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School board to consider after-school program site directors

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The Chilton County Board of Education will have an emergency called meeting today, Aug. 4, at 7:30 p.m. at the Central Office to consider approval of site directors for its planned after-school program.

The item had been pulled from the Aug. 3 meeting agenda because of board concerns that there were multiple directors listed for the same site.

In a phone interview, Chilton County Schools Superintendent Jason Griffin said multiple site directors had been requested, so one person would not have to work after-school all five days. This would also mean there was a backup in the event of something preventing a site director from being able to work a day.

“I fully anticipate there to be a large number of students,” Griffin said.

Employees for the after-school program would be existing employees, and all of the positions have already been posted internally.

The plan is for the program to be open to kindergarten through sixth grade at six sites. Griffin said how many sites are offered would depend on staffing.

During the Aug. 3 meeting, the option of having students ride the bus to a site if their school did not have adequate staffing was discussed.

“The only school that we have not had adequate staff/ administrators say that they are interested in working it was at Maplesville, so the bus driver (position) would be to provide them access to Isabella,” Griffin said.

Griffin said the plan is to pay for the staff positions with Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds that the school received related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This would allow the program to be offered to families without charging for the service.

Griffin said the goals of the after-school program will be remediation, enrichment and physical activity. He said the main goal is to “provide opportunity for remediation and enrichment to help them (students) catch up on any learning loss they may have had with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Approving posting for teaching positions for the program was removed from the Aug. 3 agenda since the positions had already been posted internally and only current employees who were intersted would be considered for the after-school program. The school board’s attorney had said posting the jobs this way was fine.

“I do not see the need to repost these jobs,” Ashlie Harrison, director of teaching and learning, said. “I have already posted these jobs one time.”

She also pointed out that the site directors had been removed from the agenda and the program could not be held without them.

The board removed approving posting the positions, essentially supporting Harrison’s statement that the internal posting was sufficient.

“Once personnel is approved to be paid we are good to go,” Griffin said.

Signups for the program would begin after this approval.

The school system has been without an after-school program since May 2020 when a partnership with the YMCA of Chilton County for an after-school program hosted at Clanton Elementary School dissolved.