Jenkins Independent Schools Supt. Deborah Watts said cuts in funding are forcing the school district to consider teacher layoffs. However, Watts said while teachers without tenure have not been rehired for 2013-14, the district still hopes to be able to retain them.
“We hope to bring everyone back,” Watts told the Jenkins Independent Board of Education at its April meeting.
Watts also told the board she has seen more focus from this year’s teaching staff than in any year she has served as superintendent. “Principals worked really hard and the teachers have gone above and beyond,” she said. “We think it is going to show.”
In other business, Director of Pupil Personnel Rondall Baker reported that attendance stood at 89.57 percent between this month’s meeting and the March board meeting. Baker said the elementary schools’ grades K-5 all have attendance rates above 90 percent with kindergarten having the highest rate at 94 percent. In the middle high school, Baker said the senior class has the highest attendance with 90.6 percent for the year.
Principal David Lee also reported an increase in American College Testing (ACT) scores from an average of 17.9 last year to 18.9 this year.
Lee told the board that the Jen- kins High School graduation ceremony is scheduled for May 23 at 7 p.m., and the eighth grade promotion ceremony will be held May 21 at 6 p.m. Both ceremonies will be held in the Jenkins gymnasium.
The board also voted unanimously to approve a motion introduced by Vice Chairman Tracy Goff that will enable the board to pay the rent to allow the Jenkins High baseball team to use the baseball facility at Ramey Fork. Goff’s motion will remain in effect until the baseball park at Joe’s Branch has electricity, water, and an operating sewer system.
In other business:
• The board voted unanimously to continue the district’s participation in a U.S. Department of Agriculture National School Lunch Program that pays for all student breakfasts and lunches regardless of need. Finance Officer Candala Gibson told the board that the reimbursement under the Community Eligibility Option will be 100 percent for next year and that Food Services will finish the year in the black.
• Gibson reported that the General Fund has a balance of $248,743.53.
• The board voted unanimously to move the date of the May board meeting from May 27 (Memorial Day) until May 28.