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Letcher Elementary students no longer face asbestos tiles




READY FOR SCHOOL — Five-year-old Elizabeth Hall hugs a backpack filled with school supplies she received at the Letcher County Kids Day Back-to-School Bash at River Park in Whitesburg on July 22. The Kids Day committee and the Family Resource and Youth Services Center (FRYSC) provided the backpacks. Elizabeth is the daughter of Tonya and Anthony Hall of Whitesburg. (Photo by Sally Barto)

READY FOR SCHOOL — Five-year-old Elizabeth Hall hugs a backpack filled with school supplies she received at the Letcher County Kids Day Back-to-School Bash at River Park in Whitesburg on July 22. The Kids Day committee and the Family Resource and Youth Services Center (FRYSC) provided the backpacks. Elizabeth is the daughter of Tonya and Anthony Hall of Whitesburg. (Photo by Sally Barto)

Letcher Elementary School students can expect to walk on new tile in classrooms and hallways when school starts August 8.

While students and teachers have been on summer break, contractors removed all asbestos tiling from the school building. The tile had been in the building since it was built in 1959.

About five years ago, a second layer of tile encapsulated original tiles in the school hallways. Both layers of tile has been removed and replaced.

The maintenance department for Letcher County Public Schools has spent the majority of the summer leveling concrete floors and laying 25,000 square feet of new tile.

“The maintenance guys, I have to brag on them,” said Asst. Supt. Twyla Messer. “They have done an awesome job. The tile looks beautiful.”

Messer told the Letcher County Board of Education at its meeting Monday night that after the maintenance employees finish laying tile in the hallway on Tuesday, they will need to address issues at other schools in the district in preparation for the beginning of the school year.

Supterintendent Tony Sergent told the board that tile in the cafeteria could be installed during Christmas break unless an emergency takes precedence.

“There is tile in the cafeteria,” said Sergent. “It just doesn’t look good.”

Cost of floor tile removal totaled $23,708.30. Cost of new tile totaled $15,105.

In other business, Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation has been awarded a grant through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to expand its telemedicine services with the school-based clinics in Letcher County.

Dr. Van Breeding, who oversees MCHC’s schoolbased clinics, said practitioners will begin using telemedicine in order to provide services for students every day in every school in Letcher County.

With telemedicine and a medical assistant, a practitioner is able to listen to a student’s heart and examine ears and throats via a computer. Similar to the way FaceTime works on iPhones and iPads, the patient and practitioner will be able to see and hear each other on computer screens.

“I wouldn’t put anything out there for your children or your employees to use that I wouldn’t use myself,” said Breeding.

MCHC will soon purchase 10 telemedicine units with grant funding. Services provided by school-based clinics will be available every day to all students in Letcher County by a practitioner onsite or by telemedicine by the spring semester, Breeding said.

“We might not be there onsite but we’ll be there by telemedicine,” said Breeding.

MCHC has school-based clinics in Letcher and Perry counties and is in the process of expanding into Bell County.

Whitesburg Architect Bill Richardson told the board that progress has been made in getting a new boiler installed at Arlie Boggs Elementary School before school starts. The site has been prepped and propane tanks are in place.

The board also:

• listened to Randy Bailey, district technology director, explain the Kentucky Department of Education’s data security and breach notification best practice guide.

• approved the second reading of the Kentucky School Boards Association’s annual updates and reviews of the board’s policies and procedures.

• approved agreement with Jenkins Independent Schools to provide alternate education services.

• approved declaring network switches, hubs and Ethernet ports as surplus property.

• approved the following people to serve on the personnel evaluation committee: Janet Caudill, Jackie Collins, Kenneth Cornett, Regina Donour, Tracie Howard, Stacey Quillen, Wendy Madden-Rutherford, Denise Yonts and Jennifer Wampler.

• approved a contract with MCHC to provide drug screening services and pre- employment physicals for new employees of the school district. Cost is $100 per screen for the 2016-17 school year.

• approved limited agreement for services with East Kentucky Physical Therapy.

• approved a service agreement with the Cabinet for Families and Children for the upcoming school year.

• approved a memorandum of understanding with MCHC’s Little Apple Daycare to allow MCHC to operate an onsite daycare at West Whitesburg Elementary School during the school year.

• approved the school textbook plans for new reading books for kindergarten through eighth grade.

• approved a memorandum of understanding with MCHC to provide medical providers and services through its school-based clinics for the upcoming school year.

• approved contractual agreements with Pikeville Independent School District for provision of services for visually impaired and hearing-impaired students.

• approved contractual agreements with Jenkins Independent Schools for provision of physical therapy services and occupational therapy services for students.

• approved a contractual agreement with Pike County School District for provision of services for visually impaired students.

• approved a memorandum of understanding with Operation UNITE (Unlawful Narcotics Investigation, Treatment and Education) to provide three math tutors for the upcoming school year. In exchange, units on drug prevention will be taught in participating schools.

• approved Brian Johnson’s financial report, payment of bills and transfers and payment of June salaries.

• learned of the following certified employment: Jessica Boggs, district-wide Gear-Up academic specialist; Stephen S. Boggs, teacher at Letcher County Central High School; Mary A. Chandler, teacher at LCCHS; Matthew Chandler, teacher at LCCHS; Briana Davis, teacher at LCCHS; Jamie Fletcher, teacher at LCCHS; Jacquelyn Fouts, teacher at Martha Jane Potter Elementary School; Brandi Hall, teacher at Whitesburg Middle School; Christopher Hall, teacher at MJP; Ida E. Lewis, teacher at Letcher Middle School; Tamara Potter, teacher at MJP; and Katelyn Sexton, teacher at West Whitesburg Elementary School.

• learned of the following certified resignations: Jennifer Couch, a teacher at LMS; Brittany Hamilton, a teacher at Fleming-Neon Middle School; and Matthew Kettler, a teacher at LCCHS.

• learned of the following certified retirements: Anita Bentley, an art teacher district wide, and Jeffery Breeding, a teacher at MJP.

• learned of the following classified resignations: Meloney Gilley, an instructional assistant II, and Cherith Wright, a four-hour custodian.

• learned of the following classified retirements: Sheila Holbrook, a program assistant II, and Cora Sturgill, food service director.

• learned of the following classified hirings: Matthew Blair, a custodian at LMS; Lily Cornett, a cook/baker at LCCHS; Ramie Hensley, a bus monitor at WMS; Kenneth Holbrook, a bus driver at MJP; Dustin Ison, an instructional assistant II at WWES; Amanda Miller, an instructional assistant II at WWES; Kristie Profitt, a bus monitor district wide; Cassandra Sexton, a cook/ baker at MJP; and William C. Sturgill, a custodian at LCCHS.

• learned of the following classified transfers: Nancy Banks, from an account clerk I to food service director; Coleen Combs, from cook/baker at LCCHS to cook/baker at MJP; Brandi Elkins, from cook/baker to food service manager; Debra Gibson, from custodian to secretary II at WWES; Glenna Halcomb, from custodian at LCCHS to custodian at LES; Deborah Smith, from instructional assistant II to instructional assistant I; Rita Smith, from receptionist to account clerk I; and Martina Yonts, from instructional assistant district wide to instructional assistant at LCCHS.

• authorized Supt. Sergent to take any action necessary for the opening of the 2016-17 school year.

The board went into executive session at 7:22 p.m. to discuss an individual employee and potential litigation with Roger Hall in a workers’ compensation case. The board came out of closed session at 8:15 p.m. and Board Chairman Will Smith said no action was taken while in closed session.

The next board meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 22 at the Letcher County School Bus Garage.


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