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DCSS applies for fourth Pre-K program at WES

Kyle Kallhoff, Demopolis City Schools Superintendent, shared with the Demopolis Board of Education at a called meeting on Wednesday that the Alabama State Department of Education strongly encouraged the school system to apply for another preschool program as soon as possible.

Kallhoff said that “it’s very favorable that we could get another program immediately,” given the state department’s recommendation. He said Westside Elementary School Principal Roshanda Jackson would apply for the additional program no later than Saturday, Aug. 4.

The system currently has three preschool classes at WES, with 32 students on a waiting list for the program.

“The state department said you could expect a quick turnaround on that application. More than likely, we’re going to be able to serve 18 more of those 32 on that waiting list,” Kallhoff said.

He told the board that he will go ahead and post positions for the program in case it is approved, and it would likely be the second week of school before the program is started. He said it was state-funded and would not cost the school system any additional money.

Kallhoff also verified that there was enough interest in the program so that it would be filled to capacity.

The board also approved the Demopolis Police Department Memorandum of Understanding for four School Resource Officers, which described the duties and responsibilities of both the DPD and the school system for the SRO Program.

The SRO Program will assign a police officer to each school to provide safety for all students, faculty, staff as well as others involved with the school system.

Kallhoff told the board that he and Director of Public Safety Tommie Reese discussed ways for the police department to provide security at varsity sporting events while reducing the associated costs. The City of Demopolis charges for such services, and Kallhoff said that last year approximately $7-8,000 from the athletic programs budget was used for security. Kallhoff said that they have not yet found a solution but will keep working towards one.

“His budget doesn’t change, and ours doesn’t either. But we’ve got to find a different way to do that without taking $8,000 out of the athletic programs budget.”

Board Member Harris Hurst also asked about safety training that the police officers receive and if they could provide training to the students at any point during the school year, to which Kallhoff replied “I’m going to make a point to make sure that we do know in our schools that ‘hey, we can use them for whole-group trainings or for presentations to classes.’”

Other items discussed by the board include:

• approving the personnel report that included Nan Dollar, Jennie Campbell, Suzanne Hughes, Natasha Ladnier as substitute teachers and the substitute roster, as well as WES’ Trena Reynolds’ request for maternity leave. Hughes will be a long-term substitute in place of Reynolds, and Ladnier will serve as a long-term substitute for Pre-K Special Education.

Rosie Tuck’s transfer as a Special Education Aide from Demopolis Middle School to the same position at Demopolis High School effective Aug. 6 and U.S. Jones Elementary School’s Mary Griffin’s transfer from a full-time SAP paraprofessional to a part-time SAP paraprofessional and a part-time paraprofessional in the Impact 180 evening program with no loss in pay were also approved, as well as U.S. Jones’ Kaley Criswell’s resignation as a special education teacher effective immediately.

• approving the 2018-19 Code of Conduct.

• approving the ADA Project Change Order which would result in relocating the dumpsters outside of the STEAM Center location and allow the placement of two ADA Pads for individuals with visual impairments instead of one. The cost of adding two pads instead of one will be $540.

• approving the contract for McKewn Dannelly as an assistant baseball and football coach at DHS. The board also renewed system-wide contracts with Genesis Rehabilitation for occupational and physical therapy services, Susan Clark for speech pathology and Susan Hollinger for psychometry.

• tabling the approval of the formation of the Football Booster Club until the next meeting.

• approving the superintendent’s Demopolis Rotary Club dues.

• tabling the naming of the STEAM Center.

• entering executive session.

• readmitting a student into the school system following a student hearing.

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 Saturday, August 4 issue of the Demopolis Times.)