• 77°

Demopolis BOE preps for 2018-19 school year

The Demopolis Board of Education worked toward the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, approving a number of items including contracts and compensation association with school security.

Among the items discussed was a planned project at Demopolis Middle School that would make the facility compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The board had sent out bids for the project, but according to Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff, the bids came in too high leading the board to separate the work into two separate projects.

The board approved Monday to move forward with Phase I of that project, accepting a bid of $20,900 to construct a ramp at the front of the middle school. There will also be a wheelchair ramp, signage and other compliancy needs.

Kallhoff said the second phase is being planned for next year.

The board also approved an expenditure of $80,000 associated with costs for School Resource Officers in partnership with the Demopolis Police Department. Kallhoff said the funding would ensure that officers are available at each of the city’s four campuses. Increasing school safety has been a priority for school and city officials as a response to school shootings across the country, including in Parkland, Florida where 17 people were killed in Feburary.

“I can’t say this is forever, but we can do it this year,” Kallhoff said.

Kallhoff also reported to the board that new school access entry systems have been installed, which will result in changes to how visitors enter each campus. He said more information on the system would be made available to the public.

Other items discussed by the board included:

• approving the replacement of the HVAC system in the middle school cafeteria with a bid of $22,968.

• approving contracts associated with the Child Nutrition Program, including milk, $83,769; produce, $59,056; and ice cream, $9297.50.

• hearing a report from Emily Tyler of the State Auditors Office who pointed out several discrepancies in journal entries as well as a need for two new policies. One policy, Uniform Administrative Requirements Policy, was approved by the board as a first reading with a public hearing date set for July 26, at 3:30 p.m. The second pertained to religious freedom and has been approved by the board.

• approving a contract for a part-time lawn maintenance position.

• approving disposal of unused textbooks.

• approving extra-curricular supplements for the 2018-19 school year.

• approving a bid for paper at $19,000.

• approving several field trips already being planned for the coming school year

• approving a personal report that included: Victoria Loper, teacher at U.S. Jones; Amanda Bovis, English teacher at DHS; Cody Sanders, science teacher at DHS; Marylen Bracht, history teacher at DHS; Teran Jimmerson, Pre-K teacher at WES; Amber McDaniel, teacher at WES; Emily Drake, teacher at WES; and Norma “Renee” Ethridge, CNP worker at DMS.

• Kallhoff reported that expects work on a STEAM lab to be completed by the first week of August and that new touchscreen panel monitors are currently being installed at DMS.

Also as part of the approved personnel report, the resignation of special education aide Pam Morgan was accepted and the transfer of Judy Pritchett from a Pre-K aide to a regular aide at WES was approved.

The next regular meeting of the board will be held August 20 at 5:15 p.m. at the central office.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, July 18 issue of the Demopolis Times.)