Monitoring week went well says Looney

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Superintendent Mike Looney told the Board of Education that results of a weeklong comprehensive monitoring of the Butler County School System by the state were &#8220overwhelmingly positive” during last Thursday night's monthly meeting.

In the last monitoring cycle, four years ago, Looney said the system received 30 citations. This year, Butler County schools were cited for 12 discrepancies, according to Looney, a number of which could be corrected on site.

On Thursday, the board took steps to correct other citations, voting to advertise to employ an additional school nurse and a new teacher position in the alternative school.

Looney also requested permission to give teacher applicants for the upcoming school year letters of intent to hire.

&#8220Other states - like Georgia and Florida - can offer teacher candidates contracts on the spot,” he said. &#8220In Alabama we require board approval. What we'd like to do is give our prospective applicants letters of intent to hire.”

Although the letter of intent can secure a commitment from an applicant, said Looney, it cannot bind the board to actually hiring the prospective employee. He said the school system would be looking to hire at least five certified employees in 2006-07.

In other business, the board:

n Recognized its Teachers of the Year, which included Angie McCaster (Georgiana High School); Randall Fullington (Greenville High School); Samantha Stabler (Greenville Middle School); Kathy Robertson (Greenville Elementary School); Susan Andrews (McKenzie High School); and Lillian Gardner (W.O. Parmer Elementary). Additionally, Fullington was named Secondary Teacher of the Year and Gardner was named Elementary Teacher of the Year.

However, Board Member Joe Lisenby said because the process of applying for Teacher of the Year was so involved, he felt many quality teachers simply chose not to complete the requirements.

&#8220I think we should devise a plan where every school should select several Teacher of the Year candidates,” he said. &#8220We need to give well-deserved recognition to all of our outstanding teachers.”

n Forwarded an agenda item to approve a school calendar for 2006-07. Looney said a bill to add five days to all school calendars in Alabama had passed the House of Representatives on Thursday.

&#8220I don't think we should move on this yet until we find out whether or not that bill will become law,” he said. &#8220Also, we need to allow the parents some input into the school calendar because it will affect them as well.”

n Approved an activity trip cost increase for schools from $0.50 to $1.11, which will allow the school system to recoup its expense on field trips and activities that utilize school buses.

n Approved switching telephone service providers from CenturyTel to Camellia Communications, which Looney said research had indicated would save the school system approximately $8,000 annually.

n Approved Looney's request to re-bid the McKenzie High School gymnasium project.