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Monitors needed on every bus, woman tells Letcher officials

A Thornton woman has asked the Letcher County Board of Education to consider placing monitors on every school bus in the district.

“We need somebody to assist bus drivers,” Rita Collins said during the board’s November meeting Monday night. “Bus drivers have a tough job. They should be commended.”

Collins said a friend’s son was jumped on by another boy recently on a bus and she thinks bus monitors would eliminate some situations that could occur on buses.

She added that she didn’t want temporary monitors because she said that wouldn’t help.

Collins said two bus monitors are on buses in Fayette County and they wear green vests.

She said children spend extended amounts of time on buses and bus monitors are needed.

Superintendent Anna Craft said she would certainly look at it.

In other business, board member John Spicer is concerned about a small stretch of road past a bridge going into Seco near Whitaker.

“About 75 to 100 yards of that very narrow road parallels to the river and there is about a 15- to 20-foot drop off to the river,” said Spicer. “And I have noticed more bus traffic straight across from where I live than I have noticed in the past few years. My concern is if a bus should drop off into that river. I talked to (Assistant Supt. Twyla) Messer about the possibility of getting guardrails put up.”

Craft said staff would look into it.

“They can’t make that big curve to get back up to the main road,” said Craft. “I imagine that is what they are doing.”

Auditor Rupert White, of White and Associates, told the board that the district did an excellent job with finances the previous school year.

“I did not find anything of significance that needed to be reported in the audit,” said White.

Chris Russell, construction manager of the softball field, golf putting green and tennis courts at Letcher County Central High School, said the athletic fields should be completed by Feb. 28.

Door frames were recently installed at the press box located near the softball field. The irrigation was installed at the softball field. Retaining walls were installed by the golf range and tennis courts.

The district student attendance percentage for the third month of the 2012- 2013 school year is 93.04. Arlie Boggs Elementary School had the highest student attendance percentage at 95.78.

The board also:

• named Jennie Anne Bowling, a special education teacher at Fleming- Neon Middle School, as employee of the month.

• declared a 2000 school bus and a 1999 freightliner as surplus property.

Terry Sturgill, district director of special projects, said there is nothing left but body and frames.

• approved allowing the JROTC and the Letcher County Central High School band to submit applications to be considered for participation in the upcoming presidential inaugural activities in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 20.

• approved the following payment of claims totaling $38,180 for the construction of the Letcher County Area Technology Center: Structural Steel Services, $13,557.05; Elliott Supply and Glass, $8,497.40; Bastin Painting, $2,259; and SimplexGrinnell, LP, $13,866.62.

• approved payment of claims for construction of the LCCHS softball field, two tennis courts and a golf range: Tree Top Landscaping, DBA Sportsfields, $14,059.17; Kenny Outdoor Solutions, $6,346.50; Cregger Company, $3,082.04; Plumbers Supply, $6,080.10; Air Mechanical Sales, $7,000; Cumberland-Cape Electric Supply, $265.65; Rising Sun Developing, Inc., $113,347.57; The Wells Group, $10,742.75; Pine Mountain Stone, $278.91; Codell Construction Company, $4,615; and Sherman Carter Barnhart Architects, $2.789.31.

• approved the financial report, payment of bills and transfers and payment of October salaries.

Gary Caldwell, district finance officer, reported an actual bank balance of $ 6,765,278.77, with $2,537,207.10 in the construction fund.

• learned of the certifi ed resignations of Acacia King, a teacher at Letcher Elementary School; Jacqueline Slone, a teacher at Martha Jane Potter Elementary School; and Vicki Williams, a district-wide teacher.

• learned of the classifi ed resignations of Jennifer Adams, a 21st Century site coordinator; Joseph Brown, a custodian at West Whitesburg Elementary School; Linda Brown, a substitute cook/baker; and Sandra King, a cook/baker at MJP.

• learned of the classified hirings of Ronnie Ashby as a custodian at WWES and Dustin Brown as a program assistant II at FNMS.

• established a program assistant II position at Letcher Middle School and also a program assistant II position at Letcher Elementary School. These positions will primarily be funded with Title I assistance funds.

The next regular board meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 17 in the Lendell Smith Memorial Conference Room of the Letcher County School Bus Garage. This is one week earlier than normal because of Christmas.

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