By Erica Thomas, managing editor
TRUSSVILLE — The Trussville City Schools Board of Education met in a regular meeting on Aug. 31, 2021. It was the first meeting since the start of the 2021-22 school year. Video of the meeting is posted below.
The high school currently has 1,592 students, including 74 new students this year, Principal Tim Salem said.
As for enrollment overall, TCS is up 15% from 2011. Neill said student numbers are increasing and those students are being retained. Paine Elementary grew the most out of all the schools, due to new subdivisions zoned for Paine. There are currently 1,136 students at Paine.
“We would like to hold Paine at about 1,000,” said Neill. “Although we do have ample room but we’re running out quickly.”
Neill proposed a fourth elementary school as part of the capital plan. She said she spoke with the mayor about a piece of property that could be the location of the next school to be built. Neill said instead of a new tax, the school system would look into refinancing warrants.
Also on the capital plan proposal, there is a plan to add to the high school, and to replace the band room floor, a football weight room addition, and a new gym roof at Cahaba Elementary, among other items.
Neill also gave a COVID-19 update. The superintendent said the first week of school, there were 44 students and 4 staff members on the COVID positive list. In the second week, there were only 14 students and one staff member on the list.
Neill said prevention strategies seem to be working but adjustments will be made if necessary.
“There are school systems with mask mandates that have higher numbers of COVID positive cases than we do,” Neill said.
The school system has Schoology in place if virtual learning is needed but Neill said she plans to continue following the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Toolkit for schools.
Neill said she, the board and Gaston are reading every email they receive and are responding to everyone.
During the workshop, Neill introduced Public Relations Supervisor Jason Gaston and asked him to discuss his Strategic Communications Plan. The plan has four goals and Neill is asking for input from now until the October Board of Education meeting,
“It’s a strategic plan specific to communications,” Gaston said.
Gaston said he spent time over the summer gathering information and best practices to develop the plan.
“I’m still soaking in the culture, still trying to understand what makes Trussville tick, what doesn’t work,” Gaston said.
The goals of the plan are:
- Establish Trussville City Schools as its own chief storyteller
- Position Trussville City Schools as the district of choice
- Brand management
- Create, enhance, and/or reinforce positive sentiments surrounding Trussville City Schools
Gaston says although a lot of the goals overlap, he hopes the communication process with the school system will be a success in order to increase parent engagement and parent buy-in.
In the regular meeting, the capital plan and the budget for the fiscal year 2021-22 were approved.
The proposed budget contained a beginning balance of $27,748,935.04 and an ending balance of $29,489,230.83. The fiscal year begins on October 1, 2021, and ends on September 30, 2022.
The council also recognized Hewitt-Trussville High School students Andrew Jones and Carson Underwood, for winning the High School Fishing World Championship. The pair competed against 398 others in South Carolina.
The following items were approved as part of the board’s consent agenda.
a. Approve Accounts Payable for: July 2021
b. Approve Payroll for: July 2021
c. Approve Financials: July 2021
d. Approve Board Work Session Record & Board Meeting Minutes for July 19,
e. Approve the FY22 Budget
f. Approve project request to add lighting to the front of Cahaba Elementary with cost covered through donations from the Fifth Grade Class of 2021.
g. Approve increase of AP testing fee from $95.00 to $96.00 per the AP participation agreement
h. Approve recommendation for a 3rd extension of the FFCRA due to COVID-19
i. Approve Edgenuity quote for Digital Libraries 9-12 Core Site License for the 2021-22 school year
j. Approve the following field trips:
• HTMS Cheer Team to Smoky Mountain Showdown, Pigeon Forge, TN December 16- 19, 2021
• HTHS Band to University of Georgia March 23, 2022
• HTHS Band to Disney World April 12 – 16, 2022
k. Approve renewal of Bid 20-03 for HTHS Sports Facility Cleaning
I. Approve facility usage agreement for:
• Trussville Marching Invitational for the HTHS Football Stadium and Fine Arts Annex October 9, 2021
m. Approve services for a Visually Impaired and Orientation & Mobility Specialist from June 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.
n. Approve Kuta Software for six year site license for HTMS and HTHS math teachers
o. Approve renewal of ATBE General Liability/Errors and Omissions Liability Fund Participation and Coverage and renewal of ATBE Automobile Fund Participation
p. Approve agreement with Soliant Health effective August 18, 2021 through June 10, 2022
q. Approve the following bids:
• HTMS Cleaning Bid 21-06
• HTHS Cleaning Bid 21-05
• HTMS Lawn Service & Landscaping Bid 21-07
• Paine Elementary Lawn Service & Landscaping Bid 21-08
r. Approve the 2021-22 Capital Plan
s. Approve the following change orders:
• 19-27-11 CREDIT
t. Approve Student Teaching Affiliation Agreement
u. Approve Psychoeducational Evaluations Service Agreement
v. Approve Nimble quote through MicroPulse
w. Approve EDF 08-31-21-01 through 08-31-21-05
x. Approve Hewitt-Trussville High School theatre contract with MTI to be paid by the local school
y. Approve ATC Healthcare Services Agreement
The BOE also approved the superintendent’s recommendations on changes in personnel, contracts, extra services and supplements.
The meeting ended with the BOE going into an executive session to discuss pending litigation and good name and character.
The Trussville City School’s Board of Education meeting will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, at 6 p.m., in the Board Room of the Central Office. There will be a work session at 5 p.m.