• 77°

BOE discusses school upgrades

By Scott Mims

The Chilton County Board of Education held a special work session Tuesday morning to discuss issues pertaining to several school improvements across the county.
Members discussed possibly repairing Verbena High School’s gym floor, bleachers and lighting.
In recent years, they discussed remodeling the school’s lobby and increasing the size of the bathrooms, but the $5,000 cost was too high at the time.
Members emphasized that any new gym seating must include accommodating handicap seating.
One board member addressed a concern about the Thorsby High School gym floor collecting a substantial amount of dirt and sand toward its back entrance.
He said the debris makes for difficult cleanup.
They also discussed the possibility of remodeling the Maplesville High science lab, which is currently not being used.
They agreed it needs new tables and a vent. It also needs its water and gas connected.
The board wants to look at all science labs that are fiveyears old or older to see if they need remodeling or repair.
The board also passed a resolution to seed the playground at Jemison Intermediate School.
Members from the Alabama State Department of Education presented a case to improve Jemison High School’s reading.
It would involve starting daily 30-minute classes that would take place during the middle of the day.
As an incentive to the students, elective classes would also be offered, which would include arts and crafts.
The state department has been planning the program for nearly one year. Pisgah High School served as the model for the program. Theirs is one hour per day.
One board member asked if motivation for the students to participate would be an issue. They agreed the middle of the day would be the best time due to difficulty in bringing students early and keeping them late.
The elective courses would be non-credit, so non-certified teachers would teach them.
The idea behind the reading course is to bring kids up to their own grade reading level. Moore said he wants to meet with all county school principals to discuss incorporating such a program into their respective schools. The state department has already approved the program.
The board discussed the possibility of having Jemison High School host grades 8-12 and moving the younger grades to a different building.
The board also approved a resolution to accept the resignations of Chilton County boys basketball head coach Donnie Hand and federal programs secretary and bookkeeper Danita Barnett. They will post an opening for the federal programs secretary for 14 days.
The board also conducted expulsion hearings for three Thorsby High School students.