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were the Career Tech Education Work-Based Learning Manual, a sign at the DHS Spring Sports Complex, disposal of out-of-date textbooks at DMS and DHS and Kallhoff’s attendance at the 2017 Alabama Association of School Boards convention in Birmingham Dec. 7-9.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

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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Kallhoff issues statement on non-resident tuition for Demopolis City Schools

A committee appointed in February has made a recommendation regarding tuition for non-resident students attending Demopolis City Schools according to a letter issued from DCS Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff Friday.

The seven member committee, who has requested to remain anonymous, is comprised of Kallhoff, a DCS Board of Education member, a city schools administrative representative, a Demopolis City Council member, and three parents of non-resident students.

“After meeting with the committee and analyzing the data, the financial numbers certainly indicate that there is a need for a reasonable annual tuition or fee for non-resident students,” Kallhoff said. “However, the timing is not right. With the push for charter schools in West Alabama and the questioning of the quality of public education from state leaders, we do not want to risk losing any of our students.”

Kallhoff first broached the subject of non-resident tuition in the board’s Feb. 20 meeting, as previously reported by The West Alabama Watchman.

In that meeting, Kallhoff announced his intentions to appoint a committee to begin exploring the possibility of charging a reasonable tuition for those students living outside of the 36732 ZIP code.

“We receive funding for all students through the state, but of course that does not cover all services we provide,” Kallhoff told The Watchman on Friday. “We use revenue generated by county and city taxes to cover those additional services such as speech classes, special education testing, as well as transportation and maintenance.”

Of the system’s approximately 2,300 students, Kallhoff said 38 percent, roughly 874 students, are considered out of district.

While the committee opted to not move on the issue immediately, Kallhoff said that a per-household rate of $300-$500 was discussed by the committee, rather than a per-student rate.

“While there is a demonstrated need there, we felt it best to not make any changes at this time,” said Kallhoff. “We want to continue to attract and maintain excellent students from around the entire area and ensure the high quality education we provide is not impacted.”

For Kallhoff’s letter in its entirety, click here.

Demopolis BOE members recognized in meeting; community meeting set to discuss USJ future use

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Instead of the monthly appreciation of outstanding teachers and students from Demopolis schools, Supt. Kyle Kallhoff recognized board members at the January meeting as part of School Board Appreciation Month.

Kallhoff thanked the board members on behalf of the 2,300 students and 230 employees in the system. Each of the four schools honored a board member, and the Central Office recognized the fifth. Members were given gift baskets or gift certificates for their service.

Westside Elementary School honored Floy Mayberry; U.S. Jones Elementary, Carolyn Moore; Demopolis Middle School, board Chairman Conrad Murdock; Demopolis High, Olen Kerby, and the Central Office, Jim Stanford, who has served as a board member for 13 years.

The board approved the first reading of a revision to Policy 5.10.1. It adds foster care children to the school system admission policy for homeless, migratory, immigrant and limited English proficiency students. Kallhoff said a hearing will be set for public input before the second reading and vote.

He also said an open meeting is planned for Saturday, Feb. 11 at 11 a.m. in the USJ gymnasium to discuss the future use of the school. The meeting is in response to concerns by Marengo County Commission Freddie Armstead and others.

The board approved supplemental salaries for extra-curricular activities at the schools for the 2017-2018 term. The supplements include coaches and assistant coaches, band director and team and club sponsors as well as other designated employees.

Approved for out-of-state or overnight field trips were:

  • DHS HOSA, Feb. 23-24, to Montgomery.
  • DHS Student Council, April 9-10, Tuscaloosa.
  • USJ Fifth Grade Honor Club, April 22-26, Washington, D.C.
  • DHS track team, April 28-29, Mobile.
  • DHS track team, May 5-6, Gulf Shores.

In personnel matters, the board approved conditional employment of Mary Fields, Child Nutrition Program worker at WES, and Katrina Sprinkle as a substitute.

The Jack-Corene Community Development Corp. was approved to use DHS facilities on May 13.

In his comments, Kallhoff said further research is being done on fees for the use of the DHS auditorium and gymnasium after the issue was brought up at the last meeting.

