DCS Board looks to expand ‘Leader in Me’ to second campus

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Pleased with the “Leader in Me” process now being implemented at Westside Elementary School, the Demopolis City Board of Education Monday approved funding to expand into U.S. Jones Elementary School beginning next fall.

The BOE meeting was held a week early because of the Thanksgiving holidays.

A part of the Franklin Covey series of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” “Leader in Me” is designed for elementary-aged students. The three-year, $40,000 cost for USJ will be paid for with federal Title I funding, said Supt. Kyle Kallhoff.

Eventually, he hopes to include Demopolis Middle and Demopolis High schools with the process that is adapted for adolescents.

The first reading of federal Child Nutrition Policies – one new and changes to two others – was made. A public hearing on the policies will be held Dec. 12 at 4 p.m.

The two revisions involve meal patterns and wellness, and the new policy concerns price and payment.

The personnel report approved by the board saw the conditional employment of Donald Richardson as a DHS custodian, substitute licenses for Janice Coats and Victoria Gandy and medical leave of absence for Tammi Western-Scott, DMS teacher.

The board approved travel for a DHS teacher to attend the Association of Foreign Language Conference in Nashville, Tenn., paid for with state professional development money. It also okayed the disposition of equipment beyond repair.

Overnight and out-of-state trips approved included:

  • DHS Boys Basketball to Wallace Hanceville Community College Nov. 21 and Dec. 20.
  • DHS Girls Basketball to Alabaster Dec. 27-29.
  • DHS Boys Basketball to Corinth, Miss., Dec. 28-29.
  • USJ fifth-graders to Washington, D.C. in April.
  • DMS Honor Band students Dec. 7-9.

The board also accepted a volunteer staffing agreement between Compass Rose Events, sponsored by Georgia-Pacific, and the DHS Band. The band received $2,000 for its efforts.

Also approved were the Career Tech Education Work-Based Learning Manual, a sign at the DHS Spring Sports Complex, disposal of out-of-date textbooks at DMS and DHS and Kallhoff’s attendance at the 2017 Alabama Association of School Boards convention in Birmingham Dec. 7-9.

In his report, Kallhoff said student enrollment continues to grow, with 26 more students attending Demopolis schools this year over last.

He said the 3-mil property tax renewal is coming before voters in Demopolis, an issue that requires approval every 10 years. Kallhoff said Demopolis residents traditionally have shown support for their schools by endorsing the tax renewal when it comes up for vote.

Recognized for outstanding performance were teachers, staff and students from WES and DMS. From WES were Penny Stanford, teacher; Sherron Brown, staff, and Kameron Besteder, student. At DMS, the honorees were teacher Charlene Jackson, staff member Tracy Stein, and student Taliah Isaac.

The next meeting will be held Dec. 18.

Demopolis BOE readies for new academic year in Monday meeting

Back-to-school preparations took up much of the Demopolis City Board of Education meeting Monday.

Board members voted on personnel changes, bids for services and other actions to get ready for the school year that starts in less than a month.

One of the actions taken was to approve an on-site counselor from West Alabama Mental Health to be at Demopolis Middle School to serve WAMH clients. The board pays nothing for the counselor but will provide an office, internet connection and phone in the library.

In addition to working with the WAMH clients, the counselor will also serve as a resource to the school counselor, said Kyle Kallhoff, superintendent. If the program works well this first year, it may be expanded to U.S. Jones or Westside Elementary Schools in 2018-2019.

Parents who want to pay on line for their child’s school lunch now use PayPams. The board voted to expand the service to allow parents to pay school fees on line as well.

However, the original motion was modified to make sure PayPams lowers its service fee as the school year progresses and the amount declines.

The Child Nutrition Program (CNP) bids approved included Four Seasons Produce, $23,783.11; Borden Dairy, $83,769.01, and Ice Cream Warehouse, $11,170.

In other action the board approved:

  • An agreement with Shelton State Community College for the dual enrollment HVAC class.
  • Extra-curricula supplements.
  • Inventory disposition of four items, including a 1998 bus that will be offered for sale.

