WEDOWEE - Randolph County Board of Education met on Tuesday of last week with some members one place and some another, but the board met and made some important decisions.
At the beginning of the meeting, Superintendent John Jacobs stated the meeting was in full accordance of the law, even though no one from the public was allowed to attend. "From the governor's order issued in March, we are able to meet in a meeting such as this and still be within the law. I just wanted to make that clear to everyone watching by video and here is person."
In the first order of business, the board approved an emergency declaration to receive bids on repairs at Randolph County High School and Woodland High School. Recent storms caused a considerable amount of damage to the football field at both schools.
"We have had the architect look at the damage at both schools, and an estimated cost of repairs is close to $70,000 just at Randolph County High School," Jacobs said. "Bids are being prepared so hopefully we can get them back and have repairs made as soon as possible."
In his superintendent's report, Jacobs gave the board some good news and some bad news. The bad news was someone had vandalized the driver's education vehicle outside the central office, broke into a storage building at RCHS and broke into the field house at RCHS.
"There is so much damage to the driver's education car that I don't know if it can be repaired where it would be safe to use," Jacobs said. "They did a pretty good job under the hood, broke windows and tore up the inside."
It was noted that the board will check with local dealers about a new car.
In good news, the superintendent reported:
- New buses have arrived.
- Even though kindergarten, sixth-grade and eighth-grade graduations have been cancelled, it will be determined after May 15 when high school graduations could be held. Jacobs noted it would not be before July.
- County schools will receive CARES Disaster funds that will be used to purchase high tech disinfecting equipment for all schools.
- An adjustment to the school calendar may have to be made to set a date for the start of school. That decision will come in the next few weeks.
- Jacobs noted teachers and staff have done a great job under some tough circumstances, working with students on work packets and with Chromebooks. The board will look into purchasing additional Chromebooks and textbooks.
Conference call with state superintendent
As part of his report, Jacobs told the board he had participated in a lengthy conference call with State School Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey. Mackey said the funds that come to the county schools should remain the same for 2020-2021 and the schools will have the same number of teacher units as approved by the state.
Mackey said the start of school and other school activities would be based on data of the coronavirus and not based on any particular dates. Jacobs said the state superintendent hopes teachers can return to their schools around June 1, and athletics could return as early as June 8.
Jacobs said as far as athletics there would be some strict guidelines. "No one under 12 will be allowed to participate, and groups may get together but no more than 10 in a group," Jacobs said. Mackey doesn't know when football games would be scheduled. "I am in close contact with the state, and when I know something, I will let you know," Jacobs told the board.
In personnel business, the school board:
¥ Approved the resignation of Kelly Looney, special education teacher at Woodland, effective the last day of the 2019-2020 school year.
¥ Approved maternity leave for Nyeiahulia Rich of Wedowee Elementary from April 15 to May 10.
¥ Approved the resignation due to retirement of Renae Carpenter, math teacher at Woodland effective May 22.
¥ Approved the resignation due to retirement of Denise Loveless, family and consumer science teacher at Wadley, effective June 1.
¥ Approved non-renewal of classified positions: Mary Turner, paraprofessional at Wedowee Middle School, Morgan Smith, paraprofessional at Wadley High School, Elyssa Johnson, paraprofessional at Woodland Elementary School, and Amanda Caldwell, custodian at Woodland Elementary School.
¥ Approved the non-renewal of Jeff Jackson, elementary PE teacher at Woodland.
In other business, the board:
- Approved the contract with Jacqueline Burgess, director therapist of the Tri-County Children's Advocacy Center. Jacobs said he needed the approval but did not know if the program would be needed.
- Approved the contract with the Department of Public Examiners of Public Accounts for the annual audit of the school system.
- Approved the 3 and 1 rule relating to health insurance payments for first-year employees.