AMS planning to resume

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Superintendent Ted Watson said testing has delayed the process of garnering teacher input on the construction of the system’s planned new education facilities at the elementary and high school campuses.

Interviews are slated to begin next week, he said at Monday’s board of education meeting.

In March, the Andalusia Board of Education voted 4-1 to move forward with a capital plan to close Andalusia Middle School and construct new wings at AES and AHS. Then, the board gave Watson the authority to pursue plans for the new wings, which would move the seventh and eighth grade students to the AHS campus and construct a sixth grade “academy” on the elementary school grounds.

Watson and the board announced at a Feb. 6 board workshop they would hold meetings with staff to seek input on the construction project and their ideas of what is wanted in the classrooms. Those meetings were set to begin mid-March; however, Watson said Monday the decision was made to wait until after testing for the Alabama Reading and Mathematics Test (ARMT) concludes on Friday.

“We’re full throttle into testing right now,” he said. “We’ve spent nearly two weeks testing, and we wanted to make sure all of our teachers were fully focused on testing, and all that was behind us be before we started discussing the middle school.”

Watson said he expects teacher interviews to get underway sometime after April 23.

“We’re going to get their input as far as the design of the buildings, what they want to see in the classrooms and some of those points,” he said. “Then, we’re going to take those recommendations and give them to a variety of architects and go from there.”

Previously, Joe Donofro, an architect who is currently working on the system’s new physical education facility, told the board it would cost $1.34 million to build a wing at Andalusia Elementary School with 10 classrooms and a multipurpose room and $2.15 million to construct the seventh and eighth grade facility.

The board said the wings would be open fall 2014, if all goes accordingly.

In other business, the board:

• accepted the retirement resignation of Gloria Sconiers, effective at the end of the school year.

• approved a leave of absence for Bridget Harper.

• approved a supplement pay for assistant baseball coach, Matt Johnson.

• approved an amendment to the system’s homeless, migrant, transient and non-English proficient student policy.

• tabled an amendment to its drug and alcohol policy.

• set the next meeting for May 21 at AMS at 6 p.m.