Pike County Schools to expand academies

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pike County Schools is looking to expand what their academies have to offer, but nothing is official just yet. The Pike County School Board approved the expansion in itself, but the actual academies have not been finalized.

Possible academies include pre-law, STEM for high school students and exercise science.

“We would like to move forward with the development of those academies,” said Pike County Schools Superintendent Mark Bazzell. “It’s a huge opportunity for the parents and the students.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Currently, there are 85 students enrolled in these academies, and more than 50 are on track to receive an associate’s degree upon their high school graduation.

Bazzell said that about $250,000 was budgeted for the academies, but he is expecting to have approximately $125,000 left over, which will go toward the possible expansion.

“We are pleased that we have been able to secure these workforce funds,” Bazell said.

Students in Pike County School should also be expecting a new externship program, Project 231. This program allows students to work in a co-op setting, allowing students to work as an apprenticeship.

Bazell said that the students would work 140 hours in a semester, working in a job of their choice and receiving at least minimum wage pay.

Twelve businesses have already agreed to work with the school system for the program, and more are expected to join.

This is just one more layer of things we are providing for students to get ready for college,” Bazzell said.

In new business the Board:

• Approved the financial statement and bank reconcilements for the month of October.

• Approved the payment of payrolls for the month of October and account run dates of Oct. 26 and Nov. 9.

• Elected Dr. Clint Foster as the Board president and Linda Steed as the vice president for the 2016-2017 school year.

• Approved Board meeting dates for 2016.

• Nominated three people to serve on the Pike County Board of Equalization. No final decision was made.

• Approved permission for Rachael Brooks, Michele Taylor and Holley Davis to attend the Alabama Counseling Association Annual Conference Nov. 18-20 in Montgomery.

• Approved permission for Pam Franklin and Dr. Donnella Carter to attend the 25th annual Learning Forward Alabama Conference Nov. 18-20 in Birmingham.

• Approved permission for Cindy Boswell to attend the 23rd annual Secretaries Conference Dec. 1-2 in Birmingham and permission to attend the Chalkable Conference Jan. 19-22, 2016 in Point Clear.

• Approved permission for 12 representatives from the Pike County School System to participate in the Ambition Program for the Naval Air Base Dec. 10-22 in Pensacola, Fla.

Bazell said that this is the same program that some of the academy students attend in the summer, and that it will be good for the staff to see what the students do.

• Approved permission for Pike County High School students Emily Caple and Zyion Guilford, GHS students Clayton Suel and Blake Savage and band directors James Oliver and Daniel Walden to attend the 35th annual Florida State University Tri-State Band Festival and Conducting conference Dec. 3-6 in Tallahassee, Fla.

• Approved permission for Daniel Walden, GHS, and James Oliver, PCHS, to attend the 2016 Alabama Music Educators Conference Jan. 21-23, 2016 in Montgomery.

• Approved permission for Beth Chancellor, Fawn Sims and Paul Kennedy to attend the Section 504 Conference Dec. 14-15 in Birmingham.

• Approved permission for Pam Gardner and Kim Faulkner to attend the Section 504 Conference, Dec. 14-15 in Birmingham.

In personnel business, the Board:

• Accepted the retirement/resignation of Gilda Belcher, health care science and technology teacher at the Troy-Pike Center of Technology.

• Accepted the resignation of Mary Evans, CNP worker at GHS.

• Approved the employment of Sarah Toney, CNP worker at GHS.

• Approved the employment of William Stokes, art teacher at GHS.

• Approved permission to return Sonia Stewart to a six-hour employee due to her transfer from Goshen Elementary to PCHS.