The Jenkins Independent Schools Board of Education voted to leave last year’s tax rates intact at its August meeting. District Finance Officer Candala Gibson told the board that the state’s compensating rate for the Jenkins District of 83.3 cents for $100 of real property is the same as last year’s rate and the board voted unanimously to keep the existing rate, which also applies to airplanes and watercraft. The motor vehicle rate of 69 cents per $100 was also left the same.
The school year is off to a good start for Jenkins Independent Schools, according to Superintendent Mike Genton, who told the board that students and staff alike are working hard to make a successful year. Genton presented the district’s Professional Growth Plan to the board, which he said focuses on collaboration and leadership. He said that he wants to do a community survey for input from the overall community at a later date.
The board also honored high school students Lindsey Belcher and Andrew Watts for being chosen as Jenkins High’s representatives to the Student Senate. The two will work with students from other districts in a University of Pikeville project to find ways to make their schools better. Belcher said they will serve as the voice of the students of Jenkins High School and they have done a survey to see which issues the JHS students want to see addressed.
High School Principal Eddie Whitaker reported that the school year is off to a good start and said staff have taken training is several areas, including the use of Google programs. An open house was held on August 2, and the football and volleyball teams have already begun their seasons. He added that teachers and staff are working with the Plato and Study Island software training programs, as well as working on their Professional Growth Goals and Student Growth Goals.
Principal Stacy Collier of the elementary school at Burdine told the board that everything is going well and the pre-school is off to a good start as well. She said the Pee Wee Football season is underway, and added that football gets real when you play in Pike County. The pre-school playground and classroom renovations are complete and the Jenkins Elementary Cavaliers’ Facebook page is up and running.
Director of Pupil Personnel Rondall Baker reported that total enrollment is 438 and that attendance stands at 96 percent. Technology Director Damian Johnson reported to the board on new state laws regarding procedures for data security and privacy. Johnson said the privacy standards are in compliance with state and federal laws and that student privacy is of prime importance. He said the main reason security breaches occur in Kentucky is human error, including carelessness with passwords.
Family Resource Center Director Angela Collins asked the board to approve a Memorandum of Understanding between the school system and AmeriCorps for the placement of five student workers at the center. The positions will be funded by AmeriCorps. The board approved unanimously and applicant interviews will begin soon.
Financial Office Candala Gibson told the board the General Fund stands at $724,738.41 and that the first payday for teachers went well. She said work on the next audit will begin in October and that she will be working on the draft budget next month. She added that the district has almost $25,000 left over funding from Buildings and Grounds Project 1, the roof renovations at Burdine Elementary and said she will contact the Kentucky Department of Education to see for what the remaining money can be used.
The board also discussed signage at the Jenkins football field and decided that information to the effect that the field and track are available to the public for walking and bicycles but that no motorized vehicles are allowed inside the confines of the field unless authorized by the board needs to be included. Board Chairman Tracy Goff added that the signs need to address liability issues and asked that the language “”use at your own risk” be added. However, Goff said this does not mean that the board is not liable for negligence at the field.
The board also tentatively approved the purchase of a new volleyball net system to be used for games only. However at the time of the approval, Finance Officer Gibson had left the meeting and the board tabled the actual vote until it could be determined if the $1,600 purchase would fit in the budget.