DCSS moves forward with ADA projects

Published 12:08 pm Tuesday, October 24, 2017

BOE approves negotiations related to 2015 complaint

The Demopolis City Schools Board of Education approved Monday a measure that will allow officials to move forward with negotiations related to a complaint regarding compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The school system received a complaint in April 2015 regarding a lack of compliance with ADA at Demopolis Middle School. The measure passed Tuesday allows the system to enter negotiations and to execute the U.S. Department of Education and the Office for Civil Rights agreement for ADA standards compliance.

Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff told the board if the system did not proceed with compliance, the system could lose federal funding.

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Following the vote to approve the negotiations, the board entered into an agreement with Ward Scott Architecture to conduct an accessibility survey, develop an accessibility plan, and oversee bidding and construction to bring DMS into ADA compliance.

“This was the number one priority in our capital plan,” Kallhoff said.

A five-year capital plan was approved by the board in September and included a $50,000 project to add wheelchair ramps and lifts, restrooms, and water fountains at the middle school. The system will also work to renovate all student bathrooms at each school. That project could also be done in 2018 and would cost about $80,000. According to the capital plan, the project would be done in 2018.

In other action, the board approved a Visitor Management System for all four schools. Kallhoff said the system would help secure campuses as visitors would have to scan an identification card, such as a driver’s license, in order to enter the school.

The cost for installation at all four schools will be $3,000 with an annual fee each year for updating information.

“When any visitor comes to our schools, (the system) will make sure they are clear to enter. Once the system is set up, we will establish rules that are consistent for across all of our campuses,” Kallhoff said.

Other items discussed by the board included:

• approving the personnel report, which included conditional employment for Major Walker as a transportation and maintenance assistance; Madoline Huff and Geraldine Walker as substitutes; and transferring Reginald Atkins from DMS to DHS as a special education aide.

• approving a field trip for JROTC.

• approving a final payment of $10,000 for installation of A-Plus software.

• approving an agreement with the Blackbelt Community Foundation Headstart to provide lunches at U.S. Jones Elementary.

The board and superintendent met in executive session prior to concluding the regular session. The next regular board meeting will be Monday, Nov. 13, 5:15 p.m., at the central office.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, October 18 edition of the Demopolis Times.)