Tax funded many extras

Published 1:29 am Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Superintendent thanks city council for support of schools

Andalusia Schools Superintendent Ted Watson on Tuesday thanked the Andalusia City Council for good done by the city’s education-earmarked sales tax, and promised he’d be back with a list of requests for the coming school year.

“Of the 1,451 (electronic) devices we currently use daily, 1,000 are the direct result of the city’s support through leases,” Watson said. “The same pledge of $110,000 next year will purchase 770 iPads and laptops that will finally get us to our goal of one to one computers per student, which is what we set out to accomplish. You have created nine computer labs.

“We have taken your funding for a music teacher and continued to provide choral production opportunities for our high school students,” he said. “We’ve found a math/theater teacher who will aid in this endeavor, as well.

“You have provided in-kind work that allowed the P.E. facility to be much more awesome than Q-SAP money would have allowed for,” he said. “We’ve built a sixth-grade wing which streamlined all elementary-certified teachers into the same location for the maximum use of personnel.

“We built a seventh and eighth grade junior high which streamlined all secondary certified teachers into the same location for maximum use of personnel, and made for only one transition for students.

“Y’all created an on-campus softball field facility out of a pit,” he said. “You created safe rooms for high school campus. Every student at the high school will fit in our safe rooms, but you may not be aware we have also opened those up to the community when we had severe weather after school.

“You reroofed the elementary and high schools.

“You have renovated the auditorium to a state-of-the-art facility.

You renovated the stadium into the finest venue in the state.

“You provided Z-space 3-D computer labs allowing our kids to see and feel living organs, manipulate and work on machines, and dissect almost anything.

“You’ve upgraded our infrastructure twice to make us user-friendly in the cyber world for years to come,” he said. You’ve provided teachers with state-of-the-art technology to teach daily while accessing the web.

“You’ve allowed for the creation of the A.P.P.LE. after-school program and renovated AMS into our central office.

“You have partnered with us to rework the baseball dugouts and create a field house.

“You’ve cut the grass.

“You increased student safety by helping to purchase cameras and secure doors and access to our buildings,” he said. 

“You purchased band uniforms, and provided charter buses for teams and bands.

“You’ve provided bus-parking facilities

“You established a soccer program.

“You made rings available for the state champion baseball team.

“You funded Andalusia Elementary School as a Leader in Me school, where most importantly, we teach kids how to look you in the eye and shake your hand, among other things.

“You formulated the idea of a facilities assessment to help us predict and perform maintenance on a systematic basis.”

Watson said he plans to bring a request to the council at its next meeting for funding in the 2019-20 school year, including a computer lease, replacing tile on the first floor of Andalusia High School, and enhancing the baseball facility.   

“I told the board last night the only team to go to state and win it, is the baseball team. Those guys don’t have any bleachers. We want to look at enhancing their facility.”