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Demopolis City Schools score well in first year of new assessments

The Demopolis Board of Education presented the results of the 2013-14 testing by the Demopolis City Schools during Monday night’s board meeting.

At U.S. Jones Elementary, students showed the most proficiency in English and math with reading, science and writing still needing some work. All grade levels at USJ either met the national average or were close to it.

At Demopolis Middle School, English and reading were the top two subjects with science, math and writing following behind. Students in each grade level, like at U.S. Jones, were either at or near the national average in each subject.

High school students were analyzed based on the ACT scores of juniors. The average score of the 143 juniors who took the ACT last year was 18.5, compared to a state average of 18.3. Superintendent Al Griffin said he was proud of how each of the schools tested.

“If we aren’t at 100 percent, we aren’t going to be satisfied, but for the first year of these testing standards, we’re at a good starting point,” he said. “We’re going to implement some writing strategies so we can improve in that area. Overall, I’m proud of our staff and our students for these scores.”

During Monday night’s meeting, the board passed a resolution supporting amendment 4, which will appear on the ballot on Tuesday, Nov. 4. The amendment requires a larger majority by the Alabama Legislature to pass unfunded mandates on local school boards.

Currently, a simple majority vote is required. Amendment 4 would increase that threshold to a two-thirds majority vote. The change provided in Amendment 4 does not apply to legislation that addresses compensation, benefits or due process rights of any employee of a board of education.

In other business, the board approved a motion to change the timeframe in which athletic supplements are disbursed, beginning with the 2015-16 school year. Right now, supplements are paid over the period of the school year beginning in September, so supplements for spring sports are being paid in the fall.

The board voted to make the disbursements in December and May annually for fall and spring sports, respectively.

The board also approved the following personnel recommendations from Griffin:

•Approve maternity leave for Andrea Johnson from April 1, 2015 through August 2015

•Approve maternity leave for Addy Card from Jan. 25, 2015 through March 15, 2015

•Hire Paschal Dunne as a soccer volunteer once all required paperwork is completed

•Modify 2014-15 supplements to reflect Lisa McHugh as DMS head cheerleader sponsor and Jennifer Lay as assistant sponsor

•Accept immediate resignation of Ronnie Edwards as DMS custodian

•Post DMS custodian position from Oct. 21 until Nov. 3

•Hire Master Sgt. Rhule Pringle Jr. as Demopolis High School JROTC instructor

•Approve Family Medical Leave Act request for Susan Browder

In other business, the board took the following action:

•Approve board member Carolyn Moore as the board delegate at the Alabama Association of School Boards Convention in December

•Approve overnight travel for the DHS band to attend the Southern Star Festival of Champions in Pensacola, Fla., on April 29-May 3, 2015

•Approve business case analysis letter of interest with Schneider Electric

•Approve requesting the Alabama Department of Public Examiners to perform the Demopolis City Schools audit for fiscal year 2014

The next regularly schedule board meeting will be held Monday, Nov. 17 at 5:15 p.m.