Opp BOE passes new honor grad policies

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Next year’s incoming freshmen at Opp High School will have to work harder if they want to be the valedictorian, salutatorian or a highest honor graduate.

At Tuesday’s board meeting, the board unanimously approved changes to the board policies, which includes making the move to require students to be on the honors diploma track to be the valedictorian, salutatorian or a highest honor graduate.

Stude-nts must earn a 95 or above for highest honor graduate status.

Parents need not worry, if their child is on another track, they will still be rewarded for their good grades.

Students in the other tracks will still be eligible for honor student status, just not the highest honor.

Superintendent Michael Smithart said proper procedure was followed in order to establish the new policies.

“It sat for 30 days,” Smithart said. “We had no adverse comments about the changes, and they will be posted online, so the public will have access.”

Copies will also be available at each of the three schools’ libraries, and the Opp Public Library for anyone who wishes to look at the changes.

“I think this is fair,” board member Robert Young said previously. “It’s more work for those who are taking the higher tracks.”

Smithart agreed.

“We’d like for it to mean something for those students who are sitting on the front row at graduation,” he said previously. “We want the highest honors to be our cream of the crop.”

In other business, the board approved:

• February financials, where the budget sits at 43 percent of overall revenues and 41 percent of the overall budgeted expenses. Chief Financial Officer Linda Banks said that all the construction funds obligated for the Channel-Lee Stadium project were expended. Additionally, she said school officials were prepared for the 3 percent proration Gov. Robert Bentley declared earlier this month. “We build in measures to offset it,” she said. “Child nutrition has $177,000 left over from last year that will help offset the difference.”

• Announced two of its career and technical education programs that met Business and Industry Certification recently. Those were business and marketing, which Smithart said the system had to cut this year due to budget cuts, but hopes to bring back soon, and horticulture.

• Approved the 2011-2012 academic calendar in which students will start school on Fri., Aug. 5. Smithart said the school start date may change if proposed legislation passes.

• Adopted 2011-2012 work calendars for all OCS employees.

“This is something we haven’t done before,” Smithart said. “This creates a set work schedule for every employee. It will make payroll much easier.”