Knight-Enloe Elementary School will receive a new playground in the coming weeks. Allison Murr is to be thanked for this, as she has worked hard to raise approximately $12,000 over the last two years for this playground. Murr was also nominated by Cathy Hardnett for the "National LifeChanger of the Year Award" for her hard work on this matter.

Roanoke City Schools Superintendent, Chuck Marcum expressed his gratitude and satisfaction with how the start of the new school year has begun at all three city schools.

During the meeting on Tuesday evening of last week, he specifically noted his thanks to Chief Adam Melton and Roanoke Police Department for their part in making sure traffic flowed smoothly the first week of school. He also commended our "administrators, faculty and staff for all of their work."

The BOE Summer Meal Program provided 7,427 meals to students this past summer. CNP director Regina Fulgham, Handley High School lunchroom manager Mary Cagle and Handley Middle School lunchroom manager Wendy Brown, along with others who made this program successful, are to be applauded for their hard work. This project was taken on to ensure students are being fed when they are not in school.

A contract was approved between Roanoke City Schools and the Jefferson County Purchasing Division to join the Purchasing Association of Central Alabama (PACA) in order to provide joint bidding collaboration for goods and services and increase purchasing power for smaller agencies.

Personnel actions

There are seven new teachers and four new mentors in the Roanoke City School System. The new teachers are Olivia Rumohr, Taylor Striblin, Melanie Nagel, Torre Pike, Loren Padgett, Sandra Davidson and Kimberly Burke. The news mentors are Summer Johnson, Susan Smith, Mandi Yarbrough and Tina Glass.

A stipend of $1,000 was recommended for new mentor teachers for providing support to first-year teachers who have no teaching experience.

Two new substitutes have been added to the system, Tuesday Baker and Diana L. Vinson. Vinson will also serve as the new nurse substitute.

Discipline comparisons

Knight-Enloe Elementary School reported a decrease in their number of discipline referrals given out in the 2017-2018 school year in comparison to the 2018-2019 school year. Seventy students were referred to the office in the 2017-2018 school year as opposed to only 37 students this past school year. The administrators believe this to be attributed to implementing positive incentives throughout the school building. For example, posters were hung with pictures of teachers performing the right vs. wrong ways to act in school. Teachers were instructed to bring their children around to the posters and point out the correct ways to behave. Administrators are looking this year to reach out to local pastors to come speak to the students, and they also want to have a "Boy's Club" that will teach young men how to be gentlemen.

Handley Middle School had a significant decrease in referrals given from the 2017-2018 school year to the 2018-2019 school year. Three hundred fifty-four referrals were given in the 2017-2018 school year, and only 236 were given this past school year. This is a 33 percent decrease. There are many reasons to attribute to this wonderful decrease. Assistant principal Homer Hector lead mini PD sessions on handling common classroom behavior problems using resources from Dr. Randy Sprick Safe & Civil Schools. Also, during the 2018-2019 school year, the administration added emphasis on counseling during ISS time to cut down on recidivism. There has also been a strong emphasis placed upon constant, positive teacher-parent interactions. HMS teachers made calls home to parents to tell them when their child was acting extremely well or when they accomplished a great task. These positive parent phone calls really helped the moral of the school and lowered discipline rates. On the 100th day of school, Principal Lynn Robinson challenged all teachers to make 100 phone calls that day and was proud when that goal was met. The school plans to continue these positive phone calls throughout this year.

KES and HMS have been selected to participate in the Alabama State Personnel Development Grant Project: Creating Effective School Climates and Cultures. Faculty will receive professional development to make meaningful improvements in climate, safety and connectedness by guiding school leadership teams through a strategic planning process.

Handley High School had only a one-student decrease in their number of referrals given out last year compared to the 2017-2018 year. This minimal decrease is attributed to vaping or having a vape device on school property. With the rise of this popular activity from the previous year, many students have found a way to purchase these devices and have brought them on school grounds. Now that authorities are aware of what is happening, they are cracking down on depleting the use of these in students not only at school, but out of school as well. Administrators at Handley High plan to have speakers talk to the students on the use of vaping. Administrators also quickly inform the students of stories that happen nationwide to individuals who vape. They hope that bringing awareness and discipline to this matter will decrease the number of students who do this.

Budget hearing

A 4 percent raise has been implemented across the board for all employees from the state. There has also been an increase in supply funds for teachers. This increase now gives each teacher $600 for classroom supplies each year. A special thanks is to be given to Randolph County Commissioners for the sales tax that created this increase. Superintendent Marcum instructed all personnel to thank the commissioners personally for their support of public education.

Roanoke City Schools plans to come out of the 2019-2020 school year with at least $44,000 still left in the budget. They plan to have a general expenditure of $11,708,575 for this school year with nearly 80 percent of that money going to pay teachers. Nine percent of that expenditure will go towards operations and maintenance. Roughly 67 percent of the budget is accumulated from state taxes, 11 percent is from federal, 21 percent is local and 0.34 percent is from other sources.

Enrollment numbers

Here are some more interesting figures learned at the budget hearings:

Knight Enloe Elementary: 481 students, 60.33 staff

Handley Middle School: 535 student, 55.05 staff

Handley High School: 487 students, 46.87 staff

At least 55 percent of the teachers in the Roanoke City School System have a master's degree or higher.

(These statistics are as of Aug. 12. Decimal numbers are determined by full vs. part time staff.)

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