By CECIL PERGRAM
The Powell County Board of Education held a regular scheduled meeting on February 12 at the Powell County Middle School library.
Student Technology Leadership Program students at Bowen Elementary were recognized at the meeting.
Bowen Elementary School STLP students participate in Buccaneer Broadcasting, the schools daily news show and Morale Media a program to raise the morale of the school. Students were also recognized for achievements in individual competitions.
Students recognized with Buccaneer Broadcasting team advanced to state competition from regionals. Those students were Katherine Frasier, Mikey Short, Kylie Howard, and Willow Chism.
Morale Media participants will also advance to state competitions after performing in Regionals students recognized were Maddie Nobles, Kane Knox, Lauren Skidmore, and Jon Creech.
“These guys spoke at regional competition in front of hundreds of people and then go on to state where they will speak in front of thousands of people. I’m so proud and pleased everyday with the work that we do in our building and I’m so grateful to them,” Bowen Elementary Student Technology Leadership Program Coach and Media Specialist Jennifer Francis said.
Christian Fannin was also recognized moving on to participate in state competition for a coding challenge.
Interim Superintendent Dr. Anthony Orr addressed the board under the superintendent comments portion of the meeting. Orr told the board, the school district is watching politics at the state level to see what comes out of the legislative session in Frankfort.
“We have been told on a weekly basis that the pension plan would be forthcoming but we have yet to see any details about that. Our teachers and our staff are very concerned about that so we’re watching to see how that shakes out because that’s going to say a lot about how we move forward in terms of staffing,” Orr said. “Additionally we now the legislature is looking at the governors budget proposal to be quite honest, it’s a pretty devastating budget, if it goes through the way they proposed.”
Orr told the board the numbers that he has crunched he estimates the district would lose around $ 1.2 million out of it’s budget.
“That’s a pretty significant hit to take and still operate so we’re concerned about that. You’ve heard people say that this an attempt to shift responsibility for our common education to the local area,” Orr said. “It’s my belief and I’m not alone that that’s not legal because that responsibility belongs at the state level shifting it to the local tax payers was not how this was designed to work and I’m hopeful that our legislators will recognize that and will send this budget back for a lot of it.”
Sarah Wasson, Director of Family Resource and Youth Service Centers, spoke to the council during a dialogue session concerning her department.
Wasson told the board that Family Resources and Youth Service Center are funded through grants for the purpose of providing whatever is needed for children to be able to achieve their greatest potential academically meaning anything from food and clothing to assistance with dental care or hygiene.
“The grant that we received this year, we received $293,125.60 for all our centers. Our centers are on an alternate funding model so we take that money and put that in a pot and then we take all the salaries of the directors out of that and divide by per pupil basis among the schools,” Wasson said. “Two weeks ago we received word that our official number was cut $23,129.12 for this year.”
Wasson told the board that she had been warned about possible cuts during the fall and used those calculations to ask directors to save money. Wasson says that the individual directors did a great job to reduce spending and that the district would be okay but she did have concerns about additional cuts proposed during the following year.
District Program Coordinator Tiffany Anderson spoke to the board about building and grounds updates throughout the district. Anderson told the one year warranty with the Powell County Middle School Renovation project would expire in July and that she had asked for all warranty items to be inspected on May 29 while they are still under warranty. Anderson told the board that next year it the district will need to update a new district facility plan and one member of the board would need to be involved in the construction of a new plan for the district.
Anderson told the board that for the past two weeks cleaning school facilities and busses in an attempt to battle illnesses during flu season.
Anderson told the board that over the past five months she has been analyzing the budget for facilities in the district to find ways of conserving funds. Anderson says that the largest expenditures involves Heating Venting and air conditioning, roofing and custodial supplies. She told the board that she has been trying to monitor ways the district can operate more efficiently and has already taken some steps that would eliminating any unnecessary spending in the future.
Anderson told the board that she was also over safe schools and that safety was very near and dear to her heart.
“I don’t care what anybody says our number one job is to protect kids, educating them is number two,” Anderson said. “As a principal my biggest fear was something happening under my watch and it is still my biggest fear today because I have kids in these schools and everything that happens that’s my kid in there too and I care everybody’s kids just like I do mine.”
Anderson told the board that she had worked to bring uniformity to the district’s emergency management plan so that each school will have the same policy so it doesn’t hurt law enforcement in the event they have to respond to an emergency and each school operating under different procedures.
Anderson told the board that she has also been monitoring drills within the district so that students and staff knows what to in case of emergency, increased law enforcement presence, increased the amount of perimeter door checks and implementing visitor screening policy as recent changes to make each school more safer in the district. Anderson told the board that she also would like to give Powell County Dispatch a radio tuned to school’s emergency radio frequency so they can monitor the school and have a quicker response.
Other action taken by the board during the meeting includes:
Approval of minutes from meetings held on January 8, January 19 and January 22.
Approval of claims and authorizations to make payments of claims.
Approval of bus request trips.
Approval of maternity leave for Jamie Martin from March 13-May 1.
Approval of extended medical leave for Leslie Brooks from February 1-to-February 19.
Approval of overnight trip request for the Powell County High School Key Club to attend district convention in Lexington, Ky on March 16-to-March 18.
Approval of CA-4F for a district-wide teacher for the remainder of the 2017-2018 school year.
Approval of Interim Superintendent Anthony Orr as one of the authorized signers for the Powell County Board of Education and to remove Michael Tate as an authorized signer.
Approval to permit parents and coaches to transport students, who are members of the Powell County Bass team to scheduled practices and tournaments for the 2018 season.
Approval to permit the Powell County Bass team to travel with their parents or coaches to bass fishing clinic at Bass Pro Shop in Nashville, TN on February 17 and February 18.
Approval to permit the Powell County Bass team to travel with their parents or coaches to bass fishing clinic at Bass Pro Shop in Nashville, TN on February 23 and February 24.
Approval of BG-5 for the Powell County Middle School Renovation Project as approved by the Kentucky Department of Education.
Approval for the Powell County School District to apply for the Commonwealth of Kentucky Rubber Mulch Grant for each of the elementary schools.
Approval of Family Resource Youth Service Center (FRYSC) Grants for 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 for Bowen Elementary, Clay City Elementary, Stanton Elementary, Powell County Middle School and Powell County High School.
Approval of monthly financial report.
Approval of orders of the Treasurer Ann Bishop for January 2018.