School board holds virtual meeting, superintendent gives update on academics and food distribution

The Greene County Board of Education held a virtual meeting, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, on Monday, April 20, 2020. Board members Carol Zippert, Kashaya Cockrell, Carrie Dancy, Leo Branch and William Morgan were participants including Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones, Attorney Hank Sanders, CSFO LaVonda Blair and central office staff, Sara Hall and Makane Morrow.
The board minutes of February 18 and the emergency meeting on March 19 were approved with necessary corrections.
A key element of Superintendent Jones’ report was an update on the various school activities affected by COVID-19. Dr. Jones reported that the Child Nutrition Program (CNP) staff continues to prepare meals for pick-up. He noted that the maintenance department, administrators, central office staff and other volunteers have been of great assistance to the CNP staff.
Meals pick-up have been limited to once per week as a safety measure for staff and community, however, the school system continues to provide the same number of meals per week per child. The superintendent stated that between March 23 and April 17, 38,534 meals were delivered.
According to Dr. Jones, educational packets are delivered to each student with some students getting the lessons electronically and others, not having devices and internet access, receiving their materials in hard copy. He stated that teachers are instructed to communicate with students on a regular basis and to document all contacts. The superintendent meets virtually each week with his administrative staff.
Jones noted that the school system is in the process of securing additional devices, such as tablets, for students use. “The school system will continue to utilize electronic devices in conducting students educational program, beyond this pandemic crisis,” he said.
The superintendent reported that the maintenance department is still caring for the grounds and equipment. In efforts to keep the school facilities sanitized, mist sprays are used and sanitation stations are set up for classrooms and hallways.
The board approved the following personnel items recommended by the superintendent.
*Family medical leave for Felecia Davis, effective February 28, 2020 – May 25, 2020.
*Retirement of Rosie Davis and Linda Underwood, CNP Eutaw Primary School, effective June 1, 2020.
*Supplemental employment of Siegfried Williams, Choir Director, Greene County High School, for 2019-2020 school term.
*Non-Renewals: Sandra Artis, Pre-K teacher, Eutaw Primary School; Chardell Fredd, 7&8th grade teacher, Robert Brown Middle School; and Latausha Tinker-Mitchell, 5th grade science teacher, Robert Brown Middle School.
The board approved the following administrative services recommended by the superintendent.
*Hiring a company to replace roof at central office.
*Settlement agreement for Special Education Student, Robert Brown Middle School.
*Greene County Board of Education Organizational Chart.
*Greene County Schools Calendar for 2020-2021 School year.
*Budget Amendments.
*Payment of bills, claims and payroll.
The CSFO LaVonda Blair presented the financial reports for January and February. The financial snapshot for January included the following: General Fund Balance totaled $2,853,365.21 (reconciles with the Summary Cash Report); Check Register Accountability Report – $271,840.76 (total checks written for the period); Payroll Register – $841,714.73; Combined Fund Balance – $5,244,001.59. Local revenue totaled $2,094,621.60 (December and January).
Financial snapshot for February included the following: General Fund Balance totaled $2,630,649.43 (reconciles with Summary Cash Report); Check Register Accountability Report – $293,831.01 ( total checks written for the period); Payroll Register – $841,864.72; Combined Fund Balance – $5,171,697.17. Local revenue totaled $169,259.01.
CSFO Blair noted that the system is experiencing a delay in revenue stream, a decrease in sales tax and a stoppage in bingo income. She stated that all full time staff will continue to be paid and bills are paid on a timely basis. Blair noted that the budget adjustment before the board relate to $145,000 carryover in Title I and new revenue in various grants.
Attorney Hank Sanders reported generally on various legal matters pending before the board, indicating that several hearing dates have been extended due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The board approved hiring Attorney Robert Turner, Jr. to represent Superintendent Jones at the scheduled hearing for Joe N. Webb.

Biden wins in Greene Co and statewide; Arnelia ‘Shay’ Johnson wins Revenue Commissioner; Richardson and Dancy win School Board races

Joe Biden
Arnelia ‘Shay’ Johnson
Veronica Richardson
Carrie Dancy

Joe Biden won the support of 1,782 (72.38%) Democratic voters in Greene County for the nomination to run for President.
Mike Bloomberg came in second with 406 votes (16.49) and Bernie Sanders was third with 191 (7.76%).
Statewide in Alabama Biden won with 63% of the votes, with Sanders finishing second and Bloomberg was third. Biden also won in other southern states on Super Tuesday including Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas.
The three races for local positions in Greene County were very close and decided by margins of less than one percent. Arnelia ‘Shay’ Johnson was nominated for the position of Greene County Revenue Commissioner by a vote of 1,154 (50.17%) to 1,146 (49.83%), a difference of 8 votes out of 2,300 cast in this race.
For Greene County Board of Education, District No. 3, Veronica Richardson with 292 (51.05) votes defeated William (Coach) Morgan, the incumbent school board member, with 280 votes, a margin of 12 votes.
For Greene County Board of Education, District No. 5, incumbent, Carrie Dancy with 233 votes (50.65%) defeated challenger Mary Edwards Otieno with 227 (49.35%) votes, a difference of just 6 votes.
Greene County voters, leading a statewide trend, defeated Statewide Amendment No. One by a vote of 2,312 (85.69%) to 386 (14.31%). This amendment would have transferred the power to select the Alabama State School Board from the voters to the Governor. This amendment lost statewide by two-thirds and was not supported by a majority of the voters in any county in the state.
In the Republican Primary, Trump was supported by 419 to 4 for Bill Weld. In the Senate race, in Greene County, Bradley Byrne received 103 votes, to 24 for Roy Moore, 140 for Jeff Sessions and 145 for Tommy Tuberville.
Statewide there will be a Republican run-off election on March 31, between Jeff Sessions and Tommy Tuberville for the Republican nomination to the U. S. Senate seat. The winner of this primary will face incumbent Senator Doug Jones, the Democratic nominee. Jones is considered among the most vulnerable Democratic candidates in the nation for the U. S. Senate. Doug Jones must win his re-election campaign, to help the Democratic effort to take control of the Senate and oust Sen. Mitch McConnel from his leadership position, which has blocked progressive legislation passed by the Democratically controlled House of Representatives.
Turnout in Greene County of 3,038 total votes was down from previous elections. The turnout was below 50% of the eligible registered voters in the county and reflected both the bad weather and the limited number of contested local elections in the county.
“Turnout must increase for the November General Election or Democrats will have a hard time winning statewide elections, like the Doug Jones, U. S. Senate race,” said an official of the local Alabama New South Coalition chapter.