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BOE hears updates on career tech center

Published 12:39pm Thursday, March 7, 2013

Superintendent Joe Windle updated the board on the progress of funding for the Edward Bell Career Technical Center at a work session Tuesday.

“I feel good about where we are,” Windle said. “There’s no question we will open in August.”

Windle said all students in ninth through 12th grades will have the opportunity to enroll in classes at the career center, and transportation will be provided from all three high schools.

“They’ll all have the option to go,” Windle said. “(Career tech classes) will operate as electives. Right now it looks like we’ll have buses make two trips a day from each end of the county and three a day from here in Dadeville.”

Windle said he estimates the career technical center will be well-received by students.

“It is going to be a big seller,” Windle said. “There are going to be a lot of kids who want to take advantage of it.”

Windle said welding, health science, building science, pre-engineering and industrial maintenance will all be programs offered at the career center, and the board is currently making connections with companies in these industries.

“Jim Peace, the hospital administrator at Russell Medical Center, is going to partner with us on the health science program,” Windle said.

Windle said the hospital will assist the center by providing equipment such as hospital beds, latex gloves and mannequins.

“We’re establishing partnerships and some relationships that are going to help get (the career center) started,” Windle said.

Windle said a recent meeting with the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs director also looks positive regarding funding help for the career center’s equipment.

“We had opportunity last week to visit with the director of ADECA concerning funding through workforce development side of the house for the career technical center,” Windle said. “It was very positive. He committed to looking at a $200,000 grant for us through Appalachian Planning Region for purchase of equipment.”

The school system’s pursuing of district wide AdvancEd System Accreditation (SACS) was also discussed at the work session.

Windle said individual schools in the system have previously been accredited separately, but the school system will now be accredited as a whole.

“It’s a pretty long process,” Windle said. “But this just seemed like the year to do it – it’s an advantage for our students and for us.”

The board also:

- discussed the Regions bank commitment letter, which will allow the board to borrow up to $550,000 for the construction of the central office building with a fixed interest rate of 3.81 percent for ten years

- discussed personnel changes and plans to present names of potential employees at the next meeting

- discussed declaring May 1 Law Day in recognition of the Constitution and Bill of Rights

The Tallapoosa County Board of Education will hold its regularly scheduled meeting at 5 p.m. Monday.

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