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DCSS sets hearings for proposed policies

The first public readings of two potential new policies highlighted the first Demopolis City Schools System Board of Education meeting of the 2017-2018 school year Monday. Both policy changes are required by Alabama State Legislature, according to school officials.

The first policy presented by Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff, the Jason Flatt Act, regards youth suicide awareness and prevention. The policy calls for employees to receive training to identify suicidal characteristics in students.

Kallhoff then introduced the Religious Liberties policy, which protects students and parents from discrimination because of religious beliefs. A public hearing for both policies will be held Thursday, Sept. 7 at 9:30 a.m. at the central office.

Public hearings were set for the 2017-18 budget, which will be Sept. 7 at 10 a.m. and Sept. 11 at 4:30 p.m. with a called meeting at 5 p.m. to consider approval of the budget.

The superintendent also urged the board to attend the Sept. 12 Marengo County Commission meeting with him after the board approved a resolution to petition the commission to consider a renewal of a 3-mil tax for District 2, which includes the city of Demopolis. The tax requires a voter approval for renewal every 10 years.

The board also approved a five-year lease agreement worth $5,000 annually with TEQlease for the company’s Impero Computer Monitoring Software.

The software will allow for the monitoring of computers to restrict use to certain websites and prevent users from visiting inappropriate websites. A second use will be that it’ll allow the central office IT department to install software programs on multiple computers from just one base unit instead of having to do the same job on individual units according to Kallhoff.

During his comments, Kallhoff said the start of the school year was smooth and the best he has experienced in his 20 years of education. He also said that the work in professional development and effort by the teachers and administrators has helped ease into the new school year as the system handles approximately 2,300 students.

Kallhoff also said the system was fully staffed aside for needing to hire a nine-month custodian at Demopolis High School. The board will also advertise for a part-time LPN at Demopolis Middle School.

Other action items approved include the following:

• A hold harmless agreement with the Demopolis Police Department for the use of the DMS for National Night Out on Thursday, Sept. 12.

• A renewal of a Memorandum of Understanding with the DPD for two resource officers.

• Contract for Susan Hollinger to provide psychometric services to administer testing for special education and gifted students.

• The Equipment Financing Agreement with Government Capital Corporation for the Active Panel Promethian installation project.

• DHS Cross Country team for an overnight trip to Moulton from Nov. 10-11 and two out-of-state trips to Meridian on Sept. 16 and Sept. 30.

In the personnel report, the confirmed the following:

• Hiring of Rebecca Hasty as bookkeeper at DMS.

• Hiring of Annie Collins and Betsy Stephens as substitues.

• Dana Hill as head tennis coach, taking over for Sam Moseley.

• Maternity leave requests for Whitney Mosely from U.S. Jones Elementary beginning on Feb. 18, 2018, and Kristi Stokes from USJ beginning on Jan. 3, 2018.

• Family Medical leave requests for Tammi Western-Scott, DMS teacher, and Katrina Sprinkle as the long-term substitute.

• Rodney Lewis as DMS assistant football coach for supplement of $1,189.

• Norvie Womack as DMS athletic director for supplement of $1,400.

• Name correction from Aug. 2 personnel report from Javalynn Williams to Javalynn Wilson Henderson.

Board members were invited to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, Sept. 15, at 9 p.m. for the new Pre-K program at Westside Elementary School. Immediately following, there will be a dedication of wooden planter boxes.

The idea, developed by University of West Alabama student Allie Marques, saw boxes constructed by CEMEX employees and have three boxes placed at each of the four campuses.

The next regular meeting is set for Monday, Sept. 18 at 5:15 p.m.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, August 23, print edition of the Demopolis Times.)