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When Abilene students return from spring break, attendance centers will revert to normal operating hours. School classes will begin at the pre-COVID 19 original starting times and dismissal times will do the same. Bus schedules will also revert to normal pickup and delivery times beginning Monday, March 22.

Members of the Abilene Board of Education discussed the pros of returning to some normalcy this year. They also approved the presentation of the 2022-2023 year school calendar. School superintendent Greg Brown indicated that since spring break essentially started Wednesday for a lot of students there would be a video presentation and other informational reminders for students and parents on the switch back to normal schedules.

Danette Whiteley, Abilene High School vocal music instructor, presented for approval a request to travel out of state to Branson, Mo., in April to attend the Branson Jubilee National Music Festival that will take place at the Encore Theater. 

Whiteley told the board in her presentation that 12 members of the AHS Singers would have normally traveled to New York City for every other year competition at Carnegie Hall, but that event was not considered this year due to COVID. The Branson Jubilee became available and Whiteley asked for approval for out-of-state travel. The itinerary for the festival has not been finalized but Whiteley expects the 12 students and a group of sponsors would travel by bus from Abilene to Branson. She indicated the expected out-of-pocket expense for each student may be $100 after monies collected are used for festival registration and other expenses.

The board approved the trip to Branson and indicated that if a chartered bus could not be arranged that school transportation would be available.

A new high school course entitled Women in Career and Technical Education was also approved by the board. The new course is described as an introductory course that covers the history and role of women in agriculture and skill trades work force. The class will be conducted as part of the FFA curriculum. 

In another action item, the board approved a proposal by Supt. Brown to reduce the fee associated with the summer driver’s education program from $210 to $100. Brown said the district had the funds in the budget to be able to offer this one-time reduction for the students.

Approval was granted for the board president to re-sign the Neighborhood Revitalization Program with the City of Abilene.

In personnel action, the board approved resignations from Stacie Buss, AHS FACS teacher and Kellsi Brantley, Kennedy Elementary Pre-Kindergarten teacher and the retirement of Janet Strong, McKinley Elementary lunchroom supervisor. A resignation was also received from Bill Christner, custodian/mail courier/recycling staff and from Pamela Carney, AHS night custodian.

Employment was offered to Dauson Whiteley as Abilene Middle School assistant wrestling coach and Colten Liby, substitute Custodian/Mail Courier/Recycling Staff. Alia Smith was hired as a substitute para and Aahnix Bathurst-Williams as substitute teacher.

The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 12.


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