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Marengo County Schools reports slight increase in enrollment

Enrollment throughout the Marengo County school district is up by three students, the first increase in several years, Marengo County Superintendent Luther Hallmark said during the Aug. 27 board of education meeting.

A.L. Johnson High School’s enrollment is at 178 students, 13 above last year’s 165. However, Marengo High School and Sweet Water High School both saw drops in enrollment numbers compared to last year. MHS’ enrollment decreased from 571 students to 564 and SWHS’ numbers from 223 to 221.

Enrollment numbers are watched closely by school officials as they play a large role in distribution of public funds to school systems. The more students a school system serves, the more likely it is to be awarded a larger portion of allotted funds.

Rita Wright, child nutrition program director, discussed the findings of the child nutrition audit with the board. The audit took place at SWHS in 2018, and the findings were recently delivered to the school system.

Of the six citations, one was an error on the auditor’s part and four others, such as clerical errors and the lack of a written procurement plan though Wright was in the process of adopting one at the time of the audit, were easily fixed.

The sixth citation, dealing with the Alabama Department of Education’s Smart Snack policy requiring food in school cafeterias, snack rooms and concession stands meet certain nutritional requirements, left Wright questioning the best way to adhere while still offering snacks that students are willing to purchase.

“Find out what [Demopolis and Thomasville city school districts] are doing, and we’ll see what we can do,” BOE President Chester Moore said.

In other back-to-school news, each principal in the school district said that the Open House at their school was successful and that the school year has started out without any problems.

“They seem to be eager to learn, ready to get back to school,” said David Miller, principal at Marengo High School.

Dual enrollment throughout the school system has also garnered interest among students.

The BOE also approved the following items:

• financial reports for July.

• bid for copier paper with Contract Paper Group for 300 cases of 8.5-by-11 paper for $8,610.

• capital plan.

• 2019-2020 ATBE vehicle insurance.

• 2019-2020 Helping Hands Contract (occupational and physical therapy).

• 2019-2020 Gifted Contract.

• 2019-2020 Parent and Family Liaison/Attendance Contracts.

• 2019-2020 Teacher intervention Contracts.

• 2019-2020 Part-Time Instructional Teacher Contracts.

• Superintendents’ personnel recommendations.

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 26, 4 p.m. on the second-floor board room of the Marengo County Office Building. The budget hearings have been set for Sept. 12 and 13 at 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. respectively.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, September 4 issue of the Demopolis Times.)