Placement for students out of their zoning district became a major concern at the Tallapoosa County School Board meeting Monday.
The school board took no action on redistricting two students who live in the Dadeville school zone but commute to Horseshoe Bend School to put them back in their zone for the 2019-20 school year.
The students were redistricted after a family feud that escalated to a threat of violence more than nine years ago in the area, according to superintendent Joe Windle. Windle said the family addressed redistricting their children back to Dadeville Elementary School last October.
“The board decision at the time was to allow the two children to remain at Horseshoe Bend for the year this past school year,” Windle said. “The parents had to provide transportation and the board would review the out-of-district replacement at the end of the school year. There is no indication at the time that there had been any further problems between those families.”
Windle said the family recently received a letter from the school system about redistricting the children. Board member Michael Carter asked if the family had recently reached out to the board.
“I think we have to be cautious about out-of-district placements because it sets a precedent unless there is a real safety concern, a real mitigating circumstance and at the time the discussion that the board had among themselves here was, ‘Is this really eight years later at the time a real issue?’” Windle said.
Carter made a motion to redistrict the students but no one seconded it. Board members then started talking about their concerns with redistricting.
Board member Matilda Woodyard-Hamilton expressed concern of redistricting as a bad precedent. Woodyard-Hamilton said it’s not fair to other parents who want to redistrict their children and if the parents want their children redistricted to Dadeville they should be at the meeting.
“That to me is not a good indication that these people are serious about doing the right thing,” Woodyard-Hamilton said.
Director of student services and public relations Casey Davis said the reason this issue was brought up is because people started complaining about the family being out of district.
Windle said if a decision is made about replacing the students a second letter would be sent to the parents.
“I think we have an obligation to make that right and … I know all parties that were involved but we have the policy and we did what they asked to do,” Carter said.
Woodyard-Hamilton said she is against having the Dadeville students in Horseshoe Bend but refused to second the motion because she thinks it isn’t a good decision.
“I’m not satisfied with the decision,” Woodyard-Hamilton said. “They haven’t done things properly and now if they don’t come before us now, they can stay. That’s what they want to do. They want to stay there and we should not allow it because that is not their district.”
Windle re-explained the decision of reviewing the action.
“If you don’t take action, you leave them at Horseshoe Bend,” Windle said. “In either case they have the right to appeal to the board’s decision.”
The board took no action.
In other action, the school board:
- Went into executive session for seven minutes for an expulsion hearing. A Reeltown High School student was expelled for a year.
- Unanimously approved keeping the Child Nutrition Program (CNP) price the same as last year.
- Unanimously approved a bid for new point of sale hardware and software to be paid out of the CNP funds for $27,980.
- Unanimously approved the CNP bids for bread and milk from Flowers Bakery at $197,375 and Borden Milk at $252,027.67.
- Unanimously approved a bid for Dadeville Elementary School’s air conditioning from Sunshine Heating and Cooling for $35,225.
- Unanimously approved a change in policies and procedures for graduation requirements in how the school system accumulates grade point averages and grades from across the school system.
- Unanimously approved a code of conduct student handbook change on tardy policy and parents signing the book.
- Unanimously approved pay increases for bus drivers and lunchroom cooks by $1,000.
- Took no action on proposed pay increases for head softball and baseball coaches from $1,969.13 to $3,633.20.
- The board also approved the following personnel moves:
- Haley Wideman, Dadeville Elementary School (DES) teacher
- Clint Browning, Dadeville High School (DHS) teacher
- Tammie Richardson, from instructional coach to assistant principal at Horseshoe Bend Elementary School (HBES)
- Hannah Taunton, teacher from Reeltown Elementary School (RES) to DES
- Ashley Manley, teacher at HBES
- Gabrielle Guyette, teacher at DES
- Emma Nelson, special education teacher at DES
- Brandy Sheppard, teacher at RES
- Frances Dunn, school intervention paraprofessional at RES
- Jennifer Tapley, pre-K auxiliary teacher at HBES
- Ginger Jones, teacher at DHS