Shelby County BOE approves employee transfers from PHS to HHS

By KATIE MCDOWELL/General Manager

The Shelby County Board of Education approved the transfer of some Pelham High School employees to Helena High School during its March 20 meeting.

Superintendent Randy Fuller said the transfer was another step in the process of opening Helena High.

“At this point, we just transferred the certified employees. Support employees will be transferred in coming meetings,” he said.

Certified employees include teachers, librarians and counselors. Fuller said the transfer takes effect at the start of the new school year or the employee’s contract year.

He also said all employees were given the opportunity to share their preference: Remain at PHS, transfer to HHS or no preference. Criteria for deciding which employees were transferred included the employee’s request and tenure status, as well as balancing the staff at both schools.

“We tried to honor as many requests as we could,” Fuller said.

Fuller said they also had to address the needs of both schools. For example, they had to make sure each school had a librarian, band director and athletic staff.

“It’s based on the number of students,” Fuller said.

Pelham High will be split approximately in half when Helena High opens in the fall of 2014. Shelby County Schools doesn’t have the exact number of students or employees that will transfer, but Fuller said a little more than 1,000 students will stay at PHS while fewer than 1,000 will attend to HHS.

Fuller said Shelby County Schools used the same process in the past when they split schools, such as when Oak Mountain High School and Forest Oaks Elementary opened.

“After the board meets, they are sent a letter in the mail notifying them of their transfer,” he said.