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Board considering need to replace gym floor ruined by rain



The floor in Whitesburg Middle School’s gymnasium will have to be replaced after being damaged by heavy rains last month.

The school roof was in the process of being replaced in June when the rains came and caused the gym floor to buckle in several places, especially at center court.

Roger Martin, district finance officer, said other damages to the school were avoided because teachers had covered computers and filing cabinets with plastic while the roof was being repaired. Several ceiling tiles must be replaced before classes resume in August.

Martin told the Letcher County Board of Education this week that three companies that install gym floors recommended the old floor be removed and replaced instead of patching sections.

“It’s going to have us out of commission for a long while,” said Anna Craft, superintendent of Letcher County Public Schools.

Aug. 9 is the first day of school for students and Aug. 5 is the opening day for teachers.

In other business, two parents of students who attend Arlie Boggs Elementary School at Eolia asked the board about letters parents have been receiving which say their children don’t qualify for preschool services at the school. Brenda Mullins and Shirley Sturgill asked the board if a preschool program would exist at the Eolia school in August.

“We are totally confused about preschool,” said Mullins.

Craft said students who meet income or disability requirements will be eligible for preschool.

“If they qualify, they can go,” said Craft.

Craft said if 10 eligible students show up on the opening day of school, then a half-day teacher will teach the preschool class.

“We just want to be united,” said Mullins. “We’ll be sending some your way, definitely.”

Mullins also asked the board if students who live in Harlan County but attend Arlie Boggs can ride a bus to school. Craft said that is allowed through an agreement between the two school districts.

In other business, Cassity Riff e, a senior at Letcher County Central High School, sat through her first board meeting as a student representative. Although she will not vote on issues or be involved in executive sessions, she can advise the board on student-related issues. Riff e is the first student representative to serve on the board.

Craft said construction of the vocational and technical center is on target.

“They have rock pressure going and will start on foundation by next week,” said Craft. “Their hope is to get a roof on before bad weather.”

The board also:

• named Kenneth Cornett, director of pupil personnel, as employee of the month.

• approved the Letcher County Central High School football team’s request to participate in a tournament in Barbourville July 30 – Aug. 1.

• authorized Craft to advertise for bids for lubricants, antifreeze, retreading, tires, tubes, gasoline and diesel fuel.

• approved the following people to serve on a committee to annually update and review evaluation procedures of certified personnel: Kenneth Cornett, Tony Sergent, Wendy Mullins, Tamara Ison, Denise Yonts, Oscar Back, Jackie Collins, Tracie Howard, Reginia Donour, and Janet Caudill.

• voted to keep a-la-carte prices for the food service program for the 2010 – 2011

• approved four local professional development hours for two board members. Dr. Sam Quillen Jr. attended a symposium for medical professionals on March 6 focusing on prescription drug abuse and safety in the workplace. John Spicer Sr. attended an administrator’s retreat on July 21 focusing on policies and procedures related to instruction expectations for teachers.

• entered into contracts with speech pathologists Pamela Baker, Kristi Dixon and April Morrell for the 2010-11 school year.

• contracted with LKLP Head Start for the Letcher County food service program to provide lunches and breakfast for the Head Start program.

• contracted with Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation to provide physicals and TB tests for new employees. Cost is $49.50 each. The board also authorized MCHC to administer Hepatitis B vaccines to elected employees at a cost of $5 per person.

• renewed a contract with Appalachian Regional Healthcare for drug screening services of new school system employees. Cost is $50 for each drug screening.

• approved agreements with Save the Children Federation for grants for four schools. Arlie Boggs Elementary School will receive $64,123. Beckham Bates Elementary School will get $73,604. Cowan Elementary School will receive $93,079, and Letcher Elementary School will get $74, 902.

• leased three copiers from Toshiba Business Solutions for West Whitesburg Elementary School at a cost of $446 a month for 60 months.

• entered into an agreement with the Kentucky River Health District to provide limited school nursing services in the schools for the 2010-11 school year. The school district will contribute $5,000 for each nurse.

• approved a student teacher agreement with Midway College.

