School board discusses software renewals

Published 9:42 am Tuesday, July 18, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/Senior Staff Writer

It’s software subscription renewal time for the Chilton County Schools.

Simbli, a web-based service used by the Board of Education and Frontline, a system used to schedule and pay substitute teachers, will be considered for renewal during the Board of Education meeting on July 18.

Glasscock recommended not renewing the planning module portion of Simbli because it had not been used, but suggested they continue to use the portions for board meeting agendas and minutes.

“It has been a great program,” Glasscock said.

Board members discussed renewing Simbli at a work session on July 17.

“I’m not for it,” board member Pam Price said. “Looking at the price and dividing it, we are spending $658.33 a month and I think we a can print cheaper than that.”

Glasscock said printing the agenda and supporting documents would be time-consuming for central office staff. Using Simbli, files emailed from individual schools and staff members can be uploaded into the agenda.

She said the software had not been used as originally described, which would have allowed board members to see the agenda as it was compiled from start to finish.

Glasscock said having the minutes available electronically saves time when researching information for auditors. Price said she has also been called to help central office staff figure out when a motion was passed.

According to Glasscock, about half of the school systems in Alabama use Simbli.

Board member Jim Shannon said the system took him a while to get used to, but he does like it.

“Except for Mr. Smith, I was probably most opposed to this at first, but I have come appreciate it. I’m beginning to learn how to use it,” board Vice President Joe Mims said.

Glasscock said additional training can be scheduled if needed.

A copy of the agenda and supporting documents are printed after the meeting and kept on file at the central office.

Renewing Frontline had less discussion. Chief School Finance Officer LaVerne Williams said the system is needed and has been beneficial. In the future, she would like to have this system used for every employee who clocks in and out.

Also during the July 18 meeting, a previous plan to eliminate positions for those who are fueling school buses is expected to be overturned. Glasscock is now asking that the positions be kept in place and eliminated as employees retire. They would continue to receive their salary, but not any additional supplement.

Hiring for the upcoming school year is likely not finished. A personnel list to be approved on July 18 had to be amended to remove names of individuals who have accepted jobs at other school systems. Assistant superintendent Adriane Dennis gave the board an update on newly hired personnel at the July 17 meeting. She said of the 11 that had pending certification, all but two have received their teaching certificates.

The July 18 voting session will be held at 4 p.m.