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April 4, 2013

County schools to discuss safety, half-cent revenue at community meetings

CULLMAN — School safety will be a major topic at this month’s slate of Cullman County school community meetings, in the wake of some recent national school shootings that have made headlines.

The Cullman County Board of Education holds community meetings in every local district each semester, and Superintendent Billy Coleman said they’ve decided to tweak the format this year.

The meetings, which are held for parents and community members to learn more about their local schools, typically focus on one keynote issue followed by a question-and-answer session with parents. But this year, Coleman said they’re bringing a handful of topics that will be given equal time for discussion.

From the recently passed half-cent sales tax, to school safety upgrades, Coleman said there should be a lot to talk about this month.

“There will be several different topics, but one thing we’ll certainly be talking about is school safety. That will be one major focus,” Coleman said. “We’ll talk about our engineering initiative, and give everyone an update on the half-cent sales tax and how it’s being used. There won’t really be one overall topic, but a lot of things getting equal time.”

The meeting schedule has also been overhauled this semester, with most moving from the late evening to immediately after school. Coleman said he hopes the change will help encourage more community engagement.

“Usually each school sets their own time locally, but last time we had one right after school and it was one of the most well-attended meetings we had,” Coleman said. “We’re hoping if we make it more convenient, where folks don’t have to make an extra trip, we’ll have better attendance. This way, a lot of parents are already there to pick up their kids. We just want to get as many people here as possible.”

The community meeting schedule includes:

* Tuesday, April 9 at 3:15 p.m. Vinemont lunch room.

* Monday, April 15 at 3:30 p.m. Good Hope lunch room.

* Tuesday, April 16 at 3:15 p.m. Fairview auditorium.

* Monday, April 22 at 6 p.m. Hanceville First Baptist Church.

* Tuesday, April 23 at 3:15 p.m. Holly Pond High School library.

* Monday, April 29 at 3:15 p.m. West Point High School lunch room.

* Tuesday, April 30 at 6 p.m. Cold Springs School lunch room.

* Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at trentm@cullmantimes.com, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.

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