Demopolis BOE recognizes outstanding students, teachers

After recognizing outstanding students and teachers from U.S. Jones Elementary and Demopolis High schools, the Demopolis Board of Education approved several contracts and out-of-state travel.

Honored were USJ teacher Amelia Mackey and Courtney Kerby of DHS. Esperanza Galvan, a third-grader from USJ who has served as a translator for an incoming student who speaks no English, and Alexis Benderson, senior class president were praised for their outstanding work by Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff.

The board began the process of starting a program for gifted students by posting the nine-month position for a gifted specialist. Kallhoff said he hopes the teacher can begin working with students in January.

“We’re not going to rush this at all,” he said.

The teacher would work with identified students in grades 3-5 for three to five hours each week.

The board approved $3,300 for children’s author Robert Little to speak to children at Westside and USJ on January 25. He also will appear at an event that evening at DHS to showcase young authors.

The board approved a universal screener renewal with Classworks for $45,802. The company provides reading and math tests by computer for students at all four campuses to assess areas of weakness. The school system has used the evaluation tool since 2005, said Kallhoff.

In other action the board:

  • Approved an amendment to the Medicaid Administrative Claim District Agreement, which reimburses every system in the state for working with special needs students.
  • Okayed the annual subscription for Microsoft licenses for $16,963.
  • Declared surplus property for recycling.
  • Approved out-of-state travel for the broadcasting students from DHS, DMS and USJ to visit CNN headquarters in Atlanta.
  • Named board member Carolyn Moore as delegate to the Alabama Association of School Board convention. Linda Russell is the alternate.

Kallhoff said the spring assessment are completed, but the state is putting an embargo on the results temporarily.

“The purpose of assessment is to inform instruction,” he said, not to determine the success or failure of students.

The testing, known as ACT Aspire, replaced the Alabama Reading and Math Test (ARMT) and is aligned with the more rigorous College and Career Reading track.

The board will hold a work session Nov. 2, and the next scheduled regular meeting will be Nov. 16.