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Jenkins school renovations will kick into higher gear in 2 weeks

Renovation and construction on the two Jenkins School campuses will begin in earnest in two weeks when both campuses will be empty of students and fully accessible to Trace Creek Construction.

Jenkins Independent Schools Director of Pupil Personnel Rondall Baker told the board of education at its April meeting that he does not anticipate making any changes in the remainder of the school calendar, and the last day for students stands at May 14.

Mike Sparkman of Alt- 32 Architects of Lexington told the board that Trace Creek has experienced very few interruptions in the work it has conducted so far with students in the building, but added that there is a great deal of work that will have to wait until school is out. Once the buildings are empty, Trace Creek workers will be able to work without worrying about disrupting classes or any risk to students from exposure to dust or other construction-related materials.

Sparkman told the board he had visited the sites and looked at the exterior doors at both sites, which will be major projects, and that the locker rooms were nearing completion. In addition to locker rooms, the project includes renovations to the gymnasium, the cafeteria, and surface renovations such as painting and floor tiles. The largest item is replacement of exterior doors so only the main entrance can be opened from the outside.

Jenkins Superintendent Mike Genton asked the board to table two construction related items, the location of the trophy cases and making choices of surfaces for tables. The board agreed with unanimous votes to table both items.

Genton also said a short video is being prepared for the website and school app that gives details about the construction project and explains that money for the work comes from state funds and not from the regular operating funds for Jenkins Independent Schools. Genton said anyone who is interested in keeping up with this or other school business should go to the website at https:// www.jenkins.k12.ky.us/o/ jenkins- independentschools. He added that the school app is available as Jenkins Independent Schools at the iPhone App store or at Google Play for Android Phones.

In other business, three students from the Jenkins High School Cavalier Wind Band will be touring Europe this summer as part of the Kentucky Ambassadors of Music European Tour. The students were chosen by a board composed of music teachers and conducted at the University of Louisville.

Kenneth C. Sexton, Hannah Marie Roberts, and Marshall Gage Wiseman will participate in the seven-country European Tour this summer. The entire Cavalier Winds ensemble performed on April 18 at the Kentucky Music Educators Education Assessment and the band was to hold its Spring Concert on Tuesday, May 2. Seventh-grade music student Kaliegh Cook was named to the All District Band in a competition with other seventh and eighth grade musicians. Cook made 11th Chair Clarinet at All-District. She placed 11th out of 29 students who auditioned. Mike Sexton, a ninth-grade percussionist, was also named as Third Chair in the All District Percussion Ensemble.

The Jenkins Band thanked everyone including the Jenkins Kiwanis Club and Whitesburg Lions Club, along with Genton, Herman Belcher, Ellen Purdue, Ricky Rose, Jerry Collins, Katherine Davis Thompson, and Jenkins Band parents for helping to purchase a new tuba for the band. The band members also thanked everyone who purchased strawberries in their fund drive for helping to make the dream a reality.

Two Jenkins High School juniors, Jason Bentley and Jeremy Potter, asked for permission to attend one college class at the University of Pikeville next semester. This will not be included as a dual credit class but strictly as a college course. Jenkins Middle High School Principal Stacy Collier said both are good students and have said they will pay the cost of tuition for the class. Genton said he is in favor of the request but will have to consult with the board’s attorney to have a document prepared for their parents to sign giving permission. He said he would “try to make it happen.”

District Finance Officer Candala Gibson reported that the General Fund stands at $890,118.40. Gibson also told the board that the investment company that had served the school district for teachers’ retirement investment plans had announced that it will no longer provide a 403B investment plan. A 403B plan is a tax advantaged investment plan for public education and some other non-profit employees. The plans are retirement savings plans similar to 401K plans, but can only be offered to organizations that are exempt from federal income tax such as public schools, colleges and universities, charities, and religious organizations.

The plan is optional for Jenkins school employees.

Gibson asked the board to give Lincoln Investment Company permission to develop an employee plan and prepare to meet with Jenkins employees next fall to change over their plans. The board approved her suggestion unanimously.

Baker, the pupil personnel director, reported that enrollment stands at 420 and said that average daily attendance is at 92.19 percent.

Genton said he had signed up the system with the Center for Safe Schools to allow it to conduct a safety assessment and added that he wanted the board to focus on school safety in the coming year.

Elementary Assistant Principal Amanda Anderson reported that reigning Miss Kentucky, Katie Bouchard, visited Jenkins Elementary in April. She said Bouchard spoke with students about personal choices and goals. Bouchard also visited the middle high school. Anderson said Jenkins Head Start students recently visited the school and attended the book fair.

The fifth-grade class trip to Dollywood will be on May 6 and May 7, and grades two and three will visit the Creation Kingdom Zoo in Gate City, Va. The fourth grade will have a field trip to the Big Sandy Science Center on May 9, and Honors Day and end of year awards will be on May 13.

JMS Principal Stacy Collier reported that the high school Spanish class will visit Las Penas Mexican Restaurant in Jenkins on May 3 for lunch. The prom will be held on May 4 at the Old Jenkins High School.

The eighth-grade graduation will be held at 7 p.m. May 9, and the eighthgrade trip to Dollywood will be on May 10. The eighth-grade dance will be on May 11. Senior Awards Night will be on May 11 at 7 p.m., and high school awards day will be on May 14, the last day of school. The high school graduation will be May 17. Graduation, awards, and other ceremonies will be held in the high school gym.

The board voted unanimously to renew the Edmomentum contract, which provides online services to students such as Study Island and other educational enhancement programs. Genton said the system has experienced a large increase in students using the website and that there are substantial savings for early renewals.

Board members approved the Board Works contract. Board Works keeps school boards up to date with educational content including state laws and provides resources to classroom teachers. Genton said he will incorporate some of the Board Works content into lesson programs for students on non-traditional instruction days when school is not held due to weather or other emergencies.

The board voted to increase the computer maintenance technician’s work schedule to eight hours per day for 200 days. Genton said the position is very valuable to the system. The board denied a request from a local men’s basketball league to use the high school gym this summer due to construction work. The board approved Baker’s request to have an early release from school at 12:30 p.m. on May 14, the last day of school.

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