The Superior School Board approved $8.6 million in school improvement bonds during its regular board meeting Nov. 6.

The money represents the third phase of borrowing for the district's $92.5 million bond referendum to replace Cooper Elementary School and renovate Superior High School. The fourth and final phase of $4.9 million is tentatively scheduled for April 1.

The board also selected Twin Cities-based Innovative Office Solutions to provide referendum furniture, fixtures and equipment purchases for both schools. A spokesman from the company told the board that the company has completed recent school projects in Cloquet and Hermantown.

In other action, the board approved the purchase of five Blue Bird propane wheelchair lift buses for $559,476 from United Truck Body. Although Mid State Truck Service submitted the low bid - $512,730 for five International buses - the board chose United because Blue Bird is an industry leader and the district already has two Blue Bird buses and wanted to stay with the same brand. The purchase will be covered under a one-time energy efficiency exemption.

The board was informed that food service is serving approximately 300 after-school meals at Superior High School, 175 at Superior Middle School and 35 at the Boy and Girls Club daily. It is expected the district will serve more than 80,000 after-school meals during the 2017-2018 school year.

A number of policies were updated. The definition of "drug" was expanded to include "any substance which alters the individual's perception or behavior, reducing that individual's ability to function appropriately" in the district's drug-free workplace, drug prevention and random drug testing of students policies.

In addition, specific language about pay and benefits was removed from the policy for employment of substitutes.