At last Thursday's Randolph County Board of Education meeting, the board met in executive session for some 50 minutes before approving the personnel action recommendations.

A number of students and parents from Woodland were in attendance at the meeting and one student representing students at the school was called into the session with the board. It is not known exactly why the board met in executive session, but on the agenda it stated "to discuss current litigation and personnel."

After coming back into session, the board approved the following personnel actions:

  •  To non-renew the employment contract of Kristy McKinzey as English teacher at Woodland High School.
  •  To non-renew the employment contract of Josh Ledbetter, math teacher at Woodland High.
  •  Resignation of Paige Jones, custodian at Wadley High School.
  •  Resignation of Katie Richardson, lunchroom worker at Randolph County High School.
  •  Resignation due to retirement of Gilda Stewart, kindergarten teacher at Woodland Elementary.
  •  Brianna Jones as speech-language teacher at Wedowee Elementary.
  •  Jessica Robinson as elementary teacher at Wedowee Elementary.
  •  Elizabeth Dunham as elementary teacher at Rock Mills Junior High School.
  •  Alyssa Kent as elementary teacher at Wadley.
  •  Rodney Berryhill as custodian at Rock Mills.
  •  Hannah Norton as special education teacher at Woodland Elementary.
  •  Carrie Whatley and Michelle Curtis as substitute teachers and substitute support personnel.

Superintendent's report

In his report, Superintendent John Jacobs said this year has been the most difficult year ever for the school system. He said, "I feel for the kids because they have missed out on so much. The teachers have had to work extra hard, and I commend them."

Jacobs said if anything like this happens again (the pandemic), we will be prepared. He explained, "We had to change as we went through it, and I am proud of everybody." He said he suggests staff and students have the vaccination, but it is not required. The state of emergency is ending in July and there will be no mask or distancing requirements. Jacobs said, "As of right now - and of course it is subject to change - we will be back in school this fall."

Jacobs told the board the school system lost 118 students this year. He told the group, "That translates into 7.7 teacher units. What that means is we will be losing some money, but the state does have a reserve fund, so hopefully we won't lose those units." Jacobs said he hopes those lost students would return this year. He said, "I have no idea where they went ... online school, another system or just didn't go to school. A lot of those were kindergarten students."

The superintendent said the system will hold reading initiative classes for three weeks, and students will be fed breakfast and lunch. He said, "Those attending were invited to attend after a review of test scores."

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a three-year contract renewal for the chief financial officer.
  • Agreed to continue the Memorandum of Agreement with the Alabama State Department of Education as it relates to Sherry Brown and the Alabama Reading Initiative.
  • Approved the contract with Margie Murphy from June 1 to Sept. 30 on an as-needed basis during the conversion of INOW (nutrition program) to PowerSchool and to assist in the support of the Student Information system and Child Nutrition Program at a rate of $25 per hour.
  • Approved the contract with Brooke Laney for special education services at a rate of $41.66 per hour from June 1 to July 30.
  • Approved an out-of-state field trip for Woodland High School Band to perform at Universal Studios in Orlando from March 23 to March 27, 2022.
  • Approved the hourly rate of pay for all employees working summer programs to be $10 above their hourly regular hourly rate of pay for the summer of 2021 due to unfinished learning support due to the pandemic. the money will come from COVID-19 funds.
  • Approved the vocational school, Rock Mills, Wedowee Elementary, Wedowee Middle and Woodland Elementary $2,500 each for summer maintenance needs and Wadley, RCHS and Woodland High $3,800 each for the same services.
  • Approved pay of summer janitors for all schools at $10 above their hourly rate. The money will come from COVID-19 funds.

WEDOWEE - In a called meeting last Tuesday, Randolph County Board of Education continued to get ready for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year w…

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