In consent items, the board voted for:

  • A memorandum of understanding to implement in the new pre-K program
  • A contract with Fleming Photography to take Demopolis High School pictures, including senior portraits, class photos and sports.
  • Re-advertising the Central Office secretary position and expand it to 10 months with a commiserate salary.
  • Advertising for a DMS English teacher.
  • Rotary Club dues for the superintendent.

The personnel report included the following:

  • Employment: Mary Ellen McCrory, CNP worker at WES; Nicole Jensen, Social Studies teacher at DMS; Tracey Stewart, 10-month assistant principal, split between WES and USJ; Jamie Webb, USJ teacher, and William Jackson, 12-month custodian at WES.
  • Resignations: Pam Morrison, Central Office secretary, and Allison Cobb, English/Language Arts teacher at DMS.
  • Transfers: Shawn Nikki Cobb, Special Education paraprofessional from USJ to DMS, and Ricky Richardson, Special Education paraprofessional from USJ to WES
  • Substitutes: Elaine Carter and Katie Poole
  • Miscellaneous: Brandi Dannelly, DHS girls P.E. teacher to a 10-month employee, and Norvie Womack, Career Prep teacher at DMS, to a 10-month employee.

Kallhoff gave the board a brief overview of the ACT, ACT Aspire and AP exam results for 2017, which will be shared with personnel at the Teacher’s Institute.

The board will hold a called meeting at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2, to make final personnel changes. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the board will be Monday, Aug. 21, at 5:15 p.m.

Credit union branch proposed at Demopolis High; retirees honored in Monday meeting

Four of seven retirees were present at Monday’s BOE meeting, including, from left, Katie Poole, Paula Bond, Lori Giles, and Tammy Spruell. (WAW | Jan McDonald)

Opening a branch of Naheola Credit Union at Demopolis High School and having students earn credit for operating it was proposed to the Demopolis City Board of Education at a called meeting Monday.

Under the proposal, the pilot program would start in the fall and be part of the Finance Academy, under the direction of Kelly Gandy. Students would earn a credit hour for taking it, explained Ashley Coplin, marketing director for the credit union.

“It lines up perfect with the state standards,” added Gandy.

Up to four seniors would be operating the credit union branch two days a week from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., if the proposal is accepted. Students would be interviewed by credit union personnel before being hired.

Gandy said that while it would benefit her students, she is pleased with the impact it will have on the rest of the student body by helping them understand finances.

The credit union would be part of a classroom course open to all students at the high school, Gandy continued.

Coplin reviewed the duties and responsibilities of both the students and Naheola Credit Union. She stressed that the credit union would absorb all costs for setting up and operating the facility as well as safety features. All DHS would need to provide is the space.

To that Gandy added that principal Blaine Hathcock already has designated an area that can be used.

Board members and Supt. Kyle Kallhoff asked several questions about how the course would be conducted. No action was taken.

The board honored seven retirees who have contributed 168.5 combined years in the Demopolis school system.

Retirees attending the meeting were Lori Giles, 29 years; Paula Bond, 11; Tammy Spruell, 30, and Katie Poole, 11. Not in attendance were Julie Lee, 28.5 years; Cynthia Whitlock, 25, and Poncho Robinson, 30.

In other personnel matters, the board approved the following:

  • Conditional employment: Robert Wilkerson, DHS history; Matthew Mellown, DHS special education; Lindsey Thorne, Crystal Freeman and Nicholas Seymore, Westside Elementary; Clint Humphrey, DHS paraprofessional, and Kristina Kallhoff, U.S. Jones Elementary.
  • Resignation: Elaine Calvin, USJ; Brittany Dunson, DHS physical education; Ashley Allen, Demopolis Middle School business and marketing; Lincoln Luker, WES physical education, and Andrew Luker, DHS history teacher.
  • Tamyla James was granted a substitute teacher license.
  • William Jackson, WES lunchroom worker, will be employed as a temporary custodian throughout the summer.

In the only other action, the board approved a contract with Michael Randall to provide ground maintenance to all campuses.

The board next will meet on Thursday, June 1, from 2-4 p.m. for a work session.

End of year actions occupy Monday BOE meeting

End-of-year actions took up most of the Demopolis City Board of Education meeting Monday, including personnel matters and summer construction work.

