School enrollment down for county

Published 9:11 am Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Board of Education received information about declining student enrollment in the county from Superintendent Randy Wilkes at Monday night’s meeting.

For the purpose of allocating teacher units, the state measures average attendance for school by the first 20 days after Labor Day, which was from Sept. 6 to Oct. 3 this year.

Wilkes said that Brantley had a slight increase, while Highland Home gained almost an entire teaching unit.

Email newsletter signup

On the other hand, Luverne stands to lose nearly four teaching units because of an enrollment drop of over 50 students.

Wilkes also said that he has a feeling that the state legislature will adjust the divisors for fiscal year 2013, which will affect how many teaching units a school earns per student.

“When they go up, units earned go down,” he said.

“I feel like FY13 is going to be a tougher year financially than this year,” Wilkes added.

County-wide, trends are up in terms of the number of free and reduced lunches being served.

“I feel like that has to do with the economy as much as anything,” Wilkes said.

Wilkes also announced that the county has received an E-Rate Approval for $307,000, which will require at $76,000 match from the CCBOE.

“Those funds will be used for the renovation of technology infrastructure throughout the system,” he said. “We will take out these 15-year-old hubs, switches and other antiquated things that we continue to patch. It should give us a much faster and reliable system.”

The board also reviewed the system’s capital project plans, which includes plans to improve the Luverne and Highland Home gyms with air conditioning.

The system has around $628,000 left in a Qualified Zone Academy Bond (QZAB), which is a federal grant program used to renovating schools.

Plans are also in place to improve the heating and cooling systems in the front building of Highland Home that houses the office, the Luverne 5th-6th grade building and kindergarten building.

During the meeting, the board also tackled the issue of replacing Director of Career and Technical Education Tony Stallworth, who accepted a position as Associate Executive Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association.

Stallworth also serves as an administrative assistant at Luverne.

Wilkes said that Ashley Catrett, who serves as Director of Curriculum and Federal Programs, will assume the Career Tech responsibilities and that other duties will be shifted around the Central Office.

“Luverne School needs an assistant principal full time,” Wilkes said. “With that said, I’d like to bring someone back to the table at a special-called meeting. We have the spot open, and the funds and allocation to hire someone. Safety and discipline come first, and we’ve got to have that at our schools.”

The position will be posted, and the date of that meeting has not yet been set.

The board also promoted Tonya Hermeling to Secretary to the Superintendent, which fills the position vacated by LaFreda Griffin, who was named Community Education Coordinator.
Hermeling’s former position will not be filled.

The next regular board meeting is tentatively scheduled for Monday, Nov. 21 at 6 p.m.