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Jenkins Schools touts new website

The Jenkins Independent School System is starting the new year with a new, more user friendly and informative website, school officials say.

District Technology Director Damian Johnson told the Jenkins Independent Board of Education at its January meeting that the website is complete and should be up and running later this week. The site will connect with the middle high school as well as the Jenkins Elementary School at Burdine. He added that the Burdine site has a good deal of content already and said he expects both sites to increase their offerings as teachers and staff become more familiar with it.

Johnson said the site will have different levels of accessibility for students, parents, staff, teachers, and administrators. He added that the home page will feature different backgrounds from throughout the school district and at present, the new gym floor is the background picture. Information such as school closings and other alerts will be featured prominently, and teachers will develop their own individual websites for their classes. Johnson said it was time for a new website since the old site had been unchanged for 12 years. The web address is the same as the old site, www.jenkins.k12.ky.us, and will be easy to find by typing Jenkins Independent Schools in a search engine.

In other business, Interim Jenkins High School Principal Thomas Pinion honored five JHS students for receiving scholarships. Aron Bartley and Melissa Bartley received $1,000 WYMT Mountain Classic scholarships. McKenzie Gibson, Katie DePriest and Ted Allen all received $1,000 scholarships through the All A Classic Scholarship Program. Pinion said that Jenkins High School had the largest total of scholarships for schools in the programs.

The board conducted its annual re-election of offi- cers with no changes. Tracy Goff continues as board chair and Eileen Sanders as vice chairperson. Meetings will continue to be held in the JHS library at 6 p.m. on the fourth Monday of the month.

Elementary Principal Stacy Collier told the board that work on the new fence on the Burdine Campus playground is underway and said that Pee Wee Basketball is getting started as well. Collier also said that Burdine students have been working to collect spare change for Pennies for Patients, to benefit sick children. Since 1994, Pennies for Patients has collected change from elementary, middle, and high school students throughout the country. The program collects millions of dollars during a three-week period to benefit the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society. Elementary students are also collecting box tops as a fundraiser and have collected canned food for the Letcher County Food Pantry.

Collier said she has met with all her planning teams and that by using Cavalier Calls (calls to target students in areas that need improvement), every grade has shown at least 60 percent growth academically. She added that the elementary school only needs a two-point increase in test scores to be a School of Distinction.

Principal Pinion reported that the National ACT Test was recently administered at the high school and said that financial workshops have been held for seniors and their parents. He said that counselors have worked with students on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Student Loan application as well. Former Kentucky Governor and U-Pike Chancellor Paul Patton also spoke to Jenkins seniors.

District Financial Officer Candala Gibson reported that the general fund balance in January is $774,766.36 and said that the district received the final Audit Review Approval last week. The board also voted to finalize the transfer of the system’s Bond Depository from Whitaker Bank to Community Trust Bank, which was begun during the summer. The members also approved the draft budget for 2017, which Gibson said was mostly just a rollover from 2016 since the General Assembly hasn’t passed education funding yet and schools haven’t received their SEEK Budget formulas

The board also unanimously passed a Memorandum of Agreement to allow it accept a grant to repair the roof at the Burdine Elementary School. Under the terms of the grant the expenditures will not exceed the $474,000 allocated by the grant and the system will comply with Kentucky Board of Education guidelines and procedures. The members also approved the non-resident agreement between the Jenkins system and the Pike County and Pikeville Independent Schools.

Interim Superintendent Eddie Whitaker reported that the board would need to contract with an architectural company as part of the planned revisions to the facilities plan and recommended it works with Alt-32 Architecture and Design of Lexington. Board Chairman Goff, an engineer with Summit Engineering of Pikeville, said that previous experiences with Alt-32 have been satisfactory and recommended contracting with the company. The total for its services will be $5,307.

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