“Paul Gay, who was the head of the department, reviewed federal programs, support services, technology, transportation, so on and so forth. They went into each and every school. In his own words he said, ‘I thought it was an excellent review, and you ought to be proud of this,’” Adkins said. “He said out of 50 systems, this was a first this particular year for not having a citation at all for Virtual Alabama, and also he said that he had never seen a system this large with no citation in prevention and support, which is safety.”
Virtual Alabama is a program developed for schools in Alabama where law enforcement can view images of the school buildings and know the ins and outs of each one. Adkins said it cost $25,000 to purchase and set up Virtual Alabama throughout the county. He also added that the system did not receive a citation in the area of transportation either.
“I think another first was that he said it was almost unbelievable to have a system of this size and not have a citation in transportation. We had some issues with that prior to the review, and I want to publicly thank the principals who corrected those situations,” Adkins said, “and some of those situations are not easy to correct when you have two or three schools involved. ... The communication across the different levels of administration to the teachers to the students to the moms and dads was excellent.”
Toward the end of the agenda, Chairman Brad Ingle recognized Hugh Plylar of the Walker County Constables and asked him to approach the podium. Due to the excessive rate of mass shootings occurring across the nation, many schools and businesses have increased their security measures. Last month the Jasper Police Department was awarded a $218,420 grant to be used to hire two school resource officers within the Jasper City School System.
Ingle said he, Adkins and the board have “been tossing the idea around” about using Plylar and Don Frazier as resource officers until a more permanent replacement can be found.
“Our primary concern as a county is our children and their safety. ... It had been brought to my attention the possibility that the county was considering using some type of resource officers until the appropriations could be made that the county could afford to hire resource officers for each county school,” Plylar said. “We are wanting to offer our services as constables ... We want to continue as constables to be active in law enforcement.”
District 3 board member Bill Edd Gilbert said, “I thank y’all for your interest most of all. You know it’s not about us, it’s about our children. ... I think, personally, it’s a great idea to give the children a sense of security.”
In other business, board members:
•recognized Kelsey Tittle and Lisa Lockhart as instructors over the agriconstruction program at Cordova High School and business management and administration program at Dora High School, respectively.
•recognized AASB School Board Academy Achievements for board members Dale Reeves, who completed levels two and three, and Gilbert, who completed level one.
•approved the minutes from the Sept. 10 and Sept. 12 meetings.
•accepted the financial statement and bank reconciliation for August 2013.
•approved all personnel lists.
•approved changes to the 2013-2014 Student Handbook.
•approved the Medicaid Administrative Claim Program contracts.
•approved non-faculty (volunteer) coaches.
•approved Carbon Hill Jr. High seventh and eighth grades to take an educational trip to Washington D.C., March 3-8.
•selected two delegates and one alternate for the AASB Delegate Assembly.
•approved the HeadStart Policy Council members and Information and Training reports.
•and approved Parrish Elementary to enter into a loan agreement to purchase a mower for the school.
The next regular board meeting will be Thursday, Nov. 14, at 4:30 p.m.