Board approves routine items as discontent stirs over report cards

Blount County Board of Education

District 3 (Susan Moore) board member Philip Cleveland apologized to the full board at its special meeting Thursday concerning the 2018-2019 state report card results of Susan Moore High School. The school scored a C (78) for the year, the only school in the county system to score below a B.The school has improved by one point each year for the last three years–from a C (76) in 2017 to a C (77) in 2017 to the C (78) this year.

Referring to the result as “unacceptable” and “embarrassing,” Cleveland vowed to the board that the school would not be the school at the bottom of county schools list in its report card score next year, adding that he was not “wishing on anyone else” the dubious distinction of being the lowest scoring school in the county.

“There are some things already underway,” Cleveland said, to address the need for improvement in the school’s report card performance. An item he identified was the need for immediate improvement in several outstanding deficiencies in the high school building’s physical plant, including restrooms apparently damaged by vandalism, although he did not use that word, referring only to graffiti on the walls and damaged or perhaps missing stalls. He also mentioned problems in other areas of the building with damaged or missing ceiling tiles.

Cleveland said he expected the board to help him address the deficiencies at Susan Moore as soon as possible, since deficient and unsightly surroundings could affect students’ state of mind and performance on academic tasks.

In discussion of an architect’s rendering of a new field house planned for Hayden High School, Cleveland spoke informally to District 1 (Hayden) board member Ken Benton, sitting at the far end of the panel, reassuring him that he knew the Hayden project had been needed for some time and that he was in favor of the project and would vote for it (included in the upcoming superintendent’s recommendations to be voted upon as the last item of the day’s business). Benton had earlier expressed to Cleveland his understanding of the challenges present at Susan Moore High School, saying to Cleveland that no apology was necessary.

Following the opening discussion, the board approved Superintendent Rodney Green’s operating recommendations for the period. It approved:

Employment

• Davis Joseph Kiger II as long-term substitute social science teacher at Hayden Middle School, effective Oct. 28.

• Charlsie Nicole Moss as long-term substitute English Language Arts teacher at Hayden Middle School, effective Oct. 28.

Leaves of absence/retirements

• Susan Morgan, Child Nutrition Program employee at Locust Fork High School, from Oct. 8 to Nov. 5.

• amending Linda Tipton’s retirement date from Jan. 1 2020, to Dec. 1, 2019.

Field trip

• Hayden Middle School sixth-grade students to Camp McDowell in Nauvoo, May 13-15, 2020.

Bids/contracts renewed

• fencing with Diamond Fence Co. Inc. of Hayden.

• plumbing with Scott Collett of Warrior.

• concrete with Kirkpatrick Concrete of Guntersville.

School resource officers’ salaries

• paying the Blount County Commission $46,856.26 for the portion of School Resource Officers’ salaries not covered by the Tobacco Tax Act of 2004.

New agreements/contracts

• Appalachian School’s contract with The Lake Wedding & Special Events Venue in Oneonta for the 2019-2020 junior-senior prom.

• Cleveland High School’s contracts with: John McRae to sell tickets and take up money, Tiffany Barnett to clean the gym after, and Rebecca Maniscalco to manage and operate the concession stand at all home basketball games during the 2019-2020 season.

• Hayden High School’s contracts with: Carolyn Rebecca Hargett to work the gate, Terry Bibb to operate the concession stand, and Robert Bradford to announce varsity at all home basketball games during the 2019-2020 season; Jeremy Champion for credit recovery from Oct. 1, 2019, to Sept. 30, 2020; and Jeremy Penny to serve as a math mulligan tutor for Hayden High School students from Oct. 1, 2019, to Sept. 30, 2020.

• Susan Moore High School’s contract with Dewayne Standridge to serve as the concession stand manager at all home basketball games during the 2019-2020 season.

• Locust Fork High School’s contract with Trugreen for softball field maintenance during the 2019-2020 school year.

• Blount County Board of Education’s contracts: HB 19/20-004 with Peggy Harris; HB 19/20-005 with Michelle Odom; and HB 19/20-006 with Jana Palmer.

• Blount County BOE’s: grant agreement No. 29 with the Alabama Construction Industry craft training board; memorandum of agreement X200303 with the Alabama State Department of Education; contracted services agreement with Bridgeway Services LLC from Oct. 1, 2019, to Sept. 30, 2020; and amended food services contract (dated Aug. 1, 2019) with the Community Action Partnership of North Alabama from Nov. 1, 2019, to July 31, 2020.

Other

• amended 2019-2020 salary schedules as follows: added Bryon Chapman as the junior varsity softball coach at Southeastern; and split the varsity cheer supplement between Denise McMullin and Yvette Chambers.

• awarding the bid for construction of a new field house at Hayden High School’s football stadium to Boatner Construction of Gadsden, at a cost of $1.92 million.