Aerial photo of new Southeast Alamance High School

Furniture will arrive in June and teachers will begin moving into the new $65 million dollar Southeast Alamance High in July according to an update the ABSS Board of Education received on Tuesday afternoon during its work session.  

“We’re pleased with how things are coming together.  Our final cleaning and punch list will be toward the end of July,” said Ken Grube, Samet Senior Vice President.  “We’re confident we will be ready for students when school resumes in August.” 

Architect Ashley Dennis with Moseley Architects said the school is equipped with a number of safety features including a safety vestibule at the entrance, electronic door entry, and security cameras throughout.  “Additionally all of the classes with the exception of our Career and Technical Education ones are in the same building which means students never leave the main building.  That is a safety feature in and of itself,” she said.  

The 221,000 square foot facility will have a capacity for 1,250 students when it officially opens this fall.  

Simpson Remains On Board
Longtime Board member Patsy Simpson who announced her plans earlier to resign from the Board due to relocation and has decided not to vacate her seat.  

“I value my seat, I value my voice, and people are looking for what I bring to this Board and they want to make sure my replacement will have the same values.” Simpson told the Board.  

“I am not vacating this seat until I get to know the criteria that this Board will be looking for in my replacement.”  

Board Attorney Adam Mitchell said, “the only legal criteria is that the person is a registered voter in Alamance County.  I've not ever seen a Board create a metric or rubric.  Typically the Board accepts letters of interest and makes a decision from there.”  

The Board voted 5 to 1 to suspend all further discussion and not accept letters of interest at this time.  

Photo of Board of Education in session with BOE sitting at desk.

Discipline Data
The Board reviewed discipline data so far for the year.  “The data has remained consistent in recent years and I believe it’s safe to assume that social media has influenced these numbers,” said Greg Holland, Executive Director of School Administration.  The majority of the offenses are for non compliance, attendance, disrespect, and fighting.  The District did report 31 assaults on adults, 39 assaults on students, 168 incidents of illegal substances, and ten incidents involving gangs.  A total of 143 middle and high school students were recommended for long term suspension.  

Mental Health Funding
The Board voted to spend nearly $150,000 in ESSER funds to contract with three current mental health agencies to provide mental health services for students. Services will provide students with school based individual therapy as well as school therapy intake and assessment beginning this month through September.   

American Rescue Plan Funding 
The Board also voted unanimously to use a portion of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to give nurses, mental health specialists, and nurse extenders a one-time bonus.  The funds were earmarked to improve health outcomes and address the continued impact of COVID-19 on public health.  ABSS nurses and mental health specialists will receive a one-time bonus of $3,275 to help cover the costs of their required yearly training.  Nurse extenders will receive a bonus of $1,000.  The use of funds also includes purchasing spot vision screeners and nursing care plan books. 

Lottery Funding
The Board also approved a request from staff to use $745,000 of its lottery funds to replace the track at Western Alamance High School and remove and replace the bleachers at Altamahaw-Ossipee Elementary.  The District is also using grant funding to replace the track at Cummings and to complete upgrades at Eastern High School’s athletic complex.