Board considers changes to absence policy

Oneonta City Board of Education

The Oneonta City Board of Education was presented with the first rendition of proposed changes to the district’s absences and excuses policy in a special meeting Monday. It did not vote to adopt or reject the proposed policy change, but will do so at the next board meeting. The proposed change reduces the number of excused absences via parental note from five per semester currently to four per semester (or from 10 per school year to eight per school year). District academic accountability coordinator Lauren Wilson said the proposed change reflects a statewide emphasis on reducing the number of students with more than 15 absences per year, the level defined as chronic absenteeism.

Wilson also reported to the board that construction of the middle school STEAM lab began the first of this week and would be complete by the end of the week.

The board approved personnel and operating recommendations of Superintendent Daniel Smith. It approved:

• enrollment of 13 non-resident elementary school students for the 2019- 2020 school year.

• continued enrollment of two non-resident high school students and one new non-resident high school student for the 2019-2020 school year.

• the following resignations: Robyn Lowe, high school science teacher, Chantiel Carr, high school library media specialist, and Rachel Jimerson, Child Nutrition Program worker, all effective immediately, and Maggie Battles, elementary teacher.

• employment of the following individuals: Jennifer Gallaghar as middle school English teacher, Tammy Schatz as high school science teacher, and Elize-Marie Zocher as Child Nutrition Program worker, all effective Aug. 5, and Maggie Battles as high school library media specialist, effective Aug. 19.

• the special education aide position for the 2019-2020 school year.

• the elementary school, middle school, and high school Student Handbooks for the 2019-2020 school year.

• the district Chromebook policy for the 2019-2020 school year.

• advancement and technology funds for fiscal year 2019.

• declaring surplus the maintenance/ transportation building.

Board president Don Maples reported that he and other board members had met by phone with bond providers and would discuss in a future meeting availability of funds relative to proposed capital projects.

Smith informed the board that a team of district administrators will attend the annual Alabama State Department of Education summer meeting in Mobile next week.

All members of the board attended the Monday special meeting: Maples, Ricky Hicks, Sharon Breaseale, Steve Anderton, and Patrick Adams. The next Oneonta City Board of Education special meeting has been called for Monday, July 15, at 7:30 a.m.