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Board makes policy change, approves school calendar

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Posted: Friday, May 3, 2013 5:00 pm

The Coffee County Board of Education settled more than a month of debate over its own policy regarding the retention of legal council during a regular meeting, May 2.

The board voted 4-2 to amend its former policy, which read: “The board shall retain and utilize legal council at the board’s expense.”

In previous meetings, a few board members expressed concern that not having an attorney on permanent retainer would be a violation of the aforementioned policy.

Superintendent Don McPherson presented the following Alabama Association of School Boards (AASB) sample policy to the board during an April 8 meeting: “The board shall the have the right to retain and utilize legal council to represent its interests. The services of said legal council can be obtained without competitive bidding.”

It was this policy the board adopted during the recent meeting.

Following the vote, board member Shag LaPrade expressed concern over the way the vote to change the amendment was brought before the board.

“According to our policy, when a change is put forth, it goes to a subsequent meeting where it’s then voted on,” LaPrade said. “This is the first time it has been proposed.”

McPherson said he respectfully disagreed with LaPrade, adding the policy change had been discussed at more than one meeting and was listed as an agenda item at the April 8 meeting. 

In other business, the board gave the final approval to a proposed 2013-2014 school calendar.

The calendar includes 176 student days and 187 days for teachers and administrators.

For a full calendar, visit

In other news, the board agreed to advertise for a reading instruction coach, which was discussed during an April 22 working session.

During that meeting, the board discussed hiring an instructional coach with existing reading initiative funds who would work to make sure all students were reading at their respective grade level.

According to McPherson, the new instructor would work at all grade levels throughout the system’s four schools.

The board also gave its approval to host summer school, which must be done annually in accordance with state law.

The board also recognized Kinston school’s Relay for Life team, which raised more than $10,000 this year and earned the Sprit of Relay Award.

Zion Chapel’s FFA program was also recognized for being the second largest chapter in the state, second only to a 6A school.

Zion Chapel is also one of a few chapters with a 100 percent participation rate.

The Coffee County Board of Education will meet again at 3 p.m., May 8, to discuss the results of its district-wide accreditation process, which is scheduled for May 6-8.

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