Alba-Golden board considers ways to improve school traffic

Posted 7/15/21

Traffic management for the coming school year highlighted the far-ranging discussions at the Alba-Golden Schools budget workshop and regular board meeting Monday. 

Although not yet fully …

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Alba-Golden board considers ways to improve school traffic

Posted

Traffic management for the coming school year highlighted the far-ranging discussions at the Alba-Golden Schools budget workshop and regular board meeting Monday. 

Although not yet fully developed, the board concurred with recommendations to design a student drop-off and pick-up route which would remove the line of cars from US 69. Such a change would greatly reduce the potential hazard posed by vehicles cuing up along the highway. 

According to Director of Technology Services Michael Scott, use of County Road 2376 would be central to the plan. Additionally, a swap of the staff and student parking lots is also being considered. This change would also serve to decongest vehicular traffic at the school. 

In a related matter, Scott also briefed the board that the Wood County Sheriff’s Office has approached the school proposing a School Resource Officer arrangement. Although negotiations have not yet begun, Superintendent Cole McClendon advised that such an agreement would involve monetary reimbursement by the school to the county.

The evening began with a thorough budget workshop during which Business Manager Brenda Kelley briefed the anticipated budget and Special Programs Director Jennifer Wigington described the Use of Funds Plan for the $2.1 million Elementary and Secondary School Relief (ESSR-III) funds.  

Kelley briefed that projected property taxes represent a 21% increase over last year. She estimated the local tax revenue to the district as $3.3 million. She anticipates a state revenue input of $6.6 million, which puts the districts total revenue at $9.9 million. 

Kelley advised that the district budgets only 98% of the anticipated state revenues as a prudent fiscal measure. She stated the upcoming school budget should come in at approximately $10.4 million. Kelly summarized, “We should be in a really good position to bring you a balanced budget in early August.”    

Wigington walked the board through the Use of Funds Plan for the $2.1 million ESSR III funds. The funds will be expended between the present “pre-award” period and the “carry-over” period in the summer of 2024. 

Among the many areas targeted for these funds are teaching specialists to work with special student groups such as At-Risk students, iPad leasing contracts, rewiring of the high school campus, a summer school program, and motor scrubber floor-and wall-cleaning machines.

Trustee Grant Sadler questioned whether the district would be able to sustain all the initiatives begun with the grants when the funds dry up in 2025.

Wigington responded, “I think we will be able to adjust and absorb these costs quite well in 2025.” 

Board president Jason Stovall queried whether the funds could be used for security purposes. Wigington confirmed that security measures would qualify as appropriate use. 

Secondary school principal Macie Thompson and Elementary school principal Kevin Wright briefed the board about the 18 new teachers joining the staff.  Thompson advised that all required positions have been filled for the upcoming term, while Wright expected to have a full staff by the end of the week. 

The board approved three dress code changes for the secondary school. They are movement of dress or short-pants hem from middle of the knee to three inches above the knee; approval of sandals and heelless shoes; and approval of spandex-type pants as long as a shirt or dress is worn as a cover which meets dress code requirements. 

In addition to approving renewal of the district’s workers’ compensation insurance contract, the board also set the date for the next board meeting as Aug 16. The board anticipates setting the tax rate and adopting the budget at that meeting.