As you may recall, increased elementary enrollment, combined with an increasing array of classes and services that the District is required to offer, has caused rather cramped conditions in the elementary building. Superintendent Robin Spears told the Board that the KIDS (Keep Improving District Schools) Committee has been meeting and has come up with a very preliminary concept as to the direction an elementary school expansion should take.
Some of the things the Committee is looking at include an in-ceiling HVAC system for the entire building, both the old section and the addition, as well as new carpet and casework in the existing part of the school building. He mentioned that an in-ceiling HVAC system would require asbestos removal, since there is asbestos in the ceiling of the current building. Spears described the Committee as “moving pretty quick” on the concept and design of the proposed addition, but stressed that at this point there is only a concept on a direction to take, and not a definite plan in place.
In other School Board news, the Board toured the recently updated Middle School Synergistic Technology Lab during their Thursday meeting. Larie De Groot took the Board members around to each of the lab’s modules, telling them a little something about each one. Each module is designed to give middle school students hands-on educational experience in subjects ranging from bioengineering, to electronics, to robotics, to sustainable agriculture, and more. She said one of the the modules, biotechnology, covers such topics as gene splicing and DNA analysis. The Synergistic Lab got an approximately $100,000 upgrade over the summer, which included updated software and computer hardware for each of the lab’s modules, as well as the addition of nine new subject modules. The Synergistic Lab’s curriculum is centered on STEM, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
In other action, the Board approved the contracts for two Substitute Bus Drivers, as well as an Instructional Aide at the High School, and approved a Field Experience, Practicum and Intern Agreement with the University of West Alabama for this school year. Spears told the Board this was due to a local student who is seeking an online degree in Counselling through the University of West Alabama.
The Board also approved a change of date for their regular October meeting. It will be held the third Wednesday of the month, October 17th, beginning at 6:00 pm in the High School Library.