Rescheduled Back to School Bash set for Saturday

Published 9:35 am Thursday, September 20, 2012

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

A “Back to School Rally” for Lowndes County Public Schools, originally set for Sept. 8, will be held Saturday, Sept. 22 at the baseball field in Hayneville,

In addition, the Lowndes County Board of Education received a good bus inspection report and anticipates a clean review of the school system’s Head Start Program, according to Lowndes County School Superintendent Dr. Daniel Boyd.

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Boyd made the announcements at the school board’s regular meeting held last Thursday at the Alternative School next to Central High.

Boyd said the back to school rally will include a battle of the bands, and SABIC has committed to provide book bags.

He said over a 1,000 people attend the rally each year, “and we have lots of materials and supplies.” He said 350 to 500 bags of materials and supplies are typically given away, and Luke Taylor, director of special projects, has already purchased bicycles and other items that will be given out to the “lucky” students.

“This was one of the best inspections we’ve had in a long, long, long time,” Boyd said of an Aug. 10 bus inspection.

Boyd said the bus inspection showed that out of 39 buses inspected, five had major deficiencies. But, he said, all five were repaired before the state Department of Transportation inspectors left.

Boyd said an anticipated review of the Head Start Program “looks really, really good, no findings what so ever and they (the auditing firm) were very, very complimentary.”

He also said Head Start employees will get a slight across-the-board cost of living adjustment of .72 percent. “So, that means for every $100 we get an extra 72 cents,” Boyd said.

Boyd announced that Lowndes County’s Gifted Education Teacher Paula Westmoreland was one of two state winners of the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award.

Boyd said the $500 award recognizes outstanding National History Day teachers. Westmoreland, he said, won the state junior level award.

The Lowndes County Board of Education received the President’s award from the Alabama Association of School Boards.

It honors school boards, which have had at least 60 percent of their members attend three or more AASB School Board Member Academy courses in the last year.

The board approved a resolution in memory of Susie Mae Peoples Bell.

Bell joined the school system as a teacher at Central High in 1977 and in 30 years of service also served as media specialist at Central High. She retired in 2007.

Her “success in working with administration, colleagues, parents and students was due to her diligent, concern and passionate nature,” Boyd said.

Boyd said the softball field construction project at Hayneville Middle School project will begin soon, and he announced that the school system currently has 1,705 students.