The Scott County Board of Education met on July 21, 2016 at 6:30pm at the Great Crossing Office Complex. Upon the call to order and welcome, Board Chair Haley Conway announced that he would not run for re-election but would complete his 12 years of service to the Scott County Board of Education at the end of his term in December 2016. Conway reflected on accomplishments of the district during his tenure, praised fellow board members for their dedication and sacrifice, and paid respect to his parents who taught him to be community-minded and stressed the importance of giving back through public service. This is an election year for seats in District #1, occupied by Conway, as well as District #2, represented by Jo Anna Fryman, and District #3, represented by Jennifer Holbert. Later in the meeting, board member Jo Anna Fryman announced her intention to seek re-election. The filing deadline is August 9 for candidates to file for the Scott County Board of Education election in November.
Christa Darnell, a commissioner with the City of Stamping Ground, asked the board to consider expanding a current easement between the school and the community post office. The commission would like to landscape the space and place signage for community events throughout the year. Superintendent Dr. Kevin Hub will meet with Darnell to discuss next steps. Next, board members approved common carrier use with explanation and approved donations and fundraisers.
Energy Manager Jim McClanahan gave an annual review of the district energy management plan highlighting more than $3 million in avoided cost for Scott County Schools achieved through the hard work of the district’s maintenance department and through support from the board, Superintendent, principals, and active student energy teams. Garth Elementary, the community’s oldest school building, earned distinction as the number one school in both the district and state in terms of energy reduction and conservation. All Scott County schools are Energy Star winners and the district recently received the Energy Partner of the Year award for the second time. The board approved a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between Kentucky School Boards Association and Scott County Schools for the LGE-KU Energy Management Project.
In other business, the Scott County Board of Education approved a secondary bid for commodity food items and approved a contract with Counseling Association of Lexington to provide counseling services for students. Board members applauded this effort and additional resource and stressed the importance of providing services to students. Members also approved a contract with Scott County Fiscal Court in support of the district’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program as well as a contract with Wedco District Health. Next the board approved non-resident pupil contracts, changed authorized signors on accounts, and approved the purchase of two copiers for Scott County High School as presented.
The board conducted a second reading for approval of a list of revised policies. Two additional policies (3.11 and 3.21), related to the hiring of personnel, were discussed by board members, Superintendent Hub, and Board Attorney Josh Salsburey. Members voted to table the policies and conduct a first reading of revised changes at a later date. The topic of discussion was non-renewal for cause as it relates to future employment with Scott County Schools.
After the financial statement and approval of current bills, members approved the contract for Hilliard Lyons to serve as fiscal agent for Scott County Schools. Clay Goode, Director of Middle and High Schools, will serve as acting principal of Cardinal Academy until the position is filled. Paul Krueger, Director of Elementary Education, will be the acting principal at Western Elementary until the selection of a principal.
Superintendent Hub has met with school principals each at their own school and will conduct sessions with staff at both the upcoming administrative retreat and new teacher orientation. Strengthening partnership and communication has been a priority during his first month as Superintendent as evidenced by meetings with local business leaders and media representatives. The SBDM at Western Elementary is actively seeking a new principal with Dr. Hub as chair of the council.
Director of Facilities Billy Parker has worked closely with skilled mechanic Bobby Gillespie to ensure buses are in top condition and ready for the start of school on August 11. Progress has also been made to provide a bus lounge for drivers.
The original school calendar for 2016-2017 highlights days at Spring Break (April 3-5, 2017) that would be used as school days in the event that eight days were missed prior to February 28, 2017. This calendar was approved prior to the application for Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) days which allows Scott County Schools to provide alternative instruction for students to complete at home on identified snow days. The use of NTI days can reduce the number of school days missed due to inclement weather. As a result, a full week at Spring Break will remain intact and will be April 3-7, 2017.
The district did not receive tax rates from the Kentucky Department of Revenue this week. If the rates are received within the next week, Superintendent Hub outlined a timeline regarding the building of a second high school. Required advertisements could be placed Aug. 4th and 11th and there could be a tax hearing scheduled immediately before the Scott County Board of Education meeting on Aug. 18th. It would then be the decision of the board whether or not to levy a nickel tax. The nickel tax would make the district eligible for equalization money from the state which together would fund a full complement of academic and athletic offerings and facilities upon the opening of Great Crossing High School in August 2018. If the community supports this action, the new school could open as soon as possible to meet student needs while protecting the district’s bonding potential which would support future building and renovation projects in our growing district. In the event of a community petition against the tax levy, the legal time requirements would prevent a vote in November 2016 which would, in essence, delay the building at least another year. Superintendent Hub stated clearly that it is the priority of the district to be fiscally responsible while maximizing efficiency and cost if the board and community support the building of a new high school.
Board member Stephanie Powers will chair the 90th birthday celebration for Garth. The Scott County Board of Education and Scott County Schools will keep veteran educator Betty “Granny” Graves and family in our thoughts. Board member Jennifer Holbert is an active part of the effort to host middle and high school student exchanges with our sister city, Tahara, Japan. Next the board entered into Executive Session to discuss a matter related to litigation. The Scott County Board of Education will convene a work session on August 4, 2016 at 6:30pm at the Great Crossing Office Complex.