Board approves budget, salutes employees

Blount County Board of Education

The Blount County Board of Education’s meeting last Thursday had a special start as the board passed a resolution thanking and honoring all employees of the Blount County School system. It’s no secret that beginning the school year amid a pandemic poses a challenge, so the BOE extended this token of appreciation for all of the extra efforts needed in these trying times.

The resolution states, “…the success of our children and communities are significantly influenced by school employees who dedicate their talents of heart and mind… all school employees play a vital role in providing for student welfare and student safety…

“…all school employees have gone above and beyond the call of duty in supporting our students, families, and staff members during the COVID-19 pandemic… the Blount County BOE expresses its sincere gratitude for all you do to help students, to support your colleagues, and to make our schools stronger as we get through this together.”

In other news, Green announced that he will begin accepting bids Oct. 22 for improvements at Susan Moore High School (band room, classroom, kitchen, and dining room).

He also reported that teachers and a large number of students within the Locust Fork schools were under quarantine due to COVID-19. Some were the result of a positive test, but most were the result of exposure. For this reason, Locust Fork High and Elementary schools closed for in-person learning Tuesday, Sept. 8, through Tuesday, Sept. 15.

The second public hearing for the proposed FY 2021 budget followed the meeting. Included with the superintendent’s summary were updated figures for state, local, and federal revenues. A breakdown of revenue and expenditures for each school was also discussed.

Also, the board discussed the system’s capital improvement plan, another state requirement that must be approved and submitted to the ASDE by Sept. 30. The plan includes both current projects as well as future projects over the next five years.

The board approved both the 2020-21 budget as presented and the five-year capital plan. In other business, the BOE approved Green’s recommendations: Agreements/contracts

• Blountsville Elementary’s contract with Walsworth Yearbooks for the 2021-22 yearbook publication; and tutoring contracts with Debra Goble and Carol Hayes for Oct. 1, 2020, to May 21, 2021.

• Cleveland High’s contracts with Misty Jones (operate and run the concession stand) and Stephanie Sherbet (clean the stadium) for the 2020-21 football season.

• Hayden Primary’s contracts with Elijah O’Rear to perform periodic landscaping projects (July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021); and Debra McPherson to provide Tier III reading intervention (Sept. 11 to Oct. 31).

• Hayden High’s contracts with Samuel Crane, Andrew McKinney, and Sherman Matthew Murphree for mowing and general upkeep of the campus (Sept. 1, 2020, to Aug. 31, 2021); Keith Register for athletic administrative duties and summer program (Sept. 1, 2020, through Aug. 31, 2021).

• J.B. Pennington’s contracts with Heather Gaylor Banks and Amanda Darnell to serve as auxiliary coaches (Oct. 1, 2020, to Sept. 30, 2021); and Cecil Todd Cassity for an additional coaching supplement for the 2020-21 school year.

• contracts with Cynthia Harbison (Sept. 1 to Oct. 31); and Lara Wamble (Aug. 21, 2020, to May 27, 2021).

• contracts with the Alabama State Department of Education – X2O085, X200864, and X201012.

• contracts for technology coaches beginning Oct. 1, 2020, and ending Sept. 30, 2021.

• contracts with Ida Burton to provide translation services on an as-needed basis and Dr. Rhonda Poling to provide counseling services (Oct.1, 2020, to Sept. 30, 2021).

• approve the LEA Title I Consolidated Plan. Retirements/resignations

• retirements of Susan Allred, child nutrition program, Southeastern, Oct. 1; and Stephen Hooper, custodian, Blount County Career Technical Center, Dec. 1.

• resignation of Ashley Pace, special education aide, Hayden Middle, effective Sept. 14. Employment (certified)

• Olivia Henry, teacher, Susan Moore Elementary, beginning Sept. 8. Employment (classified)

• Ali Irwin, custodian, Hayden Elementary, beginning Sept. 9.

• Bonnie DeAnn Martin, child nutrition program, J.B. Pennington, beginning Sept. 14. Leaves of Absence

• Amanda Anderson, Pre-K auxiliary teacher, Cleveland Elementary, beginning Nov. 9, 2020, and ending Jan. 11, 2021.

• Abby Martin, teacher, Southeastern, beginning Oct. 22 and ending December 18. General matters

• Approved salary supplements for the 2020-21 school year based upon written requests from principals for athletic coaches, cheerleader sponsors, band directors, and persons assigned to maintain the athletic program fields during summer months. These supplements are based upon the board-approved supplement list and do not include supplements paid from local school funds.

• Approved Andrea Register as a substitute during the 2020-21 school year.

• Approved the 2020-21 Textbook Committee.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 5, at 1 p.m., in the district’s central office located at 204 2nd Avenue East, Oneonta.