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Craft’s contract

The Letcher County Board of Education this week voted to renew the contract of Supt. Anna Craft for another four-year term.

The board took the action after discussing the matter in executive session at its June meeting on Monday.

“I’d like to make a motion that we renew her contract for four years at the current salary she is receiving and she will also get a one-percent raise or the same raise as the employees are getting,” said Will Smith, chairman of the board.

Craft’s salary is listed at $122,871.46.

The board also voted to created seven new jobs. Federal stimulus money will be used to fund five Response to Intervention (RTI) teaching positions, a kindergarten/preschool teaching position, and an aid.

RTI is a three-tiered model for teaching students based on research, according to Kelly Hall, director of curriculum and instruction. He said that while all students receive core content, 20 percent of those don’t learn a lesson on the first try and need supplemental instruction which falls under tier II. Hall said scientific research-based strategies are used in small flexible groups to help students understand core content.

Hall said 15 percent of students need tier II instruction. He said five percent of students need tier III instruction, which is when students receive instruction in a group of three or one on one with a teacher.

The newly created positions, which will be funded for two years, will provide intervention at the tier “RTI is the big push,” said Hall. “It keeps us from over identifying special education students.”

Hall said students have to go through all three tiers before they can be identified as a special education student.

Yvette McGuire, former director of special education and preschool, said 58 students recently registered for preschool at West Whitesburg Elementary School.

“The first day of school we will have more parents showing up trying to get their children in preschool,” said McGuire.

She said legally only 20 students can be enrolled per session. The school has two half-day sessions. The new kindergarten/preschool position will allow more children to benefit from the services of preschool.

McGuire said preschool is for four-year-olds who meet eligibility requirements and for three-yearolds with disabilities.

“Parents are desiring to help their children,” said Supt. Craft. “Getting those services earlier is helping them overcome their disabilities.”

The board also:

• named district maintenance employees Tommy Boggs, Emory Clifton and David Smith as employees of the month.

• approved adjusting its mileage reimbursement rate to be the same as the Kentucky Department of Education’s rate beginning July 1. The rate is currently .37 cents per mile.

• approved a request by the Letcher County Central High School football team to participate in a passing league in Winchester on June 19. The board also approved a reward trip for a summer camp trip for Beckham Bates Elementary School to Pikeville on June 26.

• revised the student code to require parents of students needing bus transportation different from their normal route to provide a written request to the school office. Twyla Messer, director of maintenance and operations, said one parent called a school five times in one school day changing the location where the child needed to go after school. By the end of the day the child was so confused that the child got on the wrong bus. Messer said the district wants to prevent situations like that from occurring.

Another revision to the student code says that students enrolled in the Letcher County Education Center who commit a drug/ alcohol offense or violence/ weapon/dangerous instrument offense will not be provided transportation by the school district. In case of hardship, parents can go to the director of transportation and fill out a form stipulating hardship caused by loss of transportation privileges.

• approved participating in the Kentucky School Boards Association and approved payment of $4,885 in membership dues for the upcoming school year.

• entered into a membership agreement with Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative for the 2009- 2010 school year at a cost of $8,500.

• approved revising the 2009-2010 extra service/extra duty salary schedule to include a middle school cheerleading sponsor with a pay of $500 a year.

• approved utilization of Roberts Insurance as the insurance agent for student accident coverage for the 2009-2010 school year at a premium of $47,101.

• entered into an agreement with Neace Lukens to provide coverage through Ohio Casualty for Workers Compensation, Comprehensive General Liability, Educator’s Legal Liability, Property, Inland Marine, umbrella and bus/fleet insurance at a total premium of $333,337 for the 2009- 2010 school year.

• continued a contract with the Letcher County Sheriff ‘s Department to provide a security officer for the school district. This action allows the officer to have arrest powers and be properly trained with a law enforcement agency. The sheriff’s department will be paid $32,775.81 for the service. In addition, the board will pay $49.76 per month as partial payment for the officer’s health insurance.

• ratified a master agreement with the state for the Reading First Program at Martha Jane Potter Elementary School for $72,111.

• approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services for the Family Resource and Youth Service Centers (FRYSC) for fiscal year 2010. Total amount of funding for the FRYSC centers is $388,339.

• entered into a contract with Appalachian Drug Screening Services LLC to conduct drug testing for all employees that possess a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Cost is $35 per urine drug screen test and $10 for each breath alcohol test.

• approved combining the pay of the head academic coach and the two assistants and equally dividing the amount among the three coaches.

• approved agreements with Save the Children for Beckham Bates and Cowan elementary schools for the 2009-2010 school year. BBES will receive $131,603.16 to implement literacy and fitness programs. CES will receive $123,593.93 to implement literacy and fitness programs. BBES will receive $13,221.84 less than last year and CES will receive $2,953.07 less.

• exercised an option to extend a bank depository at Whitaker Bank for two years.

• accepted the retirement of Roger Gilbert, a teacher at Cowan Elementary School.

• accepted the resignations of Shirley Blair, a cook/baker at Letcher Elementary School; Arner Whitaker, a substitute bus driver; and Larry Maggard, teacher, assistant football coach, assistant track coach at Letcher County Central High School and district-wide substitute bus driver. Maggard has accepted the job as head football coach at Jenkins High School.

• hired Tammy Cook as change coordinator at Cowan Elementary School.

• hired new LCCHS head basketball coach Robert Hammonds as assistant principal at the school; Anna Lori Hollen as the associate director of curriculum and instruction; and Amanda Wright as a district wide music teacher.

• hired April Frazier as LCCHS drama and speech coach; Jennifer Wampler as LCCHS drama and speech coach, and Mitzi H. Kincer as LCCHS head cheerleading coach.

• re-hired the following classified employees who had previously received letters of non-renewal: Vivian Banks, cook/baker at Letcher Elementary School; Megan Sumpter, instructor II literacy coordinator at Arlie Boggs Elementary School; Sallie Sparkman, literacy tutor at ABES; Olivia Blair, change coordinator at ABES; Michele Robinson, instructor II literacy coordinator at Beckham Bates Elementary School; Lisa Elkins, literacy tutor at BBES; Adrienne Sturgill, literacy tutor at Cowan Elementary School; Jacqueline Hall, early step coordinator at CES; Elizabeth Adams, instructor II literacy coordinator at Letcher Elementary School; Melissa Shepherd, literacy tutor at LES; and Terri Bailey, literacy tutor at LES.

• re-hired the following certified employees who had previously received letters of non-renewal: Dionne Bates, special education teacher at LES; Jamie Bates, special education teacher at Whitesburg Middle School; Patricia Bentley, special education teacher at CES; Joel Boggs, special education teacher at LCCHS; Sonya Bowling, special education teacher at LCCHS; Jamie Billiter, special education teacher at Martha Jane Potter Elementary School; Kyra Creech, a teacher at CES; Carmella Webb, teacher at CES; and Lesley Whitaker, Save the Children literacy coordinator at CES.

• approved the following transfers: Jackie Collins, a district-wide resource teacher and reading coach, is now the district wide director of special projects at central office. Rhoda Whitaker, a teacher at Whitesburg Middle School, is now the director of special education and preschool at central office. Ruth Bentley, a special education teacher at LCCHS, is now a special education teacher at Whitesburg Middle School. Rhonda Cromer, a itinerant hearing impaired teacher, is now a itinerant hearing impaired teacher and a homebound teacher. Lisa Souther, a special education teacher at Fleming- Neon Elementary School, is now a special education teacher at Martha Jane Potter Elementary School. Wendy Madden Mullins, a Reading First coach at MJP, is now the principal of Letcher Elementary School.

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