Charles Jones Construction received the bid for concrete and awning work at Demopolis Middle and U.S. Jones Elementary schools for a total of $57,694.39. This is the second phase of capital improvements started last year.

The work at DMS will include installing a sidewalk and awning from the east side of the building to Cherry Street for $30,308.49, and repairing a sidewalk and installing an awning on the west side of USJ parallel with South Front Avenue, for a cost of $27,385.90.

Also approved was a contract with Interquest Detection Canines for drug searches at DMS and Demopolis High at $600 per visit. Supt. Kyle Kallhoff said four searches are planned for the next school year.

The board accepted the state audit of the school system’s finances for Oct. 1, 2014 through Sept. 30, 2015, given by Cindy Wilson with the Department of Public Accounts.

The board eliminated two positions in the school system: the physical education paraprofessional at DHS and the gifted paraprofessional.

The board accepted the personnel report, which included:

  • Conditional Employment: Adam Brown as DMS band director and assistant director at DHS; Lisa Lindy as Media Specialist at DHS, and Pam Morrison as Central Office secretary.
  • Resignations: Jessica Dial, Central Office secretary; Logan Colvin, DHS history teacher; Herbert Rice, DMS history teacher, and Carly Mosley, DMS English teacher.
  • Transfers: Charlotte Anne Johnson, from Special Education teacher at DHS to USJ; Amanda Smith, from math teacher at DHS to DMS; Emily Low, PE paraprofessional at DHS to WES; Carrie Goodman, DMS math teacher to DHS, and Meggin Mayben, DMS history/broadcasting teacher to history teacher at DHS.
  • Andrea Johnson, WES first grade teacher, is being reassigned to Library/Media Specialist at WES.

In other action, the board approved:

  • Disposal of used equipment that cannot be repaired
  • Bidding on a used school bus
  • Out-of-state field trip for qualified DHS students to attend the national FBLA convention in Anaheim, Calif., June 27-July 3.

The board will have a called meeting Monday, May 22, at 4 p.m. and its mandatory Whole Board Training is scheduled for June 1 from 2-4 p.m.

Demopolis BOE adjusts facility rental fees, makes personnel changes in Tuesday meeting

Rental fees for the use of school gymnasiums and auditoriums are going up after the Demopolis City Board of Education voted Monday in a meeting that covered routine items.

The rental for gymnasiums rose from $150 to $250, and for auditoriums, from $250 to $500, effective immediately. The action came after questions about the fees were raised at meetings earlier this year.

The board also agreed with Supt. Kyle Kallhoff to make a general advertisement for elementary, middle and high school teachers in order to have a pool of applications to draw from. In addition, advertisements for library media specialists at Westside Elementary and Demopolis High School and for a DHS custodian are being posted.

The board voted on the personnel report which included:

  • Resignations by Jonathan Casey Moore, special education teacher at Demopolis Middle School, effective March 16, and Jillian Arthur, band director, effective at the end of the school year.
  • Retirements of Lori Giles, WES librarian; Katie Poole, U.S. Jones Elementary teacher, and Tammy Spruell, and Paul Bond, both WES teachers, all effective at the end of the school year.
  • Substitute license for Linda Driver.
  • Medical leave extension for Constance Cleveland.

Kallhoff asked the board to make a revision to the school calendar approved last month. Teachers will have a work day on Aug. 7, with three professional development days to follow. The previous calendar had the work day on Aug. 8 with two professional development days.

Teachers and students from WES and DMS were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments. From WES, office manager Joann Merriweather and second grader Areil Mata were honored. From DMS were 8th grade math teacher Jackie Tripp and 7th grader Ny Kierah Johnson.

Kallhoff said he is working on an application for all school volunteers. Still in the development stage is how to conduct background checks on those volunteers. Local background can be determined, but state and federal background checks may have to be outsourced.

In other action the board approved:

  • Out-of-state or overnight field trips for the DMS Beta Club to Orlando, Fla.; DHS DECA to Anaheim, Calif.; DHS Youth Leadership to Tuscaloosa, and DHS FBLA to Birmingham.
  • Travel reimbursement for the art teacher.
  • Inventory dispositions for unusable computers and printers.
  • DHS auditorium rental by the John Coley Show June 4.
  • 2017-2018 Course Catalogue.
  • Floor machine maintenance agreement for DMS.

