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Vickers, board pleased with start

Demopolis City Schools Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers congratulated all schools for having a great start to the school year at the monthly meeting of the Demopolis City Board of Education Monday.

Vickers said that all four city schools met all of the academic goals. “We have a lot to be proud of,” he said. “Three schools met 100 percent of their overall goals, while one school met 94 percent.”

Other actions taken at the board meeting included:

The board approved field trips for the upcoming year. Those field trips included: Westside Elementary: a kindergarten trip to Circle-S Ranch near Cuba on Oct. 24, a kindergarten trip to the Montgomery Zoo on April 10 and a second-grade class trip to DeSoto Caverns on March 6; U.S. Jones Elementary: a trip for grades 4 and 5 to the Alabama 4-H Center n Columbiana on Sept. 15-17 and a fifth-grade trip to the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center for “Disney on Ice” on Oct. 31; Demopolis Middle School: a Beta Club/Future Business Leaders of America trip to Disney World for the Disney World Youth Education Program on Nov. 17-21, a seventh-grade English class trip to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival on Nov. 25 and a school trip to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival on April 22; Demopolis Middle School and Demopolis High School: a trip for the Distributive Education Clubs of America, FCCLA, FBLA and SkillsUSA to the Joint Leadership Development Conference in Montgomery on Sept. 30.

The board recognized retiring employees Barbara Hill and Cathy Leet, who each retired last summer.

The board changed the schedule for the proposed budget hearings. The first meeting will now be held on Monday, Aug. 25, at 5:15 p.m., and the second meeting will be held on Monday, Sept. 8, at 5:15 p.m. The change was made due to the Alabama School Boards Association meeting scheduled for Sept. 15. The board also voted to moved its next monthly meeting from Sept. 15 to Sept. 8, due to that conflict.

Demopolis school principals gave their administrative reports.

WES principal Connie Brown said that the fencing project was completed and two firefighters walked along it and discussed safety issues with her. She also said that Scout Night would be on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the WES cafeteria. The Westside PTA membership drive is also under way.

U.S. Jones Elementary principal Dr. Tony Speegle said that 570 students were enrolled at his school, and praised the teachers for their door decorations, which they did themselves on their own time.

DMS principal Clarence Jackson Jr. said the faculty, staff and students were adjusting to the seven-period day. He also said that the football schedule was completed, and that football and volleyball practice was under way. He said that the field trips were changing the culture of DMS, as an arts grant provided $8,000 for pictures to be displayed around the school and provided funds for three of the school’s planned field trips for this year.

DHS principal Dr. Isaac Espy Jr. said that participation in dual enrollment was up 25 percent this fall. He added that he was “very, very excited” about the first-generation college students program, bolstered by scholarship funds aided by local industries. He mentioned that he would like to provide an Alabama Southern Community College catalog and allow high school students to take an ASCC course as credit. He said that allowing students to take evening classes would provide more flexibility in scheduling. Members of the DHS chapter of Future Teachers of Alabama were in attendance at the meeting. Chapter president Courtney Hoven addressed the board, and was accompanied by FTA members Kamie Johnson and Chelsea Alvin. “This (FTA) program will pay dividends in education,” Espy said.