Whitesburg KY
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Jenkins says free school meals save money for district

Since the Jenkins Independent School District joined with the National Food Service Program to provide meals at no charge to all students, deficits in food service have actually gone down.

The Jenkins Independent Board of Education learned at its January meeting that participation in the Community Eligibility Option has significantly reduced its food service deficit. Kentucky is one of three states participating in the program which provides free meals to every student regardless of income.

As she presented the financial report, District Finance Officer Candala Gibson told the board the food service is almost running in the black, with a deficit of $1,161 against previous deficits of more than $40,000.

Gibson reported a general fund balance of $501,189.55, but added that a mistake in reporting appropriations had exaggerated the amount Jenkins will receive from the state in new funding. She said $2.8 million was earmarked for Jenkins for the next year, $184,000 more than the current year’s appropriation, and said it is certain that state funding will again be reduced.

“There is no way they are going to give us more this year,” said Gibson. “Next year will be very tight.”

In other business, Athletic Director Larry Maggard delivered a report on a recent Title Nine Audit issued by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association. Maggard told the board the district is in full compliance and that some inequities from a 2003 report have been addressed fully. Maggard said facilities, uniforms, and practice schedules are equitable for each team regardless of sex and that the KHSAA was pleased with the district’s efforts to ensure compliance. Maggard also praised Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital for providing physicals for every sports participant in the district from elementary to high school.

Maggard said KHSAA had zero complaints. The report covers the years from 2009 through 2011 and Jenkins met all standards. He added that the auditors were particularly pleased with the placement and availability of the weight room which provides equal access for all sports.

As part of the “staff school spotlight,” McRoberts Principal Sturgill brought Kayleigh Mullins with her to show the board a trophy the cheerleaders won at the Winterfest Competition held at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg. The competition was for girls from kindergarten to third grade.

Burdine Principal Gracie Maggard told the board she was pleased with a documentary film Burdine students did on Jenkins Mayor G.C. Kincer and praised the mayor for his willingness to participate. She said Kincer took several hours and gave the students a complete tour of city hall and explained the workings of the city council. The video is available for viewing online at staff. jenkins.kyschools.us/other/burdinestlp/ Site/A_ Mayor_ With_ Vision. html.

In other board business:

• The board unanimously approved the creation of direct deposit for staff payroll. Superintendent Watts said those who do not wish to participate in direct deposit will be able to opt out and it will gradually be fully implemented as those who do not participate retire or leave the system.

• AD Maggard asked the board to explore the possibility of creating a non-paid classified position for a dance team coach. Board Chair Durward Narramore Jr. said the board members would have to take it under advisement.

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