In April, the board voted to shut down three county schools — Sipsey Elementary/Jr. High, T.S. Boyd Elementary/Jr. High and Parrish High School. The closings have not only affected students and their families, but they have also affected the schools’ faculty and staff.
Walker County Superintendent Jason Adkins said it has been “difficult” trying to sort all the information and place board employees in various positions, but he, along with board members, decided it would be better to personally mail the non-renewals to those who may or may not be working in the system next year.
“There are few jobs and a lot of people. Some schools are over on teaching units and some schools are under ... But, a decision has to be made and to do otherwise would negate and weaken the whole principle behind the process that we’ve been through to begin with,” Adkins said. “Without saying, there will be a lot of people that end up the first time we go around with this that won’t have a job to start with, and we hope that as the summer goes on that we’ll be able to get some of those back, and then all of them back as time goes on.
Adkins said the board had to fill 47 positions as a result of the schools closing. Letters will be sent out today notifying those non-tenured teachers.
“A lot of those people weren’t here [tonight] ... It just creates mass chaos, especially when you go through a situation like what we’ve gone through right now, and I think it’s best that they get that in the privacy of their home and deal with that in a more confined environment,” Adkins said. “We should probably do a little bit more of a professional job than putting it on a piece of paper for everybody to read ... I think it’s a little bit more considerate to do that privately.”
Board members voted unanimously to approve all personnel lists, including the regular list (leaves of absences, resignations and retirements), professional list, support list, professional transfer list, support transfer list, professional non-renewal list and the support non-renewal list.
“Although we’re not going to try to make up all that, we’re not going to do it all at one time, but we’re getting pretty close to that. We may hire some of those back as the summer goes on,” Adkins said.
In other business, the board:
•accepted the financial statement and bank reconciliation for March 2014.
•allowed 12-month employees permission to work four 10-hour days, four days a week Monday through Thursday, from May 30 until Aug. 1. The regular work week will resume Aug. 4.
•approved summer school sites to be located at Carbon Hill High School, Cordova High School and Valley Jr. High.
•approved a resolution concerning the Municipal Water Pollution Prevention (MWPP) annual report for Valley Jr. High.
•approved four school trips.
•approved a partial payment of $8,500 to be used for lockers at Lupton Jr. High.
•approved changes to the school handbook for the 2014-2015 school year.
•approved the adoption of social studies textbooks.
•approved technology changes to the student handbook.
•approved updated acceptable use policy.
•approved Head Start training and information reports (information only), Head Start program information and budget reports and Head Start 2012-2013 annual report (addressing areas of non-compliance).
After the meeting, the board went into an executive session to discuss personal student matters.
The board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for June 12.