He invited board members to visit the HVAC program being taught by Shelton State Community College in the former New Era building. Eleven students are enrolled.

He also said Alison Brantley with UWA workforce development will speak to DHS students on the ACT Work Keys tests they will take in February and the importance of the exams.

He complemented 28 employees who had perfect attendance during the first semester.

The board will hold a called meeting on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 4 p.m.

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.

Kallhoff presents five-year capital plan in Monday meeting (includes PDFs)

DCS Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff presents a five year capital plan to the Demopolis BOE in its Monday meeting (WAW | Jan McDonald)

DCS Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff presents a five year capital plan to the Demopolis BOE in its Monday meeting (WAW | Jan McDonald)

An ambitious, not to say pricey, capital plan for the next five years was unveiled Monday night at the Demopolis City Schools Board of Education meeting after more than two months of work.

Supt. Kyle Kallhoff has divided the plan into four priorities totaling $30,300,000.

“I am going to push hard for priorities 1-3,” said Kallhoff. “We must address our aging facilities if we want to keep families and/or attract families to Demopolis. The city is going to have to come together to make this a priority and brainstorm on how to fund these priorities.”

The most expensive and far-reaching is the first priority involving Westside and U.S. Jones elementary schools. The plan would make WES a pre-K through fifth grade campus, with the capacity for 1,300 students, and convert USJ to the career technology center for the school system. The estimated cost of the work is $18,435,000, he said.

Three new wings housing 10 classrooms each for fourth, fifth and sixth grades would be added to WES. The school would be flipped so that the main entrance would face Maria Street. Student pick-up would have a new drive with an entrance and exit on Herbert Street.

As the career tech center, USJ not only would provide class space for such curricula as finance and insurance, marketing, allied health serviced, industrial maintenance, welding and HVAC, but would provide space for an alternative school, Head Start, a virtual resource center and have room for expansion. The building would be available for evening classes for community adult education courses.

The other three priorities of the plan involve additions and renovations to Demopolis Middle and High schools, including additional classrooms, gymnasiums, parking and cafeterias.

The fourth priority would be a new gymnasium at DMS on the current baseball field and a new practice facility at the high school. Kallhoff hopes the athletic booster clubs would step in to help find the funding for the projects.

He said the plan will be presented to the Demopolis City Council in December. He hopes a joint meeting can be set up to find ways to pay for the ambitious plan.

The school system receives about $630,000 annually for capital improvements, he said. Most of that goes toward paying for the stadium, geo-thermal system and auditorium projects at the high school, leaving about $140,000 to cover other costs.

This year, when working on the capital plan, the committee took a long-term look at what will be needed in the next five, 10, or 30 years, he said.

“There are capital needs that we must take care of in the next five years,” Kallhoff told the board.

The capital plan is broken down as follows:

Priority One (2017-2018)

U.S. Jones ($2,390,000)

  • Convert to Career Technical Center
  • Include Industrial Maintenance Program
  • Include Welding Program
  • Create HVAC Program
  • Include Allied Health Program
  • Create Education and Training Program
  • Create Alternative School setting
  • Create Virtual School Resource Center
  • Have room to expand to meet workforce needs of the Demopolis area
  • Purchase school bus to transport students from Westside to the Ratliff Center Daily
  • Purchase school bus to transport students from DHS to the Career Center Daily

Westside ($16,045,000)

  • Create Pre K-5th grade campus (1,300 student capacity)
  • Update original building (floors, walls, doors, cabinetry, and paint)
  • Convert old cafeteria into extended day center and indoor playground
  • Convert old gym to two severe special needs classrooms with common physical and occupational therapy areas
  • Convert old library to AMSTI/STEM lab
  • Flip campus to face Maria Avenue
  • Include carpool lanes, parking, and bus/van pick-up areas to stack traffic on campus
  • Build three new 10 classroom wings
  • Build new administrative/elective building (media center, art room and patio, music room, a second AMSTI/STEM lab and offices)
  • Build new cafeteria
  • Build new multipurpose building with stage

Priority Two (2017-2018)

