The Fort Payne Board of Education approved a contract at its Sept. 23 meeting with Grubbs and Walker to serve as consulting manager for upcoming construction projects. The board also addressed several personnel matters.

Jay Grubbs of the Heflin-based consulting firm expressed appreciation and excitement to continue working with the Fort Payne City Schools. They were involved in the creation of the recently opened Little Ridge Intermediate School and will take part in the addition of the Building, Electric, Aviation, Technology Center, for which a groundbreaking ceremony took place on Monday.

Board President Jimmy Durham said the new intermediate school is “tremendous” and the contractors involved in its creation did a “great job.”

Board Attorney Rocky Watson said Grubbs and Walker had been “a tremendous help to me and the board in dealing with problems that are inevitable with a building that size. The process has been remarkably smooth.”

In other matters, the board also:

• approved the addition of a virtual day option for ninth and 12th grade students on Oct. 19, due to testing.

• heard a report from Superintendent Brian Jett that current enrollment stands at 3,357 students in kindergarten through 12th grade, slightly up from last year. There are also 147 Pre-K students. He thanked all of the staff, students and parents for “a great start to the school year.”

• learned from Jett that construction will begin Oct. 4 on baseball and softball fields.

• discussed the mask requirement with concerned citizens, as reported in the Sept. 25th edition. Jett said the policy will be reviewed before Oct. 1 and may be extended or ended, based on the compiled data and the recommendations of health care providers advising the school system.

• approved the lowest bid substantially in compliance with the specifications in the amount of $18,224.81 from Osborn Food Service for supplemental grocery items.

• approved the job description, creation, advertising and filling of a part-time certified Central Office administrative assistant position, as well as a new junior high volleyball coaching position at Fort Payne High School.

• approved a request from LRIS Librarian Kimberly Butler for seven days of an unpaid leave of absence during the periods of August 25-27 and September 9-14.

• approved a request from Wills Valley Elementary School math interventionist Meghan Carr for a leave of absence between Oct. 29-May 27.

• hired Dylan Young as PE teacher and eighth grade boys basketball coach at Fort Payne Middle School.

• hired Kyle Coots as ninth grade boys basketball coach at Fort Payne High School.

• approved Tharis Chavez as systemwide EL aide, effective Oct. 1.

• hired Darrell Prater and Cody Willingham as half-time bus drivers.

• hired Taylor Thrash on a one-year contract as a state-approved TEAMS teacher in the area of mathematics.

• approved Tashala Hill as systemwide part-time special education aide, pending completion and passing of a background check.

• approved additions to the substitute personnel list.

• approved out-of-state travel requested by FPHS Principal Patrick Barnes for FFA officers and advisor to the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis from Oct. 26-29, for the FPHS varsity and junior varsity boys soccer teams to compete against Baylor High School in Chattanooga on April 14, and for the third through fifth grade and middle school cross country teams to compete against Trion (Ga.) Elementary School on Oct. 22.

• approved eight additional days during the summer of 2021 for reading specialist Kristie Conaway.

• approved the August 2021 financial statements and bank reconciliation report.

• selected Board Vice President Carolyn Martin as delegate and Board member Sharon Jones as alternative delegate to attend the Alabama Association of School Boards convention and assembly to be held Dec. 2-4, 2021, in Birmingham.

• approved the minutes from two budget hearings held August 24 and 26, as well as the August 26 regular monthly meeting.

• Jett thanked the board for attending a Title Nine training session on Sept. 21 and reminded them of a Nov. 4 training session on student discipline and due process.

• set the next board meeting for Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. in the conference room of the Central Office.

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