Whitesburg KY

Jenkins board sets new rules

Participation in graduations, prom, and athletic programs will be tied to attendance in the coming year at Jenkins Independent Schools.

At the July meeting of the Jenkins Independent Schools Board of Education, the board voted unanimously to accept the Student Handbook code that requires students to maintain a 90 percent attendance average with no more than two suspensions to participate in high school graduation, eighth grade advancement ceremonies, and athletics. Students with serious illnesses or those who have been injured in accidents will receive home/hospital instruction twice a week and will not be counted absent.

Student athletes with an unexcused absence will not be allowed to play in the next game following the absence and must maintain a 2.0 grade point average in order to participate. JHS math teacher Thomas Pinion, who served as interim principal for most of the 2015-2016 school year, told the board the policies are in place to promote attendance and are part of existing procedures.

Pinion praised the cooperative effort of the committee that worked on the handbook and told the board that most of the changes were made in the interest of clarifying policies and that overall, there had been no major revisions. He said the handbooks will go out immediately and will also be available on the school website at http:// www.jenkins.k12.ky.us/.

While there were no revisions in dress code policies, Board Member Eileen Sanders said that she had been at the JHS campus several times last year and questioned the enforcement of the code. Sanders said that she had noticed several incidences where skirts and short pants were too short. New Superintendent Mike Genton said he had no problem with the code as it is, but that obviously, the implementation of the policy needs to be addressed. Several board members said they understand that male teachers are often uncomfortable in confronting high school girls about dress code issues. The board voted to approve the Student Handbook as presented.

The board got off to a good start at its first meeting under the direction of its new superintendent, who was officially hired in June, and the meeting went well as board members addressed preparation issues for the coming school year. Superintendent Genton said he is settling in well at Jenkins and that he is ready to go. The first day of school for students will be August 3.

Genton praised Burdine Elementary teacher Serena Anderson and JHS writing teacher Stephanie Cassel for their recognition by the Appalachian Renaissance Initiative. He told the board that Anderson was named as a Transformational Leadership Fellow, and will lead and teach other teachers who go through the ARI leadership Center, and Cassell will attend the ARI training sessions. Genton said that he is very proud of both teachers and called their achievement “fantastic.”

The Appalachian Renaissance Initiative is part of the 2013 U.S. Department of Education Race to the Top Grant. ARI is a consortium of 17 rural school districts that are committed to sharing resources and professional learning opportunities to impact teaching and learning in rural Kentucky. The ARI Initiatives are Personalized Learning, Teacher and Leader Effectiveness, College and Career Success, Next Generation Classrooms and Advanced Technology, and Accessible Data Systems.

Rebecca Terrill Amburgey, clinic administrator at Whitesburg Mountain Comprehensive Health Care Clinic, visited the board and told the members that MCHC will continue to offer its school-based health clinics to the system under the terms of the 2012 contract. MCHC has clinics in Jenkins Schools as well as the Letcher County school system and Perry County schools, and offers the services of nurse practioners, physicians’ assistants, and doctors to students. Amburgey told the board that Miranda Young will serve as coordinator of the program. The board voted unanimously to renew the contract.

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