Back to school

Good Hope Elementary third grade teacher Sara Kirkpatrick reads to her students on the first day of school in Aug. 2019.

Cullman County students will be coming back to school a little later than usual after the Cullman County School Board approved a change in the 2020-2021 calendar.

During Monday night's board meeting, which was closed to the public but streamed on Facebook, Cullman County Schools Superintendent Shane Barnette said students will now be returning to school on Aug. 20, rather than the originally planned start date of Aug. 6.

He said the change was requested by State Superintendent Eric Mackey, who asked school systems to move the beginning of the school year to as late as possible.

Systems are typically required to have 180 student days in the year, but the state will be granting a waiver to systems to allow them to have 175 days in the coming year, Barnette said.

He said teachers will still be reporting to school on Aug. 3, so to make the calendar change possible, some of the professional development days that would have had students stay at home later in the year will now be moved to the beginning of the year before students return to their schools.

Further guidance from the state will be sent out to school systems in the form of a handbook to tell them the things they will need to address before students are back in school, Barnette said.

"I don't know what those restrictions are going to look like, I don't know what those requirements are going to be, but they're going to roll this out June 19," he said.

With those possible restrictions coming, the state asked school systems to delay the beginning of the year to make sure they were able to follow those guidelines, Barnette said.

"I hope and pray that we'll get to come back face-to-face in August," he said. "I don't have any reason to think that we won't, but there could be a lot of restrictions in that document and I'm not sure what they'll look like."

In other business, the board:

Approved to pay the following for up to five unused Annual Leave days, as per board policy:

Vicky Butler, Vicky Johnson.

Approved a request from Good Hope Primary School to pay Scotty Cofer ($500) and Joey Overton ($700) to refinish gym floors, paid by local school funds.

Approved a request from Good Hope Primary School to pay Theresa Davis $3,500 to refinish floors, paid by local school funds.

Approved a request from Hanceville High School to pay Timothy Bellman $2,500 for assisting with the 2019-2020 varsity basketball team, paid by the Hanceville High School booster club.

Approved a request from Hanceville High School to pay Paul Quattlebaum $550 for assisting with the 2019-2020 varsity baseball team, paid by the Hanceville High School booster club account.

Approved a request from West Point Intermediate to pay Nick White and Toby Denson $1,350 each to refinish floors, paid by local school funds.

Approved a request from the following schools to offer Summer School/Credit Advancement and Approved of summer school personnel, paid by tuition/local school funds:

Cold Springs High School - April Burgess

Fairview High School - Anthony Gamble

Good Hope High School - Adrianna Skutchan

Hanceville High School - Brent Barnett

Holly Pond High School - Karen Rowell & Melanie Hall

Vinemont High School - Christy Stephens

West Point High School - Dr. Wes Black

Approved a request from the following schools to offer Summer Drivers Education and Approved of personnel, paid by tuition/local school funds:

Good Hope High School - Mitch Witcher

Holly Pond High School - Brett Neal

Vinemont High School - Jason Teichmiller

West Point High School - Don Farley

Approved March 2020 financial statements.

Approved March 2020 bills and salaries in the amount of $3,079,736.11.

Approved to pay select teachers a stipend for district approved summer work and/or training, as per salary schedule, to be paid by state, federal or general fund.

Approved a request from the Child Nutrition Department for Student paid meal price to increase in the amount of .30 cents to meet State and Federal guidelines: Student Paid Lunch- $2.75.

Approved a request from the Child Nutrition Department of the new updated Cullman County Wellness Policy and Appendix A (DWC) Contacts.

Approved a request from the Child Nutrition Department to operate summer feeding (SFSP) June 10-July 15 and Approved of the following personnel- paid at their regular hourly rate per salary schedule from SFSP funds: Kerrie McCluskey, Leah Ransom, Tammy Thompson, Allison Shikles, Allison Sims, Misty Pearson, Donna Freeman, Brenda Maynard, Karen Merriman, Janet Gaston, Connie Duke, Virgina Rhoades, Nora Campbell, Sheila Morgan, Amie White, Amanda Carter, April Rusk.

Approved a request from the Child Nutrition Department to provide contract meals for Community Action for calendar year 2020/2021.

Approved a request from the Transportation Department for soccer and tennis to be approved as an athletic event for the purpose of invoicing each school for fuel used- effective February 2020.

Approved a request from Anita Kilpatrick, Textbook Coordinator, to approve the K-5 Elementary Math series adoption as voted on by the Elementary Math Textbook Committee: Into Math, publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Approved a request from Anita Kilpatrick, Textbook Coordinator, to approve the Health Textbook adoption as voted on by the Health Textbook Committee: Essential Health, publisher- Goodheart-Wilcox.

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