Dallas County School Board honors pair of Retiring employees

Published 3:57 pm Friday, June 30, 2023

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The Dallas County School District had a lot to celebrate at its board of education meeting on Thursday.

Dallas County Schools Superintendent Anthony Sampson celebrated 25 years of service for Sheri Thomas, who retired at the end of the school year. The board also said goodbye to James Towns, who was instrumental in Dallas County Schools getting the new bus shop.

In the past inspection, Sampson said the state was able to give the bus shop a 0 in terms of no inefficiencies when it came to the buses in the district’s fleet.

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“It’s one of the happiest zeros I have ever given someone,” Sampson joked.

As the meeting went into the superintendent’s update, Sampson gave another update for the celebration. Salem Elementary School Third grade and  J.E Terry’s third-grade class-tested in the top 10 percent in the state at ELA standards at the Alabama Comprehensive Assessment.

Sampson showed the second and third-grade classes from all the elementary schools in the district and one thing stood out. When it came to phonics, phonemic awareness, and fluency all the schools were doing well but when it came to reading comprehension and vocabulary there was a problem where more students were below grade level.

“Our teachers will receive additional professional development this summer to help identify different tools and strategies to reinforce areas of improvement,” Sampson said.

Sampson also discussed the state’s COVID relief funding that the school had available at this point. To date, the district has only expended $8.35 million of the $36.53 million dollars of allocated money. The board had concerns about the ESSER 2 funds that would expire in three months and a day from Thursday. There was $125,099 of unexpended money left in the fund.

After discussion, Sampson along with CSFO Sandra Purdie and Federal Programs Director Zella Ford told the board that the money would be used for the salaries for summer learning. A special paycheck would be done so that they could have that money used up before the end of the three months. There were several personnel items on the agenda so the board went into an extended executive session. After the executive session, the board came back and voted on the personnel before closing out the meeting.