Kallhoff asked the board to consider a janitorial bid for WES. He said summer work hours will extend from June 5 to July 28. Schools and offices will be open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays from 7-11 a.m.

In his report, Kallhoff congratulated board president Conrad Murdock for being reelected to the board by the Demopolis City Council.

He said the Area Special Olympic Games will be held at DHS on April 21, and April is being designated as Autism Awareness Month in the schools.

A job fair will be held at DHS on Thursday by local industries. Juniors and seniors will be interviewing during the day, and after school hours the general public is invited to take part in the job fair.

The next regular meeting will be held April 17. Kallhoff said he expected to have a recommendation for a band director at that time, and he hoped to have a DHS principal applicant as well.

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Demopolis BOE to meet Tuesday

The Demopolis City Schools Board of Education will meet Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 8:30 a.m. at the Central Office for personnel considerations.

Board makes personnel changes in Monday meeting

Personnel matters took up most of the time of a called meeting of the Demopolis City Board of Education Monday, including adjusting the salaries of those who have taken over interim positions at Demopolis High and Demopolis Middle schools.

In addition Supt. Kyle Kallhoff asked board members to meet on Feb. 2 to consider his recommendation for the DHS football coach.

At the end of the meeting Kallhoff said the school board had received more than 50 applications for the coaching position. After vetting and interviews, the top candidates’ resumes are being reviewed by parents and stakeholders.

Salaries were adjusted to reflect the administrative positions assumed Jan. 2 by three employees. They will receive the salary designated for their interim positions cut in half since they will be serving half the school year.

Blaine Hathcock, the interim DHS principal, will receive a supplement of $4,862; Rollie McCall, interim DMS principal, $2,846.50, and Tracey Stewart, interim assistant principal for DMS, $3,657.50.

Approved for conditional employment were:

  • Judith Moore, Westside Elementary Special Education teacher, filling a vacancy.
  • Andrea Turberville, U.S. Jones Elementary, filling the vacancy left by Stewart.
  • Hannah Shirley, DHS science teacher, extended through the second semester.
  • Jessica Henson, WES lunchroom worker, filling a vacancy.

Substitute teacher approved were Moore, Donna Dodson and Donna Hoven.

Other personnel action included:

  • Updating the expected return date of Barbara Wallace to April 24, per medical certification.
  • Hiring Dodson as long-term substitute for maternity leave Pre-K at WES..
  • Ciera James, WES lunchroom worker, employment termination.

The board also approved advertising for a DHS Band Director for the 2017-2018 school year and for a cafeteria worker position.

In the only other action taken Monday, the board approved the rental of the DHS gymnasium Jan. 13 and 14 by Ross Martial Arts and Fitness Academy.

Board member Jim Stanford voted for the rental but questioned the $150 rental fee as being too low. He said the board needs to address the rental fees for all venues on school property.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the board will be Monday, Jan. 23, since the usual date falls on Martin Luther King Day.

DCS Board approves alternative school program

Impact 180, an alternative school program, received approval from the Demopolis City Schools Board of Education Monday, if state funding comes through.

The program would serve students in grades 6-12 who have been suspended for at least 20 days or face

Carson Averette (center) (WAW | Jan McDonald)

Supt. Kyle Kallhoff, Dana Clem, Carson Averette, Roshanda Jackson, and Jim Stanford. (WAW | Jan McDonald)

their sixth suspension.

The alternative school is a computer-based curriculum that would be held in the computer lab of Demopolis Middle School from 3:30 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

“This is a very structured program,” said Supt. Kyle Kallhoff. Students can have days added to or taken off their suspension based on a point system.

Students would be supervised by a certified teacher, a paraprofessional and a Student Resource Officer from the Demopolis Police Department, if money is granted by the state.

Kallhoff said the school system has been working on the new alternative education model for about six months.

The superintendent reported total enrollment at all four campuses is 2,291, with average daily attendance so far at 2,280. The attendance number after the first 20 days of school is used by the state to determine the number of teaching units that will be funded the next year.

