Percentage of THS students 'College and Career Ready' has increased

By Barry H. Hendrix
The renewed emphasis to prepare students at Thomasville High School for a “College and Career Ready” future has risen the certification rate for the Class of 2020 to 93.51 percent, said Garth Moss, Thomasville school superintendent.
He spoke Jan. 26 at the monthly meeting of the Thomasville City Board of Education at the Thomasville Civic Center.
“That has been a focus of ours for the last two-plus years,” he said. The rate has risen from 77 percent two years ago. He praised Kyle Ferguson, THS principal, and his staff to make sure students are not only graduating, “but they graduate having met one of the standards the state sets.”
In other action from the Jan. 26 meeting, January is School Board Member Recognition Month. “I want to thank you once again for what you do,” Moss told the board members. He noted the amount of time, effort and energy that the board members spend helping the board be successful. “I really appreciate the dedication that each and every one of you have.” The current board includes Sharon Buford, president; Martha Gramelspacher, vice president; Jim Davis, Marshall Pritchett, and Dr. Jerry Schreiner.
• All students in the school district are receiving virtual instruction only until Feb. 8. The reason for moving to virtual instruction on Jan. 22 came from the number of faculty and students affected by the current pandemic, Moss said. As of Jan. 22, four teachers and 15 students had tested positive at THS with one teacher and 91 students in quarantine. At Thomasville Middle School, one teacher and eight students tested positive with seven teachers and 71 students in quarantine.
“We were starting to see the same type of uptick at the elementary school,” the superintendent said. As of Jan. 25, three teachers and two students tested positive with four teachers and 21 students in quarantine. “That gives you a pretty good idea why we decided to go ahead and shut down in-person instruction.”
Moss praised the continual work of the custodial staff in the school system. Although the CINTAS company is scheduled to deep clean the campuses, the local custodians have done a great job on a daily basis, he said.
After students return for classroom instruction at all three schools, the tutoring program will continue, Moss said. THS and the middle school will also have Saturday School programs.
School officials have also begun discussions about potential summer school programs.
• Avery Ford, Chief School Financial Officer, reported that payroll for November 2020 totaled $802,658.59. Accounts payable for November totaled $372, 194.62.
In December 2020, regular payroll totaled $803,397.88 with a $37,689.40 supplemental. Accounts payable for November totaled $330,437.25.
• The pay of substitute school bus drivers was increased from $35 to $50-a-day.
• The following personnel actions were approved:
Maci West at Thomasville High School;
(leave requests)
Cynthia Lewis, teacher at TMS – catastrophic sick leave;
Santana McCaskey, Child Nutrition Program Assistant at THS – family medical leave;
(position reassignment)
Carmen Maness, reassigned from math teacher at THS to instructional aide at THS, effective Jan. 4.
• Moss hopes to recommend a candidate at the Feb. 23 board meeting to replace Jack Hankins Jr. as THS head football coach. Applications for the position will be accepted until Feb. 2.
• A low bid of $250,000.00 was awarded to Alabama Roofing and Sheet Metal for reroofing portions of the roofs at Thomasville Elementary School and THS due to damage from Hurricane Zeta.
• The Child Nutrition Program (CNP) has received a clean audit for the 2020 Summer Feeding Program from federal officials, Moss said.
• The annual state school buses inspection was performed on Jan. 25 and 26. “There were no issues reported,” Moss said.
• The board approved a dress code change to the Parent-Student Handbook in which sweatpants cannot be worn to school.
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