CCBOE purchases YouScience program for students

Members of the Cullman County School Board are seen in the new Hanceville Elementary School cafeteria on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023. (Tiffany McKoy)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – The Cullman County School Board on Tuesday met for a special-called meeting in the new Hanceville Elementary School cafeteria. The board approved a partnership with the Cullman Economic Development Agency and Cullman County Economic Development to purchase the YouScience program.

“Our students can take a survey of what they’re interested in and they take a series of aptitude tests and it compares both what they’re good at,” explained Cullman County Schools Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette.

Barnette said he hopes the program will help guide students to the career paths that are the most suited for them, and to careers they are passionate about.

According to the program’s website, “YouScience is used by nearly a million students in thousands of school districts to create hyper-personalized pathways. We use proprietary artificial intelligence to uncover student aptitudes, then connect these aptitudes to careers and educational pathways designed to help students find relevance in school and confidence beyond.”

The board also approved an updated version of the Student Handbook. Barnette said the update focuses on the wording of the dress code. “We’ve updated just a little bit and change some verbiage in there,” said Barnette, who shared there will no longer be a specific measurement for short lengths.

The following agenda items were approved:

  • Request from Cold Springs High School to pay Bryan Tidwell $2,500 for additional summer duties, paid by local school funds
  • CCBOE to partner with City and County Economic Development to purchase the YouScience program; CCBOE will pay $20,347.60
  • Request from the Child Nutrition Director Emily Smith to extend and operate the CACFP At-Risk program for school year 2023-2024
  • Updated 2023-2024 Student Handbook

The school year will begin on Aug. 9 for students with last names beginning with A-K and Aug. 10 for students with last names beginning with L-Z. All students will attend Aug. 11.

The next regular board meeting will be Thursday, Aug. 17. The work session will begin at 3:30 p.m. and the meeting will be held immediately afterward.