Supt. Kyle Kallhoff, Avery Schumacher, Blaine Hathcock, and Foy Mayberry. (WAW | Jan McDonald)

At the beginning of the meeting, Kallhoff recognized an outstanding teacher and student from Westside Elementary and DMS. The recipients received a $10 gift certificate to Batter-Up, courtesy of the restaurant and Robertson Banking Company, and each teacher also received a massage from Pampered Kneads.

From WES were teacher Leslie May and kindergarten student Carson Averette. Avery Schumacher, 7th grader, and teacher Susan Browder were honored from DMS.

The board approved the following travel requests:

  • 24, DHS Cross Country to Meridian, Miss.
  • 28-30, USJ 4H Center to Columbiana.
  • 1, DHS Cross Country to Meridian, Miss.
  • 6-8, USJ fifth grade to Dauphin Island.
  • 2-3, DHS Cross Country to Loxley.
  • 11-12, DHS Cross Country to Oakville.
  • 10-12, Superintendent travel to the SSA Fall Conference in Florence.

Approved as substitutes were Regina Hill, professional certificate, and Lacourtney French, Sherita Hale and Delendra Peterson, sub licenses.

Constance Cleveland, WES teacher, received approval for family medical leave.

In other action, the board approved two basketball coaching supplements for USJ and the

Leslie May. (WAW | Jan McDonald)

Supt. Kyle Kallhoff, Conrad Murdock, Leslie May, and Roshanda Jackson. (WAW | Jan McDonald)

Memorandum of Understanding with the DPD to provide SRO to the schools.

Kallhoff said the Marengo County Probate Office no longer will use WES and DHS as voting sites beginning with the Nov. 8 election.

“It was the right move,” he said. Having so much traffic around the schools, especially WES, “was not a safe setting.”

The next meeting will be Oct. 17

DCS Board approves $22M budget for new fiscal year

At the close of the state mandated second public hearing Monday, the Demopolis City Schools Board of Education voted on a budget calling for $22,028,936 in expenses for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

The budget calls for a beginning balance of $5.2 million and income of $20.5, leaving a projected balance of $3.3 at the close of the 2016-2017 school year.

In addition to the budget passed Monday, the school system also submits nine other operational plans to the Alabama Department of Education in such areas as capital projects, professional development, special education, technology and career tech.

The budget was helped this year because the number of students grew significantly, bringing in more state funding for teachers and eliminating the need for local funds to be used for more than four teacher salaries. The local system still pays for 10 teachers as compared to 15 during the last school term.

The budget estimates $13.1 million in revenue from state sources, only $2.4 million from federal funds and $4.4 million in local monies. Most of the local funding comes from ad valorem and sales tax. The biggest expenditure is expected to be instructional costs of $12.3 million, with another $3.1 million earmarked for instructional support.

Supt. Kyle Kallhoff said that while expenditures exceed revenue by $2 million, the gap between what comes in and what goes out is narrowing over previous years.

The first of the two budget hearings was held last Thursday. At the conclusion of the hearing, the board voted on the following personnel matters:

  • Hiring Amanda Smith, Demopolis High School math teacher; Gabrielle Essex, DHS Access Lab Coordinator; Logan Arnold, technology coordinator; Tamyla James, gifted paraprofessional; substitutes Tajah Bell, Michele Nicole Choi, Lynn Foster, Hailey Tarver, Amanda Smith, Tamyla James and George Mullen for custodian or lunchroom vacancies.
  • Paul Price, family medical leave through Nov. 9
  • Amanda Smith and Tamyla James as substitutes through Sept. 8.

The board voted for a contract with Susan Clark for speech services.

Also approved was a request by the Demopolis Police Department for the use of the Demopolis Middle School football field for the annual “Night Out” and to post a System Technology Technician vacancy.

The regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the school board will be Monday, Sept. 19, at 5:15 p.m.

BOE calls meeting for Sept. 8 (includes agenda)

The Demopolis City Schools Board of Education will hold a called meeting on Thursday, Sept. 8 at 10 a.m. The meeting will include the first hearing on the proposed budget. A complete agenda can be viewed here.