advice from an in-house lawyer in the past, before the board switched to hiring external legal services only.

“Board members now have to go through the chairman to get permission to talk to the lawyer. I personally find that distasteful. I would like to be able to walk into the lawyer’s office and sit down and have a chat with him about things affecting my function as an elected board member,” Bradley said at the Sept. 22 meeting.

No members of the public attended the Saturday morning meeting, and the school district did not film the meeting for its website.

On Tuesday, the school board will meet for another special called meeting to discuss whether elementary schools and special education classes will reopen to five-day, in-person classes this month.

The Back-to-School Advisory Committee, a local panel comprised of parents, educators and health professionals, will provide its recommendation on the matter after reviewing COVID-19 data the day before.

“The data looks pretty good, I think, but we’ll wait to see what they [the committee] have to say and what the board has a discussion about,” Liner said after the Saturday meeting.

The school board will meet at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 1000 Brookhaven Drive.

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