It’s been a rocky start for many school systems close to home.
Eight students were admitted to the hospital in Enterprise due to symptoms stemming from reported carbon monoxide poisoning. New Brockton High School in Coffee County has had the premises and buses checked several times, but can’t find any evidence of a leak.
The entire city of Hartford was affected by a water line break that occurred Friday morning that drained both of the city’s water tanks. The incident delayed school until 9 a.m.
Houston County schools started back on Monday with limited phone and internet service due to a recent malware attack affecting servers that shut down the schools’ network. The only access to internet school administrators had was to a single computer in the main office. Counselors, who are responsible for enrollment, also had computers.
Houston County school bus riders are also feeling the brunt of a heat wave that is affecting the area as the 90 buses are not equipped with air conditioning units. The digital thermometer on one bus read 138 degrees after standing idle for some time before boarding students, according to a WTVY article.
The issue is not a new problem nor is it unique to Houston County, as Dothan City school buses don’t have them either. According to state law, buses aren’t required to have A/C and local officials will likely not expend the cost to mend the problem.
It costs $10,000 to equip each bus with air conditioning. Many buses in the county are old and will be retired in a few years anyway, so it is difficult to justify the cost.
Parents of bus riders are asked to provide cooled bottles of water for their youngsters to prevent heat exhaustion.
Dothan City School stakeholders will face an adjustment period as well as students, teachers and administrators navigate their new digs and new ways of doing things.
A revised cell phone policy will come before the board on Monday evening during its regularly scheduled board meeting, but DCS will not be able to enforce a revised cell phone policy for the first week due to the late notice.
Board member Franklin Jones said he was pleased that revisions were made to the second draft of the cellphone policy, which set forth a zero tolerance approach to cell phone misuse.
Dothan City’s school board will meet again on Monday at 5 p.m. at Beverlye Intermediate School and the Houston County school board will convene at Houston County Career Academy the same time.
Chalk Talk, an education notebook compiled by education beat reporter Sable Riley, appears in the Dothan Eagle and at DothanEagle.com