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School board pursuing Jemison band room drawings

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The Chilton County Board of Education will be getting architectural drawings for a band room expansion or addition for Jemison High School following a vote on July 20.

Moving forward with getting the plans was approved as a part of the consent agenda.

The need for more space has been a topic of discussion in multiple other meetings related to how the school board would spend $9.3 million from a recent state bond issue for capital projects. These funds can only be used for projects that cost $50,000 or more.

This project had been left off a list of projects for the drawing phase because some preliminary drawings were thought to already exist that would meet state requirements.

Later in the meeting, Board President Pam Price questioned if there will be enough funding to complete all of the planned projects.

Superintendent Jason Griffin said the bids were not back on all the projects, so how far the money will go is still unknown.

The board also approved contracts for 22 teachers for the Teacher Excellence and Accountability for Math and Science program. This state program provides funding to increase the salary for math and science teachers who qualify. The legislation to create the program was signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey in May to help fill positions in these subject areas by providing incentives. Chilton County Schools is approving all of the first contracts as one-year preliminary contracts. Qualifying teachers can get a longer contract if they complete an advanced degree or National Board Certification.

Several resignations were improved during the meeting, including Clanton Intermediate school teacher Blake Maddox, Maplesville High School teacher Adam Hix, Chilton County High School teachers Dwight Swindle, William Sexton and John Watkins, Clanton Elementary School teachers Jennifer Cooper and Patricia Latham and Jemison Elementary School teacher Lauren Lukela.

Replacements for Maddox and Hix were approved as well as set new teachers for CIS, JES, Jemison Middle, CES, CCHS and Clanton Middle.

A contract for ELL services for the coming school year was removed from the consent agenda as board members expressed concern that a contract had already been approved for this person to work 25 hours a week for the special education department. The plan is for a new contract to be written including both departments that would be using the person and a maximum number of hours per week.

Also during the meeting, the board approved:

  • Allowing up to five days of vacation time to rollover for 12-month employees for one year.
  • Supplements for the 2021-2022 school year. Price and board member Jacqueline Sullivan voted against. Supplements are paid out of local tax revenue to the school system and sometimes from school booster clubs.
  • Allowing the Clanton evening Lions Club to rent Chilton County High School.
  • The student parent handbook for the 2021-2022 school year.
  • Plumbing bids.
  • Assessment to be used for kindergarten through eighth grade.

A special called board meeting will be held on Aug. 3 at 5:30 p.m. at the Chilton County Schools central office in Clanton.