At its September meeting, the Jenkins Independent Schools Board of Education voted unanimously to allow school nurse Lisa Collins to keep and use the anti-overdose drug Naloxone (pharmaceutical brand name Narcan) in case of an opioid overdose at the schools.
Collins told the board she, along with representatives of 150 other school districts, had recently attended a seminar on the use of Narcan in school settings. Collins said the drug is used as a nasal spray to stop the life-threatening effects of an opioid overdose for up to one hour per dose, and can be administered more than once if emergency medical workers have not arrived within that time period. She added that in light of the excessive amount of opioid abuse in the region, having Narcan on hand can definitely save lives.
“We can’t put our heads in the sand,” said Collins.
Jenkins Superintendent Mike Genton told the board it is his belief that the Kentucky School Boards Association will recommend keeping the substance on hand at Kentucky schools soon and that it is just a common sense measure in light of the problem of drug abuse in Kentucky. Genton compared it to car insurance saying, “You buy it but you hope you never use it.” Collins told the board the drug will be supplied to Kentucky schools at no cost as part of an anti-overdose initiative of the Clinton Foundation.
Board Chairman Tracy Goff asked if it would be necessary to formally revise the school’s protocols to add using Naloxone to emergency medical procedures. Collins said that the policy, which includes the use of Epinephrine for allergic reactions, may be broad enough to cover other procedures too and Genton said he will check, and if a policy change is necessary, the board can initiate it at its next meeting.
In other business, the board accepted possession of the Tommy Brush Football Field, the Jenkins Baseball Field, and the track around the football field following a vote by the school board along with a vote by the Jenkins Education Foundation to transfer the properties to the school system. Board Chairman Goff explained that in order for the school system to spend any funds improving or repairing any of the properties, it needs to own them, because under Kentucky law, the school system cannot spend its funds on property it does not own. The board members voted unanimously to approve Goff ’s suggestion that they go ahead and vote to accept the properties, pending a decision by the Education Foundation to turn them over. The Jenkins Education Foundation met directly after the board, and voted to transfer ownership of the properties to the school system.
The board also heard a report from Supervisor of Instruction Serena Anderson on the Perpetuating Excellence Through Teaching, Leadership and Learning (PETLL) project. Over the past few years, the Jenkins Independent School District has participated in the PETLL process, which allows two site visits and observations to be conducted within each school per school year. The visits are designed to provide teachers and building staff with positive remarks and comments, while also focusing on several blueprint areas.
The most recent visits were conducted during the week of September 19 and both schools, Jenkins Elementary and Jenkins Middle High, had very successful visits. One area of emphasis that the PETLL team was instructed to look for was student engagement. Student engagement has been one of the district’s main focus areas over the past year. Burdine Elementary Principal Stacy Collier reported that teachers have maintained an intense focus on implementing and attaining active student engagement in their classrooms, and staff members have attended various trainings, adopted and implemented new strategies, and have created learning centers/stations within all classrooms. This intense focus was obvious for the PETLL team during their assigned classroom observations as all teachers received positive feedback in this area.
Principal Collier said that she and Jenkins High School Principal Eddie Whitaker and Middle School Principal Thomas Pinion were all very pleased with the outcomes of the visit. “I feel that the PETLL visits help us stay on track with our goals by allowing us to maintain a specific to concentrate on. Once that we, as a staff, have achieved our goal, we will then identify another area to begin working on,” said Collier. “In addition to the classroom observations, four elementary teachers, Sara Campbell, Anna Compton, Amanda Anderson and Amanda Kelly, who each display strong specific artisan teacher talents, were also videotaped during the visit. JES (Jenkins Elementary School) is the first school to have videos of this nature uploaded to the YouTube Channel, the HOLLER. The next JISD PETLL visit is scheduled for the spring semester of 2017.” (The HOLLER is a social learning initiative of the Appalachian Renaissance Initiative, website: http:// www.theholler.org/.)
District Financial Officer Candala Gibson reported that as of the end of August, the General Fund stood at $731,471.25, and said the district had recently received just over $143,000 in unmined mineral taxes. She added that the auditors will begin their work on the upcoming audit in two weeks. Gibson also presented the $6 million working budget for 2017 to the board and said that the contingency fund is considerably smaller than in past years. Gibson said the budget is in balance and it passed the Kentucky Department of Education’s budget test.
Director of Pupil Personnel Rondall Baker reported that district enrollment is up to 445 and attendance is currently at 94.43 percent. Board Chairman Goff said it would be nice if attendance would stay above 94 percent. Baker also asked the board to approve a contract with Letcher County Schools to allow Jenkins High School students to participate in the Letcher County Central High School ROTC program. Baker said two Jenkins students have indicated they will join the program and a number of others are interested as well.
District Innovations Coordinator Cristle Carter introduced Jenkins Middle High School staff members who were awarded grants through the Appalachian Renaissance Initiative for innovations in their classrooms. Sara Campbell told the board she will use her grant to incorporate science and technology into the curriculum, Librarian Crystal Smallwood said she will create a student friendly listening space and doodling center in the school library, and Stephanie Cassell said she will conduct a six-week project based learning unit to include Appalachian Studies, past and future, in her classroom.
In other board business:
• JHS Principal Eddie Whitaker presented certifi- cates to Lindsey Belcher and Jacob Elswick stating that they are both College Ready. Both students have met ACT Testing benchmarks to attend college.
• The board also voted unanimously to affirm the annual Federal Funding Assurances, which certify that the school system will spend federal funds according to federal guidelines.
• The board voted to fully fund a new set of nets and standards (posts) for the high school volleyball team. The new equipment is only for use by the team and the old equipment will be used by physical education classes.
• The board approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Berea College to participate in the Gear Up Program.