BOE approves specialty positions

Published 11:55 am Wednesday, October 17, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Chilton County Board of Education approved moving forward with hiring a special education paraprofessional to serve multiple schools and a job description for a counselor/social worker for PASS Academy during its Oct. 16 meeting.

Posting the job for a special education paraprofessional to fill in when someone is out and work at PASS Academy the remainder of the time was approved 6 to 1.

Board President Lori Patterson, Vice President Joe Mims and boards members Keith Moore, Curtis Smith, Jim Shannon and Linda Hand voted in favor. Board member Pam Price voted against.

Price asked if the position would be funded from special education funding.

Chilton County Schools Superintendent Jason Griffin confirmed that it would.

Price asked if this would increase the school system’s maintenance of effort, which requires special education funding be increased based on what was spent the previous school year. LaVerne Williams, Chief School Financial Officer, said it would not.

The job description for a counselor/social worker for PASS Academy passed 5 to 2. Patterson, Mims, Moore, Smith and Shannon voted in favor. Board members Price and Hand voted against.

“I have concerns,” Price said. “This job description — the qualifications are like listed for a counselor, but when you get to down to the performance they are actually more social worker. Looking on the state department for social workers, if they are going to provide individual mental health counseling, they have to have a master’s level in social work.”

The school system was not requiring a master’s degree in social work for the position.

She said the job responsibilities included assessments, which someone with a bachelor’s degree in social work would not be able to do.

Ashlie Harrison, Department of Teaching and Learning director, said the job description was patterned after what other school system’s use.

“They won’t be doing assessing … They will just be providing counseling services to students in kindergarten through fifth grade,” Harrison said.

These services will be on an individual basis.

“On the state website, it says that they cannot provide individual mental health counseling unless they have a master’s in social work,” Price said. “I just think we are opening ourselves up to a can of worms.”

The position will be paid for with Title 4 funding from the state, which is guaranteed for another year.

Williams had good news for the board reporting that revenue during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 had been higher than initially projected. The school system has 2.3 months of operating budget in reserve.

Also during the meeting, the Board approved:

  • Two resignations, hiring two teachers, two bus drivers, a bus aide, three CNP assistants, a school nurse and a custodian during the meeting.
  • Applying for E-rate funding for technology.
  • Purchasing equipment for the Child Nutrition Program, including a double serving line for Clanton Intermediate.
  • The T.R.I.C.K.S. School Safety Training for school administrators. The training will be offered to the school system by the Clanton Police Department.
  • Chestnut Creek Heritage Chapel as the place for preservation of old school system census records. Board attorney John Hollis Jackson confirmed that it would be legal to do this.
  • Keeping Jackson as attorney until a new one is hired. Jackson had given his resignation in March.