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Letcher board will accept assistance from educators

The Letcher County Board of Education is making an effort to improve high school math scores by agreeing to have technical assistance from several different education organizations.

At its meeting held Monday night the board approved an agreement for a Voluntary Partnership Assistance Team (VPAT) consisting of representatives from the Kentucky Department of Education, the Kentucky School Boards Association, and the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents.

The Letcher County School District is in tier three of consequences under the federal No Child Left Behind Act because it had not met all of its NCLB goals for four straight years. The district did meet its goals for the 2006-2007 school year and if it meets all of its NCLB goals next school year, the district will be cleared of consequences. Under the NCLB guidelines, a district has to meet all of its goals for two straight years to not be in the consequence category.

Being in tier three entitled the district to qualify for a Voluntary Partnership Assistance Team.

Kelly Hall, director of curriculum and instruction, said the team will help the district locate resources and analyze data as well as provide learning strategies, model lessons for teachers and professional development.

“The math department (at Letcher County Central High School) is eager to raise its scores and we are going to give them all of the assistance we can,” said Anna Craft, superintendent of the Letcher County School District.

Will Smith, chairman of the board, said it is important for the district to meet its goals next year so the district can get out of tier status.

“We have a tight budget but we can’t afford not to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Attwell Turner, a board member.

Community members Valerie Saurer and Cathy Derry gave a report about the development of a district strategic plan. Saurer and Derry encourage the public to participate on “action teams” that are being led by school principals. There are eight committees being formed that address the following topics: communication, human values, environment, student success, accountability, support, resources and instructional assessment. To get involved with a committee, people should contact Linda Setzer or Terry Sturgill at 633- 4455.

In other news, Glenda Fleming, secretary of Fleming- Neon Elementary School, was named employee of the month.

Board members Terry Cornett and Mike Harris did not attend the meeting.

The board also:

• approved the emergency dismissal policy and emergency school closing committee. The following people were appointed to the committee: Craft, James Slone, Kenneth Cornett, Timothy Coleman, Paul Fields, Gary Pridemore, Terry Sturgill, Lester Cornett, Tex Isaac, Christopher Hogue, Terry Anderson, Randy Bailey and Gerald Smith.

• approved the Arlie Boggs Elementary School to participate in school-wide fund-raisers. The school asked to host a fall festival, and sell T-shirts, calendars and McDonald’s cards. The fund-raisers will help with attendance incentives and field trips.

• approved reimbursement of payment for expenses, up to $1,000, for the Letcher County Central High School golf team which participated in state-level competition during the first week of October in Bowling Green.

• approved reimbursement of payment for expenses, up to $1,000, for the LCCHS volleyball team which will participate in state-level competition on October 26 at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights.

• approved a contractual service agreement for Jeffery L. Holbrook for speech language therapy on an as-needed basis for the 2007-2008 school year.

• approved a letter of agreement with Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation for a reimbursement to the Letcher County School District not to exceed $1,580 for participation in the Appalachian Math Science Partnership (AMSP) baseline improvement site activities at Martha Jane Potter Elementary School.

• approved an addendum to the memorandum of agreement with Kentucky Community and Technical College System for its human services program. Letcher County Schools will serve as a laboratory for students in the human service program.

• entered into a contract with Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation to provide physicals and tuberculin tests for new employees at a total cost of $49.50 per person. The board also authorized the Hepatitis B vaccine to selected employees at a cost of $5 each.

• approved renewal of a contract with Appalachian Regional Hospital for drug screening services of new employees for the Letcher County School System at a cost of $50 per drug screen.

• approved the financial report, payment of bills and transfers, and payment of salaries for October 2007. Roger Martin, district finance officer, reported that the general ledger balance is $3,828,220.29.

• authorized the treasurer to close the Kingdom Come Elementary School activity account and to transfer the funds to Cowan Elementary School.

The next board meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. on November 26 at the Letcher County school bus garage.

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