Chilton BOE discusses personnel changes

Published 3:36 pm Wednesday, January 23, 2019

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Chilton County Board of Education held its first of a series of regularly scheduled board meetings which will be held at different schools on Jan. 23.

Chilton County High School was the first location.

Personnel was the major topic of discussion as the board considered new hires and creating a few new positions.

A special education paraprofessional, who will work out of Pass Academy but also go to other schools when needed, was approved 6 to 1.

Board President Brian Jackson, Vice President Jacqueline Sullivan and board members Chris Smith, Lori Patterson, Keith Moore and Angie Sanderson voted in favor. Board member Pam Price voted against.

Price asked how the position would be funded. Assistant Superintendent Adriane Dennis said this position had been approved and filled previously, but the person who was hired never showed up to work.

The position will be funded from federal funds.

A motion to hire a career coach to fill a vacant position failed 5 to 2. Moore and Smith voted in favor. Jackson, Sullivan, Patterson, Price and Sanderson voted against.

Price questioned why someone was being recommended for hire pending a background check. Career Tech director Dara Norman said the background check has been done, but the results have not been received yet.

“Most of the time now, while a student is in their teacher education program in college, they do their background check as a part of college because they have to go into the schools and work with the students, so any new hires would have that,” Dennis said.

However, she said those in non-teaching positions may not have needed a background check previously.

“We can hire pending (a background check), but they cannot have student interaction unless I have a clear background check,” Dennis said.

Sanderson asked about the potential employee’s experience working with students.

“This is not a teaching position,” Norman said.

Jackson asked about the actual salary for the position because there had been multiple numbers discussed.

Chief School Finance Officer LaVerne Williams said the amount had been increased by the state and including salary, benefits, supplies and travel it would likely be $80,000.

“The state funds it, so we get a lump sum for the position,” Williams said. “Everything is included.”

When the Board was considering approving a new list of substitutes, Smith asked what kind of training the substitutes received.

Dennis said training was being implemented which emphasized how to interact with the students and appropriate dress while substituting.

“We are in dire need of subs,” Griffin said.

He said substitutes are approved throughout the year so that the school system always has enough approved when the need arises.

A motion to create a special education behavioral technician position failed 4 to 3.  Board members Price, Smith, Sullivan and Sanderson voted against. Jackson, Patterson and Moore voted in favor.

Price asked why the request was coming at the end of the year.

“I wanted to make sure that we had the funds,” Special Education director Michelle Coppedge said. “We have had years where they have said there was going to be an adjustment to the federal funds.”

Coppedge said services for students who need one-on-one in classroom support for behavioral issues are being offered by professionals outside the school system on an as needed basis.

It is estimated that this costs the school system $50,000 each calendar year.

Smith pointed out this amount was less than the cost of hiring an employee would be.

Coppedge said having an employee in this position would better serve students because they could offer better service to Special Education students and help identify general education students who may benefit from additional help.

Even if the position would be created, outsourcing would likely still be needed at times, according to Coppedge.

Superintendent Jason Griffin presented the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council with certificates of appreciation.

“We have met with this group at elementary, intermediate, middle and high school back in the fall … and we will meet again in the spring,” Griffin said. “If you want to know what is going on in the schools, just ask the students. They will tell you. It has been very interesting what they have shared and it has been beneficial.”

Many of the students wanted more books for their school libraries and clean bathrooms, according to Griffin.

Each school has two students serving on the advisory council.

Also during the meeting, the Board of Education:

  • Received a financial update from Williams that expenditures are at 25 percent, which is where it should be for this time in the school year. Revenues are at 26 percent.
  • Approved changes to financial policy based on changes at the state level.
  • Received certificates of appreciation as a part of School BoardAppreciation Month.
  • Added Foundations of Health Science, Health Science Internship and Human Body and Structure to the list of Honors Courses based on the rigor of the courses. These courses are offered at the LeCroy Career Technical Center.
  • Hired a 12-month custodian for VHS, Child Nutrition Program assistant for Clanton Elementary, two CES preschool auxiliary teachers.
  • Approved supplements of $750 for two competitive video gaming coaches. Multiple teams can be created with each high school having a team or multiple teams.
  • Approved Hirano Ha Karate to be offered at Jemison Elementary, multiples coaching related items and field trip requests.
  • Approved the school calendar for the 2019-2020 school year with School starting on Aug. 6. Fall break will be Oct. 14. Thanksgiving Holidays will be Nov. 25-29. School will dismiss for Christmas Vacation on Dec. 20 at 1 p.m. School will resume on Jan. 7. Spring Break will be March 23-27. The last day of school will be May 21. The full calendar will be available at