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Jenkins board delays action




The Jenkins Independent Board of Education has tabled the first reading of the district’s “Drug Free Schools Policy.”

The board took the action at its May meeting Monday night at the request Director of Pupil Personnel Harvey Tackett. The first reading will now be held at a special called meeting between now and the board’s June meeting.

Tackett said the delay was necessary so that Board Attorney Tim Crawford would be able to attend the meeting. The date of the meeting date will be announced later.

Tackett also told the board this week that attendance for the Jenkins Middle/High School as of May 18 stood at 91.7 percent for the year and 93.4 percent for the elementary schools.

Board member Raymond “Benjy” Prunty questioned Tackett about a high rate of enrollment loss in the last quarter of the year. Prunty pointed to a decline from a total enrollment of 578 to 571 from March 28 on. Tackett said the losses came from transfers and from students going into homebound study programs.

Prunty asked how the change will affect the schools’ overall average daily attendance, from which the state draws funding figures. Tackett replied that a student transferring to homebound will keep their grades and academic progress up until the time of the transfer and will be required to complete a homebound curriculum from the point of leaving regular school. He told the board that students who do become homebound don’t count against the system as dropouts for state statistics, but it does have a bearing on the fall enrollment figure for future funding.

“We had one child go homebound during the last three weeks of school,” said Tackett. “If they chose to come back, they would have to bring in documentation on the course work for the summer. The school would also have a 30 day trial period for placement at grade level.”

Tackett said that most students who go into homebound programs eventually choose to take the GED test through the Adult Learning Center at Letcher County Central High School. He said several Jenkins students who left school for homebound studies had taken that option.

Superintendent Shook added that some students who were lost had transferred into the Jenkins system as non-residential students. Shook said that non-residential students sometimes come into a new system because of attendance and discipline problems at other schools and the Jenkins Independent School District is free to send them back if they don’t work out.

“It keeps us from being a culling ground for another school district’s problem students,” said Shook. “It’s not a bad thing.”

Director of Curriculum and Instruction Jan Tackett told the board that the Kentucky Schools Report Card was inaccurate in its figures for per pupil funding. Tackett pointed to the state’s figure for spending at the Middle High School as $4,883 per student, against district-wide spending per student of $9,453. Tackett said the figures varied too widely to be accurate and that when federal programs are counted in, both will exceed the state per pupil average of $9,252. The report card also listed a 97.4 percent graduation rate for Jenkins Schools and showed a 13 to one student to teacher ratio against the state average of 15 to one. Superintendent Shook said that while the Jenkins ratio is accurate, the state ratio of pupils to teachers is much higher than fifteen to one.

The board voted unanimously to approve the Building and Grounds report, which included authorizing all building projects. This allows for the state to send out bids for project work. Superintendent Shook said work should begin by the end of July on replacing floors in both elementary schools and repairing the roof on the Middle High School building. Shook said the cooling tower will be removed from the roof and placed on a separate stand to prevent leaks around the cooling tower from reoccurring.

The board also took time this week to praise the Burdine Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) for going beyond the call of duty in helping to equip and beautify the Burdine Elementary School.

The PTO was represented at the meeting by David Little and Roxanne Rose. Jenkins Elementary Principal Diane Baker told the board the PTO is responsible for a number of things, including school dances, a luau held during CATS testing, student awards, a marquee for the side of the school, and a number of other material improvements and activities for students.

“This PTO has accomplished more than I’ve ever seen,” said Baker. “They gave us new stage curtains and carpet, and gave every child a stocking stuffed with goodies for Christmas. They decorated the school for every holiday and sponsored the Valentines Day Dance, the Halloween Dance, the Easter Egg Hunt, and the Fall Festival.”

Superintendent John Shook said that all the work and initiative came from the PTO. Shook said all the board provided was the electricity and permission to place the marquee on the side of the school. He said evidence of the PTO’s dedication was visible throughout the school year and particularly at special times.

In other business, the board:

+ Approved Social Studies textbook purchases for both the elementary and middle-high schools.

+ Approved a request from District Technology Coordinator Damien Johnson to dispose of surplus computers and other technology equipment. Johnson will also attend the annual meeting of the East Regional Association of Technology Coordinators, which will be held at Cumberland Falls State Park.

+ Approved the first reading of the tentative budget for 2007 – 2008.

+ Approved the first reading of the District Volunteer Policy.

+ Voted to accept the Kentucky Educational Technology System’s Technology offer of Assistance.


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