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Brewton BOE OKs at-risk allocations

By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP – Managing Editor
The Brewton Board of Education met Monday and approved spending allocations for two programs through state funding.
Of $43,000 designated by the state for at-risk spending, the state requires that 20 percent go toward a non-profit, community-based organization. The board approved that amount, approximately $9,000, to go to The Bridge's Compass School located in Atmore.
The school houses about 20 at-risk pupils from Escambia County. According to Superintendent Lynn Smith, four students from the city school system attend the school.
Another requirement of the state for the at-risk allocations is that 40 percent of the remainder of the money go to fund alternative programs. The board approved to apply that money to the system's in-school suspension program.
The board also addressed a proposal from the Brewton Education Association, an employee organization, that will allow teachers and support personnel to "purchase" additional leave days during the school year.
Smith said the personnel would be allowed to purchase the personal day for the cost of a substitute.
Smith also said that board members may consider offering additional leave days in exchange for grades meeting certain goals such as test scores.
Smith said the average number of personal days taken by teachers each year is eight.
No recommendation was offered to the board for approval during the meeting.
Other items discussed at the meeting included:
McBride told board members that the program has been a success and she thanked them for supporting it.
Gerlach told the board that the college is offering 12 credit hours to high school students this year - six in the fall and six more in the spring.
The classes include Western Civilization I, Art Appreciation, Western Civilization II and General Psychology. According to Gerlach, all these classes will transfer to other colleges.
The program is funded through the Neal Trust. The four classes, textbooks and fees are valued at $1,000.
Students must be in the tenth, eleventh or twelfth grades, have an A-B average, have permission from their principal or counselor and successfully completed JDCC's placement test;
The board nominated and approved to allow Lilly Dove to serve as their delegate to the December meeting to be held in Birmingham;
The card is used by teachers for the purchase of supplies. There was no cost to the school system and is a continuing agreement that needed approval;
The board approved the purchase of a John Deere 457 lawn mower to replace an older, less reliable one. After a trade-in of the old mower, the system will spend approximately $4,000 on the purchase;
The program is a debt service provided through the Alabama Association of School Boards that helps schools draw on bonds at low interest rates.
The board approved the recommendation to participate in the program;
The board approved to cancel a contract with Bill's Janitorial Service for work at T.R. Miller High School. According to Smith, the contract can be cancelled by either party with a 60-day notice.
The contract will be rebidded;
The board approved to become a member at the cost of $1,105;
Smith said some teachers and other staff members are paid for working at football games, cleaning the stadium and other events.
Smith said there is no expense to the board, but needed to approve to postpone the payment schedule to October. The board approved the change;
Smith said the amount for the program will be changed from $8945 to $7,560. He said the program was still within the projected target.
The adjustment was approved;
Smith said that three large ventilation fans were originally to be protected with aluminum vents. But, due to safety and maintenance, it has been recommended to change the order to steel. The cost will be $4,950.
The recommendation approved the change order.
Smith added that an electric inspection of the new gym was scheduled for Wednesday and that bleachers were to be installed over the next week. He said he hoped the gym would be turned over to the school by the end of the month;
The board approved Donnie Rotch, Lisa Atkinson, Sharon Peacock, Sharon Davidson, Vicki Fussell and Becky Stallworth to the program's advisory board.
The program is designed to help students meet high school graduation requirements.