Story by Gator Media Staff Writer Amy Guinn
LAFAYETTE – The Chambers County School Board of Education is eager for the start of the school year, following a summer of planning to effectively navigate upcoming changes. Students return to classes on August 8th, many to new locations.
During their meeting on Wednesday, July 20th, board members addressed a variety of business matters, including the upcoming budget for the school year and advancing plans for the consolidated high school.
CCSD Superintendent Casey Chambley called the struggle to find certified staff members to fill needed positions a “growing epidemic” seen across the state. However, their efforts have left only two positions that need to be filled and a new teacher orientation takes place August 1st.
The 2022-2023 salary schedule reflected the need to create more competitive rates for custodial and CNP staff positions. Additional efforts were made to provide fair compensation for teachers’ supplemental positions and increase their availability by expanding activities offered to students, including the addition of a wrestling team and girls’ flag football team.
As Lafayette High School and Valley High School prepare to join in one building, plans are progressing for a new facility that will meet the needs of students from both original campuses. Interviews to select an architect for the consolidated high school project have already occurred and the final designs should be completed by early spring. The bidding and interview process will start over when building plans for the STEAM Academy begin. Preparations are underway to hire the system’s first STEAM consultant.
Although the new dress code has been met with a mixed reception, Chambley reported that the Uniform Expo was a huge success and parents appeared to be appreciative of their efforts to help find resources for students’ new clothing requirements. In summarizing the purpose of the policy, he stated that “we look forward to improving academic integrity and professionalism of our students for this upcoming school year.”
Chambley is hopeful that the impact of Covid will remain as low as it has during summer school, with assurances that the administration will keep an eye on the situation and take precautions as necessary.
As moving companies return teachers’ items to newly finished flooring, the school system is gearing up for a challenging and rewarding year that will provide new program offerings at magnet schools and an expansion of the opportunities available for all Chambers County students.