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School board has more money than it thought




The Letcher County Board of Education learned at its meeting Monday night that the school district ended the 2008-2009 school year with more money left over than anticipated.

District Finance Officer Roger Martin, who estimated the ending balance to be $1.9 million, said the unaudited ending balance is $2,680,212.

“That’s a pretty good balance,” said Martin.

Martin said the district collected $653,000 more in local revenue than expected including $204,142.69 in utility taxes. The district received $186,631 more in Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) allocations.

The district had budgeted $500,000 for diesel fuel and spent $235,000.

Martin said the food service department surprisingly ended $16,000 in the black.

“I didn’t see any way it could be in the black,” said Martin. “Give the lunchroom personnel a pat on the back because they did a really good job.”

Martin said the district is still waiting for about $150,000 in Medicaid reimbursements.

“We’ve got a decent balance but we have some rough times ahead,” said Martin.

The board approved submitting a BG-1 form to the division of facilities management of the Kentucky Department of Education to begin a re-roofing project at Whitesburg Middle School. Cost of the project is estimated to be $137,760.

“The roof at the middle school is getting in really bad shape,” said Martin. “The maintenance staff said it probably won’t make it through the winter.”

Martin said he would like to get a head start on the paperwork to try to get the roof fixed before winter.

Contingent upon approval of the BG-1 form from the Kentucky Department of Education, the board hired Richardson and Associates for the re-roofing project.

Twyla Messer, assistant superintendent, said the transportation department increased the number of buses used to transport children to and from school to alleviate overcrowding on buses.

The board approved allowing Richard Mullins and Taylor Metal Roofing and Siding of Jenkins to begin constructing a cross-country track along the perimeter of the Letcher County Central High School campus. The track will begin behind the water tower and continue along the ridgeline toward US 119 and then loop back toward the water tower.

“It’s a win-win situation because the rough work is free,” said Sgt. Wayne Watts, ROTC instructor at LCCHS. “The initial work would be free so it would be hard to beat. It’s actually very easy work for a good dozer operator.”

Watts said the track, which could be used to host regional meets, will be between 1.5 and 1.8 miles long.

“If you add loops you can make it any distance you want,” said Watts.

Watts said the cross-country team doesn’t have any place to run beside Fishpond Lake.

Kenneth Cornett, director of pupil personnel, said 3,251 students are enrolled in the school district as of the 10th day of school, down 11 students from the beginning of last school year.

“It is leveling off as it has for the past few years,” said Cornett.

Cornett said attendance is being monitored on a daily basis.

“We are having illnesses of different types and are monitoring that,” said Cornett.

The board also:

• named Colter Sumpter, a fourth-grade teacher at Arlie Boggs Elementary School, as employee of the month.

• approved the following activities for use of school facilities: First Baptist Church of Whitesburg will distribute Angel Food orders at the Letcher County School Bus Garage on Sept. 26. The Mountain Heritage Festival baby pageant will be held in the Letcher County Central High School Auditorium on Sept. 13. The carnival for the Mountain Heritage Festival will be located at the old Whitesburg High School parking lot beginning Sept. 20. The Mountain Heritage Festival committee also reserved the WHS gym for a concert on Sept. 26.

Tumble Tyme Gymnastics will use the gymnasiums of Martha Jane Potter, Fleming-Neon and West Whitesburg elementary schools, Whitesburg Middle School and LCCHS to teach gymnastic classes on Wednesday afternoons.

The LCCHS cheerleaders will use the LCCHS auditorium, a dressing room and classroom for a pageant on Sept. 12.

• ratified an overnight trip of the LCCHS volleyball team that participated in a tournament in Pulaski County Aug. 18- 19.

• approved the master schedules for all the schools for the 2009-2010 school year. Beckham Bates, Fleming-Neon and Martha Jane Potter elementary schools will dismiss at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

• reaffirmed the following policy statement: “The Letcher County Board of Education is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of disabilities, gender, race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age or marital status in the educational programs or activities it operates.”

• reaffirmed that the Letcher County school district, pursuant to federal law, certifies that it has no policy that prevents, or otherwise denies participation in, constitutionally protected prayer in its schools. Supt. Anna Craft was further authorized to affix her signature to proper certification to submit to the Kentucky Department of Education.

• approved allowing Arlie Boggs Elementary School’s Family Resource Center to sell Krispy Kreme doughnuts, ice cream and merchandise from the School Mall to raise money for enrichment program and fields trips as requested by teachers.

• entered into an agreement with 95% Group, Inc. for West Whitesburg Elementary School to participate in the program. Kelly Hall, director of curriculum and instruction, said the program involves intense professional development for Response to Intervention (RTI) teachers.

“There’s a lot we still have to learn,” said Hall. “We hope this training will help us to fully implement response to intervention.”

• authorized LCCHS to trade a IR8070 Canon copier to Area Office Supplies in Hazard in exchange for 62 TI83 calculators, a value of about $6,200.

• authorized Supt. Anna Craft to affix her signature to an application for state stabilization funds for the Letcher County school district.

• approved agreements for the Family Resource and Youth Services Centers (FRYSC) to participate in the Kids First Dental Care Mobile Dental Program.

• approved a one-year agreement with Stericycle, Inc. to collect and dispose of all biomedical waste generated by the Letcher County school district. Cost is $85 per container, a fuel charge of $5 per stop and an energy charge of $2 per stop. The containers are to be picked up once every 26 weeks.

• entered into a contractual agreement with Jenkins Independent Schools for provision of physical therapy and services for visually impaired students. The Jenkins school district will reimburse the Letcher County Board of Education for services rendered.

• ratified a contract with the Commonwealth of Kentucky for the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless grant. The $43,232 grant can be used to provide enriched supplemental instruction, transportation, professional development, referrals to health care and other services facilitating the enrollment, attendance and success in school of homeless children and youth.

• approved the addendum to the memorandum of agreement with Hazard Community College/ Southeast Community College. The Letcher County School System will serve as a laboratory for students in the human services program.

• approved two change orders from Richardson Associates Architects PSC requesting time extensions because of inclement weather for the Safe Routes to School Sidewalk Project.

• approved the financial report, payment of bills and transfers and payment of salaries for August 2009. Roger Martin, director of finance, reported a general ledger balance of $5,170,895.62.

• approved the following resignations: Jessie Miller, a custodian at Fleming-Neon Elementary School; Mitchum Whitaker, a district wide bus driver; Jonathan Mullins, a district-wide bus driver; Yvonne Lewis, instructional assistant II at Letcher County Central High School; and Jamie Fields, a custodian at West Whitesburg Elementary School.

A public hearing to listen to public comments about a proposed general fund tax levy of 39.4 cents on real property and 47.5 cents on personal property is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Sept. 10 at the Letcher County school bus garage

The next board meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 28 at the Letcher County school bus garage.


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