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CCSD meets for final time of 2020, LCS goes virtual to start 2021

At its final school board meeting of 2020, the Chambers County School District announced that it would be giving a one-time supplement to all CCSD employees except the superintendent.

The supplement will be $350 and will be paid out of local funds on Friday.

“We recognize that everyone has faced difficulties in the first semester,” CCSD Superintendent Dr. Kelli Hodge said. “We know that those difficulties are not going away and possibly could be even worse than what they have faced already.”

Hodge said she was thankful the system was able to give the bonus to employees.

“We really didn’t think that we would be able to do anything. Our tax base in Chambers County, we know is not what a Lee County or a Baldwin County is. We don’t have a Tiger Town or an outlet mall,” Hodge said. “Mrs. [Cassandra] Dowdell worked really hard, and I am so appreciative of all the work she put in to find the $350 per employee.”

The CCSD has 460 employees.

The school board also heard and approved the waste removal bid from CNC Sanitation, which is the company that currently handles the waste removal for the district. The bid was $56,325.30 and will increase by three percent for the next two years.

“Their price on this bid is actually lower than what we’re paying them now,” Hodge said. “The year three cost there is actually less than what we’re paying now.”

The board also approved a math textbook committee.

“Math was really supposed to be adopted two or three years ago, but they [Alabama State Department of Education] put it off because they were working on a new math course of study and have finally finished,” Hodge said. “They got that out last year, and now they will adopt math textbooks.”

The committee will be made up of administrators, teachers from the high schools, middle schools and elementary schools, special education and virtual education.

Wednesday was Hodge’s final board meeting as the CCSD superintendent, as Casey Chambley will take over the role in January. Hodge was the superintendent for 10 years.

“Dr. Hodge, it’s been a pleasure,” Chambers County School Board President William Martin said. “I appreciate everything that you’ve done for the children in Chambers County.”

Along with the CCSD holding its final board meeting of 2020, Lanett City Schools announced on its Facebook page that it would start 2021 virtually for the first week.

For the week of Jan. 5-8, students will not be brought on campus in an effort to control the spread of the virus during the break.

“Our goal throughout this entire pandemic has been to return to our normal, traditional mode of operation. Unfortunately, this has not been feasible for our school district during to the effects of the ongoing pandemic,” Lanett City Schools Superintendent Jennifer Boydsaid in a press release. “I admonish every student, every parent to follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and the Alabama Department of Public Health. Take every precaution necessary to ensure your safety and the safety of your family. I encourage you to follow the rules, follow the guidelines so that we can return to an acceptable degree of normalcy, which we are all longing for.”

Starting Jan. 11, students will return to campus Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while staying virtual on the other two days. Students have been permitted to attend school on Monday and Wednesday since returning to campus in early November. Lanett will end its first semester on Jan. 20.

The press release also said that the school system hopes to return to five days a week on campus by the start of February.