Whitesburg KY
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Letcher schools cut spring break

Classes will end in county June 3 barring more bad weather

June 3 will be the last day of the 2013-2014 school year for students unless Letcher County Public Schools miss more days.

At its meeting Monday night, the Letcher County Board of Education approved taking the remaining two days of spring break. The board approved shortening spring break by three days at its January meeting. Classes will be in session March 3 –April 4.

Kenneth Cornett, district director of pupil personnel, told the board that it is state mandated that schools are closed on Election Day, May 20. With missing 22 days of school because of inclement weather and banking five days, Cornett had calculated that June 2 would be the last day of school. But now that school will be closed on Election Day, students will go to school on June 3. School will also be closed on Memorial Day, which is May 26.

The board approved using disaster days if the state legislature approves it. Schools must miss at least 20 days to qualify.

Even though state testing will be held the last two weeks of school, high school juniors are required to take the ACT March 4. Junior ACT scores factor into the college and career readiness portion of state testing results, and Letcher County Public Schools Supt. Tony Sergent is concerned that the large number of instructional days missed with negatively affect ACT scores.

Before approving contracts with Quicksand Farms, LLC to treat the LCCHS baseball field, LCCHS softball field, Fleming Neon Middle School football field and old Whitesburg High School football field, Board Member Terry Cornett asked what it would take to get the Letcher football field in good shape.

Sergent said the field would require crowning, dozer work, a sprinkler system, truckloads of dirt and Bermuda grass.

Sergent estimated the project to cost around $50,000.

“It’s a major undertaking,” said Sergent. “We’re talking about a major expenditure to bring that field to where it needs to be.”

Cornett said he is interested in getting volunteers to work on the Letcher field.

The board approved field maintenance contracts with Quicksand Farms, LLC in the amounts of $3,000 for the LCCHS baseball field, $2,800 for the FNMS football field, $2,800 for the WHS football field, and $2,400 for the LCCHS softball field.

The board also:

• rehired Debbie Cook as board secretary beginning March 1 at the same salary as last year, $6,175.

• rehired Darrell Hall as board attorney beginning March 1. Hall will be paid $110 per hour.

• approved paying Blair Construction, LLC $24,178 for the Letcher Middle School roofing project.

• approved a change order of $ 2,205.20 to Blair Construction, LLC for the Letcher Middle School roof construction project. The change order is for removal and replacement of 12 sheets of 5/8 plywood and installing commercial metal covering over trim board and paint soffit.

• approved a contract with Index Blue, Inc. to develop and maintain a school district website for the 2014- 2015 school year.

• approved a calendar for the 2014-2015 school year. The first day of school will be Aug. 6 and May 12 is designated for the last day of school.

• approved two fundraisers for the LCCHS archery team. A fishing tournament will be held at Carr Creek Lake on March 29. A parent/ student shoot is scheduled for April 19.

• approved the financial report, payment of bills and January salaries and transfers. Brian Johnson, district finance officer, reported a bank balance of $3,914,319.67 as of Jan. 31. The construction fund contains $225,981.84.

• learned of the certified resignations of David Robinson, principal of Cowan Elementary School; Lindsay Gibson, a substitute teacher, and Kimberly Sparks, a substitute teacher.

• learned of the classified resignations of Christopher T. Bentley, a custodian at West Whitesburg Elementary School, and Jamie Fields, a substitute cook/baker.

The board went into executive session at 8:20 p.m. to discuss an individual employee and litigation involving Timothy Miller and David Young and Mark Spangler.

The board came out of executive session at 8:55 p.m. Smith said no action was taken while in executive session.

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