No one speaks at hearing on school facility plan
The Woodford County Board of Education conducted a hearing on an updated district facility plan during its regular meeting on Mondaynight, and no one from the public spoke. The revised facility plan lists a new high school at its top priority, with major renovations of Northside and Southside elementary schools as other priorities in the four-year plan. The current high school would be renovated as a central office and administrative center, transportation center, and community education center under the plan. The Board of Education approved a public hearing report so the updated district facility plan can be sent to the Kentucky Department of Education for approval. Reading specialist The board approved the creation of a reading interventionist teaching position at Simmons Elementary School funded by a Read to Achieve grant. The approval will allow Simmons to begin advertising for candidates to fill that position. Graduation requirements The board approved first reading of a revised graduation requirements policy, with language to define college and career readiness, and a requirement that all students take a "soft skills" assessment before graduating. A second reading of the revised policy is scheduled at the board's regular meeting on Monday night, April 24, at Northside Elementary School. Meal price increase The board will also be asked to approve meal prices for the 2017-18 school year on Monday. A regular elementary lunch for students will increase by 15 cents, with a middle and high school regular lunch increasing by 5 cents. "We did not want to do this, but we have to make the national average" in order to participate in the federal lunch program, said schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins. Breakfast prices were not increased because a rising number of students are participating in the school breakfast program, Hawkins said. The only change in breakfast prices will affect adults, an increase of 20 cents to $2. Athletic trainer The board will be asked to approve a three-year contract with the UK Department of Sports Medicine to provide an athletic trainer for Woodford County Middle School at a cost of $16,000 next school year. The cost of employing an athletic trainer will be split, with the district paying $8,000 to $9,000 and student fees covering the remaining cost. Woodford County High School already has an athletic trainer for its sports programs, which has been the case for several years. Chromebooks The board will be asked to approve the purchase of 350 Chromebooks at a cost of $85,200. That cost includes accidental warranty insurance on the computer tablets. Financial report Woodford County schools began March with a total cash balance of $14.811 million and ended the month with $13.654 million, according to Chief Operating Officer Amy Smith's financial report. The district made a bond payment of $100,111.83 in March and ended the month with $11.587 million in its general fund. A moment of silence The board observed a moment of silence for longtime school district employee Gary Coffey, who died on April 13, and his family. Coffey's funeral was April 18.