Successful programs highlighted to school board

Published 2:10 pm Wednesday, October 19, 2022

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By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

The Chilton County Board of Education were presented updates from two successful programs in the school system during its Oct. 18 meeting.

Superintendent Jason Griffin told the board he had recently received a letter from the state department of education about the CHAMPS program at Clanton Middle School “praising them for the great job they have done.”

Several faculty and staff members were a part of implementing the program to help with organization, expectations and discipline. The program was possible through a grant that the school secured in 2019 and an instructional coach from the state department.

“The first year of implementation we had to come up with … expectations, guidelines for success, building a support system that allows us to have common language with our discipline and different things like that,” Principal Carla White said at the board meeting.

Expectations are posted in various areas of the school, and voice levels have been set for the volume that is appropriate in different locations. White said the program has made a big difference in the cafeteria. Transitioning from class to class is also smoother now because all students walk on their right side of the hallway. The grant funding for incentives ends this year, but White said a good foundation has been laid for the program to continue.

A presentation about the school system’s resources for visually impaired students was also made.

The two blind students in the school system presented some of what they have learned. One student read a letter he had written in braille, and a kindergartener read braille letter flash cards. A three-year old student who is blind is also joining CCS.

Special Education coordinator Michelle Coppedge said many other school systems have to send materials away to be converted into braille, but CCS has staff members who do this.

“We are what people want to be when it comes to this program,” Coppedge said.

“These students are academic students that are doing academic work with their peers, but obviously in a different way because they don’t have vision,” Chantal Mays, a teacher for students who are visually impaired that works with CCS and other school systems as needed, said.

She works with students from the time they start school until they graduate. In addition to Mays, each of the blind students has someone who works with them one-on-one in each of their classes.

A contract for an additional contract employee to work with a visually impaired student was approved during the meeting.

Requests to move forward with getting architectural drawings for the roofs at LeCroy Career Technical Center, Clanton Elementary School and the Central office as well as paving the front parking lot at Maplesville High School and paving at Chilton County High School were removed from the agenda. (A motion to seek bids for repairs to the elementary gym at Isabella High School died for lack of a second to the motion.)

“The board members agreed that they didn’t think it was fair to get architectural drawings on anything two months prior to the new superintendent coming in,” board President Pam Price said.

The election for Chilton County Schools superintendent is a part of the Nov. 8 election. Thorsby High School principal Cory Clements and Chilton County High School principal Ron Pinson are on the ballot for the election.

A salary for the position was renewed for the next three years at $117,600 with a raise to be given whenever one is authorized by the state and a vehicle provided by the board during the Oct. 18 meeting.  Evaluations would also be required. Board member Keith Moore said when he was superintendent, he was evaluated by the state department. He emphasized that evaluations “can be an asset … it was for me.”

Griffin said the superintendent vehicle needs to be replaced for the next person because of how old it is.