• approved a proposal with the Kentucky School Boards Association for a local planning committee facilitator services. Cost is $4,500 plus normal travel expenses for the facilitator to work up to 10 meetings in the district. If additional time is required, the facilitator will receive $50 an hour in addition to expenses.

• approved payment of $440 to Richardson and Associates for architectural services for the re-roofing project at Whitesburg Middle School.

• approved the June financial report and approved payment of July salaries. Martin reported $5,221,901.87 in the general ledger balance.

• accepted the resignations of David Buchholz, itinerant music teacher; Gracie Maggard, a teacher at Cowan Elementary School; Nancy Whitaker, a custodian at Letcher County Central High School; Cyra Whitaker, literacy tutor at Cowan Elementary School; Jessica Antonio, teacher at Letcher County Central High School; Melissa Bell, itinerant speech therapist; Heather Bates, substitute cook/baker; and Cynthia Cornett, substitute cook/ baker.

• rehired Jonathan Francis, a itinerant music teacher; Brandon Garrett, a special education teacher at Letcher County Central High School; Ashley Spangler, a teacher at Letcher Elementary School; Gabriel Burns, a special education teacher at Martha Jane Potter Elementary School; and Jacqueline Hall, a teacher at West Whitesburg Elementary School.

• rehired certified employees Theresa Holonich, an itinerant music; Michael Shannon Mullins, a teacher at Letcher County Central High School; Brett Lewis, a teacher at Letcher Elementary School; Afton Blair, a teacher at Martha Jane Potter Elementary School; Tammie Bentley, a teacher at Beckham Bates Elementary School; Paige Adams, a teacher at Cowan Elementary School; John Dustin High, a special education teacher at Letcher County Central High School; and Rhonda Sizemore, a special education teacher at Letcher County Central High School.

• rehired classified employees Donna Sturgill, an assistant coordinator of the Family Resource and Youth Service Center (FRYSC) at Cowan Elementary School; Leslie Johnson, an instructional assistant at Cowan Elementary School; and Chrystal Boggs, an instructional assistant at Martha Jane Potter Elementary School.

• hired as classified employees Gary Caldwell, district finance officer; Darrell McBee, bus driver at Martha Jane Potter Elementary School; Keith Baker, bus driver at Letcher County Central High School; and Edward Dean McBee, district custodian. Michelle Tilley, Malisa Armitage and Carolyn Potter were hired as instructional assistants at Fleming-Neon Elementary Schools.

• Ten certified employees were transferred to diff erent positions. Patricia Bentley, a special education teacher at Cowan Elementary School, is now a special education teacher at Arlie Boggs Elementary School. Roger Martin, district finance officer, is now director of federal and state projects. Jackie Collins, director of special projects, is now the director of assessment and accountability. Lori Hollen, an associate director, is now director of curriculum and instruction. Lesia Whitaker, an associate director, is now director of curriculum and instruction. Regina Brown, a special education teacher at Letcher County Central High School, is now a district wide resource teacher. Stacy Isaac, a teacher at Martha Jane Potter Elementary School, is now a district wide resource teacher. Melissa Baker, a teacher at Cowan Elementary School, is now a teacher at Letcher County Central High School. Lesley Whitaker, a Save the Children teacher at Cowan Elementary School, is now a teacher at Cowan Elementary School. Winston Lee, a teacher at Beckham Bates Elementary School, is now a Save the Children teacher at Cowan Elementary School.

• Five district classified employees were transferred to diff erent positions. Larry T. Puckett, a change coordinator at Beckham Bates Elementary School, is now the energy manager, a district wide position. Rhonda Stidham, a cook/baker at Cowan Elementary School, is now a food service manager at Cowan Elementary School. Parnell Parsons, a custodian at Fleming-Neon Elementary School, is now a custodian at Cowan Elementary School. Tina Hogg, a full-time occupational therapist, is now a parttime occupational therapist. Brenda Collins, a custodian at Cowan Elementary School, is now a bus monitor at West Whitesburg Elementary School.

The next school board meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 23.


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