At the July 29 school board meeting, Daleville City Schools officially pushed back the start of school for students until Aug. 28.
The decision to push the start date back – which was originally set for Aug. 21 – was made so that teachers could get more familiar with, and receive more training, on the Schoology program that DCS will use for virtual learning.
Schoology allows teachers to include their lesson plans for on-campus learning into an online program – which can even include videos of lessons – and Daleville Superintendent Dr. Lisa Stamps said that this additional training will be beneficial in case school is forced to close again and all students have to move to virtual learning.
Stamps also said that students that have signed up for virtual learning this school year has jumped from 20 percent of students to 40 percent in the past few weeks.
Additionally, the board approved the acceptance of a meal program that will provide free lunches for all students at DCS. The Community Eligibility Provision provides federal money to pay for free breakfast and lunch for all students at a school with the primary qualification being that the school already has 40 percent or more students that receive free or reduced lunch.
Stamps applauded her Child Nutrition Program staff for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic and CNP Director Tor’Ressa Osborne for doing the work to secure the funding for the free meal program.
“She has done an outstanding job through all of this carrying the weight of a major job feeding our kids in the spring and in the summer when they drove up,” Stamps said. “She has it like a well-oiled machine and we actually got a certificate from the state department bragging on what our CNP Department has done. I am very proud of her and her whole staff.”
The board approved the program through this school year but Stamps said she believes this program that will benefit DCS for years to come.
“This is one more thing that has come out of this COVID that is a practice that is going to be beneficial for all of our kids for many years down the line,” Stamps emphasized.
In other business, the board approved the job description for the new teacher interventionist position that the school has filled using money received from the CARES Act.
Also, the board approved the emergency suspension of board policy, which allows the superintendent to make COVID-19 related decisions without board approval beforehand. This policy suspension is being adopted by schools across the state so as to allow school superintendents to be able to make COVID-19 related decisions that may need to be made very quickly.
The board also made a number of personnel decisions listed below.
Ann-Katherine Hartzog, special education teacher, Windham Elementary School;
David Seth Beaty, special education teacher, Daleville High School;
Dawn Ward, interventionist, Daleville City Schools;
John Donaldson, social studies teacher and coach, Daleville High School;
Todd Reynolds, social studies teacher and coach, Daleville High School; and
Elizabeth Samuy, science teacher, Daleville Middle School.