Casey Davis

Gabrielle Jansen / The Outlook Acting superintendent Casey Davis, left, reads a resolution naming February as Career Technical Education month.

The Tallapoosa County Board of Education took a step further in its capital improvement projects by approving a bid for Dadeville Elementary School’s cafeteria project Thursday.

The bid with Central Contracting is worth $3,672,573, according to acting superintendent Casey Davis, who is filling as Joe Windle recovers from heart surgery.

The elementary school’s cafeteria is one of the school system’s capital improvement projects, which are funded by the Tallapoosa County Commission’s 1-cent sales tax bond renewal. Because the board’s loan financing rate has not been approved by the Alabama Department of Education yet, the board is financing the project through its general fund, according to Davis.

“We have money in the bank to cover that project right now, so we won’t have any until we get any financing for the other projects,” chief school financial officer Tommy Thweatt said.

Thweatt said in an email he thinks the board will go through a banking institution to get the loan and will go to the bond market later on. He said the banks will either make money on origination fees or higher interest fees.

The board also approved a contract with Alabama Contract Sales for DES’ library and cafeteria furnishings at $311,720.89.

The board of education also unanimously approved its 2020-21 school calendar. Because the school system is trying to complete Dadeville’s cafeteria project during the summer, the school year will start Aug. 21 and end May 28, 2021, according to director of elementary curriculum and instruction Kathy Ledbetter. 

With the later start date, there won’t be a fall break and the only school days off in the fall semester are Labor Day on Sept. 7, Veterans Day on Nov. 11 and Thanksgiving break from Nov. 25 through 27. The winter break is from Dec. 21 through Jan. 1, 2021.

June 1 and 2, 2021 are weather make-up days if needed. 

“It left us with a no-thrills, bare-bone calendar for this year,” Davis said.

The calendar gives students a longer summer break and there are no half days scheduled. Teacher work days are Aug. 12 through 20.

School board member Carla Talton asked Ledbetter if teachers gave input on the calendar.

“There was no room to move anything,” Ledbetter said. “There was no teacher input. There’re no days to move around to get all 180 (days) required by law.”

In other action, the school board:

• Went into executive session for more than an hour and 20 minutes for expulsion hearings. One student was expelled for a calendar year and another student will return to his school’s Crossroads program.

• Heard from Linda Silmon about trying to place her granddaughter at Dadeville High School. They live in Alexander City but work in Dadeville and Silmon wants her granddaughter to attend high school there. Davis said he’d contact Silmon once the board makes a decision.  

• Adopted a resolution naming February as Career Technical Education Month. Davis thanked Edward Bell Career Technical Center director Fred Ford for his hard work. 

• Approved its dual enrollment agreement with the University of Alabama

• Approved its financial report

• Approved personnel matters

• Paid its bills