Whitesburg KY
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy

Jenkins still seeking principal; classes set to begin on August 4

Jenkins Independent Schools Superintendent Deborah Watts told the Jenkins Independent Board of Education at its June meeting that she has received a number of applications for the vacant principal position at Jenkins Middle High School and is currently evaluating them in preparation for beginning interviews in July. Watts said the task of moving the Central Office to the middle high school and rearranging offi ces there to accommodate the move has taken a great deal of her time as well as that of the Central Office staff and custodians. She praised everyone associated with the move for doing a difficult job well in very hot weather. She said everything will be in place for the first day of school for students, which will be August 4.

Superintendent Watts told the board that in addition to a middle high school principal, she will need to hire a Grade 9-12 science teacher, a preschool teacher, a preschool aide, a preschool bus driver, and change a four-hourper day janitor position to six hours a day. Activity funds for the new school year have been set up and Watts said she intends to ask the new employees to attend the July board meeting to meet the board. She said each school is being cleaned and will be ready for the coming school year.

The Central Office was moved to the school as part of a realignment of space as well as in preparation for what is hoped to be an entirely new school building that will house the middle high school as well as both the Burdine and McRoberts Elementary campuses. The board has submitted paperwork to the Kentucky Department of Education to request funds to build the new school, but a decision has not been made yet. The move of equipment and personnel also places everything in property owned by the district and eliminates the necessity of renting office space.

Technology Director Damien Johnson told the board that while moving all the computer servers, rerouting fiber optic lines for broadband Internet connections, and re-establishing telephone systems to the MHS building was diffi cult and time consuming, it had gone well. Johnson also praised the custodial staff for its work in making the move and told the board about a half ton of servers and other electronic equipment to the new site had been moved. He said Windstream had been very cooperative in moving the telephone system.

Johnson told the board he was concerned about the high temperature in the server cabinet at the school and said that although temporary measures have lowered it somewhat, continued exposure to high temperatures will damage the sensitive and expensive equipment. Watts said an air conditioning duct will be re-rerouted to lower the temperature, but Johnson said that during the winter, the duct will heat the room rather than cool it.

“Heat is definitely an issue,” said Johnson. “The immediate problem will have to be addressed as soon as possible. It’s too hot in the server room and there is a lot of money (expensive equipment) in there. We’ll have to do something other than a temporary fix.”

Johnson said he had been able to stream graduation ceremonies for the senior class of 2010 on the Internet and that more than 70 viewers had logged in to see the ceremony. However, graduating senior Storm Cox’s father was unable to view the ceremony in real time because his military unit had been moved and accommodations had not been made in time for the graduation. Johnson said he plans to place the graduation ceremony on a server in its entirety and the system will have a link on the website for anyone who missed it.

Director of Pupil Personnel Harvey Tackett told the board the unofficial attendance for the 2009-2010 school year is 89.3 percent, down .07 percent from the previous year total of 90.0. He said the official numbers will be back from the Kentucky DOE in time for the next board meeting. Grade three in the elementary schools had the highest average daily attendance at 91.8 percent. Tackett said all state reports are due June 30 and that all but the calendar have already been submitted. The calendar has been revised to accommodate changes made in the General Assembly, and Tackett said a technical problem in the state school board’s system has kept him from submitting it, but the problem will be fixed in time to beat the deadline.

The General Assembly mandated a longer school year in terms of class time, going from 172 student days to 177. Tackett said the 185- day calendar for teachers remains unchanged, but several changes have been made within the time frame to allow for more classroom time, including changing from four holidays to two and making changes in professional development days. He said the system will meet the state requirement of 380 instructional minutes per day.

Tackett, who also has charge of system security, told the board that security arrangements are in place for the coming year and that a camera will be added for the McRoberts Campus and the master keypad will be moved for the Central Office move to the MHS. The Family Resource Center has been relocated and a buzzer entry system has been installed as well as a new camera.

In other board business:

• Superintendent Watts praised the Jenkins Lady Cavs Softball team, which made it to the state playoffs after winning the 14th District Tournament.

• Watts told the board that the graduating of 39 seniors received approximately $440,000 in academic and athletic scholarships.

• State Content Groups are training teachers to be ready to implement new systems put in place by the Kentucky DOE for the coming year.

• All federal reports and applications have been submitted and $25,000 has been approved for federal programs.

• The board approved several annual contracts, including a Migrant Students arrangement with Pike County Schools; the Bluegrass KESCO Water Treatment Plan; the Teen Leader Program with Kentucky River Health Department; and compliance assurances with new KDE policies.

• The board voted unanimously to change the location for board meetings to the Jenkins Middle School Library and keep the date as the fourth Monday of the month at 6 p.m.

Leave a Reply