Demopolis Middle School ($3,425,000)

  • Renovate Interior of existing building (floors, walls, doors, cabinetry, and paint)
  • Create dining addition to current cafeteria
  • Build parking lot and carpool lanes on east side of campus

Demopolis High School ($515,000)

  • Create four lane entrance (two lanes from Hwy. 80 to field house and two lanes from the tennis courts to Hwy. 80)
  • Update all restrooms
  • Update all hallway floors
  • Update all carpeted areas

Priority Three (2018-2019)

Demopolis Middle School ($1,825,000)

  • Build new wing (STEM/robotics, art, broadcasting, severe special needs, two classrooms)
  • Update entrance and office space
  • Remove cut through and replace with common area/courtyard
  • Exterior enhancements

Demopolis High School ($1,500,000)

  • Build multipurpose activity/physical education gym on southwest of campus west of the auditorium

Priority Four (2020-2021)

Demopolis Middle School ($2,100,000)

  • Build 14,000 square foot gym on current baseball field

Demopolis High School ($2,500,000)

  • Build 20,000-square-foot indoor multipurpose indoor practice facility
  • Turf football field
  • Parking lot on southeast corner of campus

PDF renderings of proposed changes at each campus are included below:

Westside Elementary School

U.S. Jones Elementary School

Demopolis Middle School

Demopolis High School

GUEST OPINION: More than a score

In the 2012 regular legislative session, the Alabama legislature passed Act No. 2012-402, also known as the A-F school report card.  After years of hard work from a group of leading educators in Alabama a formula was presented, reluctantly, on how the state legislature would grade each Alabama school.  Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the leading law maker behind this Act dismissed the recommendations presented by some of this state’s primary educators. Subsequently, it has been reported that a formula will be used to place schools on a bell curve which will always have no more than 6% at the lower end and no more than 6% at the top end.  The top 6% will receive a grade of an A and the bottom 6% will receive a grade of a F.  29.3% of the remaining schools will receive a B, 29.3% will receive a C, and 29.3% will receive a D.  Fortunately, this is not how we grade our student’s classwork and assessments.

Kallhoff. (WAW | Contributed)

Kallhoff. (WAW | Contributed)

This translates to most schools in Alabama (58.6%) receiving a C or D because of where they fall on the bell curve.  Again, we are fortunate that teachers do not grade students using this same approach.  Many states have attempted this A-F method to grade schools and yielded no positive results, but only stigmatized schools and the hard work of teachers with a failing grade.  States like Oklahoma, New Mexico, Florida, and Louisiana are all recovering from the belittling of public schools because of an A-F report card.  It appears that the lawmakers in Alabama could learn from their peers, or perhaps do they want to stigmatize public schools in the Yellowhammer state?

In Alabama we use the ACT suite of assessments as our summative (end of the year) measure to determine how well schools, grade-levels, teachers, and even students performed.  Some would argue that ACT types of assessments are not to be used for this purpose.  After all, ACT was designed to measure college readiness as their website states, “It’s a fact that more than 1.8 million graduates have taken the ACT® each year—making us the leading US college admissions testing company.

So why are we using the results of assessments from the leading US college admissions testing company to comprise the majority of a report card grade for schools in Alabama?  The question is rhetorical, but it does make you think. With the right assessments and metrics, some of the qualities of a school or school system such as student achievement, learning gains, graduation rates, and attendance rates can be measured.  Consequently, many factors will not and cannot be measured when determining the effectiveness of a school using the A-F report card as required by Act No. 2012-402.  These immeasurable factors include impact from poverty, funding inequities, environmental barriers to learning, the multiple roles a teacher plays in their students’ lives (i.e., parent, nurse, social worker, counselor, mentor, and advocate), and the many hours dedicated to their profession which go far beyond the 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. work day.  There are many transparent and fair ways of recognizing accomplishments of schools, but rank ordering students will only be stigmatizing.

When these report cards are released, no matter where your child’s school falls on the bell curve, remember when it comes to good schools, it’s more than a score.

Kyle Kallhoff, Superintendent

Demopolis City School System

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.