Cook announces new security measure

WINFIELD - During his first board of education meeting since his official start date as Winfield superintendent of education, Chris Cook announced a new security measure that will allow school staff to check any offenses or warrants of visitors before allowing them to enter a Winfield City School.
As part of his first superintendent’s report to the board, Cook said that Winfield City Schools had recently purchased a Visitor’s Management System, which will allow office staff to scan the driver’s licenses of every visitor and see any offenses on the person’s record.
“It’s another safety precaution we are going to take with our campuses. We will be able to see any outstanding warrants or offenses for that person and we can deny them access,” said Cook.
According to Cook, this will prevent anyone with a criminal background from being able to enter the school and help keep Winfield City Schools as safe as possible.
Cook also told the board during the meeting that he has greatly enjoyed his first month as superintendent.
“This first month has been fantastic. It’s been a whirlwind, but it has been a pleasure coming to work every day, it has been a joy,” said Cook.
Cook told the board that he had visited every teacher, custodian, bus driver and child nutrition worker in the system during his first month on the job.
“It has been a wonderful first month. This is truly a wonderful system and we are going to continue to try to improve this system.”
Cook said the transition he had made had been very smooth, thanks to the staff being so welcoming and open, as well as interim superintendent Benjie Parrish’s efforts while he was serving in the position.
In other business, the board:
• Watched a presentation by Girl Scout and middle school student Wren Williamson, who told the board of her project to raise funds to provide the Ivan K. Hill Recreational Park with a changing table that would be able to accommodate disabled persons of adult size.
Williamson, who has presented to the Winfield City Council and some local churches, told board members that people with special needs or disabilities frequently had to have their personal needs met and be changed on a dirty public bathroom floor. Williamson urged board members to keep those with special needs in mind.
• Approved a joint resolution with the Winfield City Council recognizing the 2018 Winfield Pirate varsity football team for the team’s 11 – 0 record. The team won the Class A, Region 4 championship, the Marion County championship and the West Alabama Conference championship.
The joint resolution was presented to the team by the mayor and the board during the Tuesday, Dec. 11, Pirate girls varsity basketball game at halftime.
• Approved the disposal of obsolete equipment. This equipment has been in storage for years and includes outdated computers, keyboards and other items.
• Added two additional holidays for the system’s custodial staff on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
• Approved the creation and posting of a Special Education Instructional aide position.
“Due to recent added enrollment in the special education department, we needed an additional aide,” said Cook.
• Approved the resignation of Adrian Box as custodian.
• Approved the recommendation made by Cook to end the employment of Rodney Hollis as a custodian at Winfield Elementary School.
• Raised the salary of Child Nutrition workers a total of 3 percent. The board voted to make this change retroactive to the start of the last pay period.
• Voted to request bids for fixing the air conditioning and heating system in the Winfield City High School gym. According to Cook, only three of the gym’s eight heating and air units were working and the cold weather was causing these units to run continuously.
• Renewed Xerox contracts for the high school and elementary school.
• Approved the 2018 – 2019 Sick and Catastrophic Leave Committee. Employees voted to select staff members Rebecca Moore, Sheila Peoples, Carla Patton, Sonia Chism and Alicia Cotton.
• Approved the disposal of old eighth-grade English books. Board members joked that these books were likely the same as had been used by board members during their school days.