Audit presented to Board of Education
An audit report presented to the Woodford County Board of Education on Monday night showed no irregularities in the school district's financial statements or issues with internal controls last fiscal year. A certified public accountant with Summers, McCrary & Sparks told board members that school districts do not typically go through the auditing process without getting comments on internal controls for school activity funds. No comments were made for activity funds in Woodford County schools. "This is an unmodified opinion. It is the cleanest opinion you can receive to your financial statements," said Ryan Laski. He also complimented the district for having "really good people in place" to handle its finances. The board will be asked to approve acceptance of the audit report at its regular meeting on Monday, Nov. 21, at 6 p.m. In light of recent news reports of a freshman student locking a peer in a football locker, board Chair Ambrose Wilson IV read a paragraph from a board policy on student bullying and hazing. "I think probably the most important sentence in this policy - to me as a board member - is 'Such behavior is disruptive of the educational process and interferes with the ability of other students to take advantage of the educational opportunities offered.' "I believe that there should be a zero tolerance toward bullying," he added. In response, schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins said, "I think our schools take that as seriously as any other policy that's in our manual. And I have seen firsthand how they deal with those types of incidents and the action that is taken towards students who might commit that type of offense. And they deal with it swiftly. They deal with it strongly because we want an environment that is respectful to all." Behavioral needs The board unanimously approved the creation of a teaching position and an instructional assistant position to oversee a highly structured classroom at Simmons Elementary School for students with significant behavioral needs. In seeking the board's approval, Hawkins said, "We have a pretty significant need to bring that classroom back." And he anticipates that need would remain for "multiple years" given the ages of those students with significant needs. "We felt it best to have one district-wide classroom that would serve those needs," Hawkins said. The classroom will serve elementary-age students, with the school district providing bus transportation. Financial report The district began October with a total cash balance of $5.359 million and ended the month with $4.517 million, according to Chief Operating Officer Amy Smith's financial report. The building fund remained in a deficit at $1.6 million, but the district recently received local property tax revenue to eliminate that fund deficit.