Cullman County Schools will be returning from summer break without strict COVID-19 procedures in place, but one change from last year will be remaining in place after positive feedback from students and teachers.
During Thursday’s meeting of the Cullman County School Board, Superintendent Shane Barnette said schools will open five days a week and masks will be optional for students and staff members, but students will again be split into two groups for the first two days of school.
He said students with last names beginning with A-K will have their first day of school on Wednesday, Aug. 11, and students with last names beginning with L-Z will have their first day of school on Thursday, Aug. 12. All students will then attend school that Friday.
“We did it last year primarily because of COVID, but it worked so well that we decided to do it again,” he said.
The school board also heard its annual audit report from Kim Swafford of the Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts, who said the state’s auditors have issued an unmodified opinion on the audit of the system’s Fiscal Year 2019-2020 finances.
“This means that the financial statements are presented fairly in accordance with generally accepted accounting standards,” she said. “We noted no matters to indicate that the board had not complied in all material respects with applicable laws and regulations.”
The office also conducted an audit on the board’s federal financial assistance programs, including special education, food care and COVID-19 relief funds, and issued an unmodified opinion on those as well, Swafford said.
Barnette thanked Chief School Financial Officer Ed Roberson and the bookkeepers at each school for making sure that the system’s accounting practices remain in order, as well as any teachers of staff members who handle money and make sure that is properly accounted for.
“Over the last few years, these have continually gotten better,” he said. “For a school system of our size to have a clean audit is pretty remarkable.”
In other business, the board:
- Approved to pay April Burgess for up to five unused annual leave days, as per board policy.
- Approved a request from CNP to operate SFSP from June 11 through July 2 and a request to pay the following employees their hourly rate, as paid by SFSP: Wendy Mann, Melanie Bentley, Julie Smith.
- Approved a request from CNP to pay program staff for additional training on July 26-27, not included in normal employment days, paid their regular salary rate by CNP funds.
- Approved a request from Holly Pond High School to pay Lexi Sullivan a stipend of $100 per day for computer science training on July 6-9, paid by local school funds.
- Approved a request from Parkside School to pay Jacy Douglas a stipend of $750 for the 2020-2021 yearbook, paid by local school funds.
- Approved a request from Vinemont High School to pay the following for additional summer duties with Vinemont basketball, paid by local school funds: Mike Williams- $1,328, Preston Boyd- $1,243, Lance Lay- $1,298.
- Approved a request from West Point Middle School to pay Toby Denson a stipend of $400 for attending four days of computer science training this summer, paid by local school funds.
- Approved 2020-2021 afterschool program and personnel (personnel paid by local school funds): Harmony- Heather Jones.
- Approved May 2021 financial statements.
- Approved May 2021 bills and salaries in the amount of $8,411,518.84.
- Approved an out-of-state field trip request for Cold Springs High School cross country team to travel to Roan Mountain, Tenn. for a cross country tournament on Aug. 2-4.
- Appointed 2021-2022 probationary principals:
- Stacie Olinger, Hanceville Elementary School.
- Susan Patrick, Hanceville Middle School.
- Approved 2021-2022 contract principals:
- Kim Brown, Vinemont Elementary School.
- Chris Chambers, Child Development Center.
- Tonya Cupp, Good Hope Primary School.
- Eric Dickerson, Cold Springs High School.
- Chris Gambrill, Fairview High School.
- Marty Hardman, Fairview Elementary School.
- Lesley Hembree, Good Hope Middle School.
- John Hood, Good Hope High School.
- Beverly Jenkins, Good Hope Elementary School.
- Michael Jones, West Point Intermediate School.
- Steve Miller, Holly Pond High School.
- Robin Netherton, Vinemont High School.
- Richard Orr, Parkside School.
- Micah Rice, Cold Springs Elementary School.
- Cyndi Roden, CARE.
- Karen Sparks, Holly Pond Elementary/Middle School.
- Kevin Sullins, Harmony.
- Blake Thompson, West Point Middle School.
- Billy Troutman, Cullman Area Technology Academy.
- Trina Walker, Fairview Middle School.
- Daniel Wakefield, Hanceville High School.
- Gina Webb, Welti Elementary School.
- Johnny Whaley, Vinemont Middle School.
- Angie Yarbrough, West Point Elementary School.
- Heith Yearwood, West Point High School.
- Approved a request to pay the following $100 per day for advisory and suicide prevention lesson development K-8, paid by ESSER funds: Kelly Scott, Tiffany Davis.
- Approved a request for reimbursements for the overnight travel allowance on hotels/motels to increase from $225 to $325 per day or the conference hotel rate, whichever is larger for travel within the state.
- Approved a resolution to authorize the employment of Mercer and Associates to perform an audit of the Cullman County Commission on Education.
- Approved a request to contract with Edifi, Derinda Weathersby, for the 2021-2022 school year for the following as needed: Assistance with state monitoring, school improvement laws, accreditation requirements and other data collection and analysis.
- Approved a request for Haynes Riddle to serve as Administrative CTE Consultant and Work-Based Learning Coordinator for Cullman City Schools for the 2022 school year. Administrative activities will occur outside of normal CCBOE hours. One-year contract will be funded by Cullman City Schools.
- Approved a request from the transportation director to accept the bid from Virgil B. Fowler Insurance Company for automobile/fleet insurance from the 2021-2022 school year.
- Approved a request from the transportation director to accept the bid from Insurance and Investment Consultants, Inc. for the school day/athletic insurance for the 2021-2022 school year.
- Approved a request from the transportation director for permission to hire Phyllis Jo Harris, bus driver at Fairview/Parkside schools, for temporary office clerical work in the transportation department at the central office paid at her hourly rate of pay effective June, July and August 2021, paid by transportation funds.
- The Cullman City School Board will next meet on Aug. 12 in the Central Office Board Room, with a work session beginning at 3:30 p.m. and the meeting immediately following.