The Harlan County Board of Education continues to stress the need for compliance by school groups to their policy regarding out-of-state trips.
During the recent regular monthly meeting, the board discussed five additional requests they had received from a variety of schools, related groups and student clubs. Some of these were resubmissions due to incomplete or inadequate information presented at earlier meetings.
The board tabled a request from the Evarts Elementary School Junior Beta Club and the fourth and fifth grade academic team to go to Orlando, Fla., June 3 to June 8.
Board members were concerned this date had too much potential to fall on or very near annual testing, which is now set for the last two weeks of school rather than a month prior as had been the case over the past decade.
Also, board members were concerned that the central office’s transportation department had no information on the bus vendor, Knoxville Tours, and could not confirm their compliance with license, insurance and other regulatory requirements.
The board did approve the request from the high school girls’ basketball team for a trip to Gatlinburg, Tenn., on Dec. 20-22. They will be using one of the district’s buses for the trip, the board reported.
The board also agreed to the request from the high school’s JROTC program to attend a “Select Leadership” program being held at Pigeon Forge, Tenn., on Dec. 7-9, and for a class from Rosspoint Elementary School to attend the Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge on Dec. 7. That class will be sharing a bus with classes previously approved for the same trip.
The board voted down a request from the Rosspoint junior high academic team and seventh grade to attend Barter Theatre on Dec. 13 due to concerns about fundraising plans, as well as question as to whether they have the correct number of chaperones according to policy.
In other action:
· The board agreed to a lien release for the old Hall School Property currently being used as the site of the Appalachian ChalleNGe Academy. Apparently bonds used to finance a construction project there years ago have been paid off, but were never cleared off the books.
· The board accepted an employment report from Superintendent Mike Howard that included the addition of one certified staff, four classified staff, and one transfer. Howard also noted he had hired Elizabeth Cornett, known to most people as Libby Buell, as the district’s new finance officer. Prior to being hired as superintendent, Howard served the district in that capacity.
· Members approved the payment of claims in the aggregate amount of $1,434,764.18.
· An application/contract for the “Poetry Out Loud” program for Harlan County High School was approved.
· The Family Resource and Youth Service Centers (FRYSC) were approved to apply for a Fatherhood Initiative mini-grant.
· Separate payments of $8,089.55; $13,350.80; and $458,419.86 to Green Construction Company for work completed on the Harlan County High School Athletic Fields were approved.
· The board approved another $66,360.30 to various vendors for work completed on the high school athletic fields.
· They approved payment of $100,910.57 to architect Clotfelter-Samokar for work completed on the high school football field.
· A progress billing payment of $8,000 was approved to Gaw and Associates for work completed on the 2011-2012 audit.
· The board approved the district’s participation in a research project for Beth Pennington, former faculty member and now a doctoral student at Morehead State University, studying the effect of poverty on student academic success.
· The board approved advertising for bids for school food service supplies and food for the period of Jan. 1-June 30, 2013.
· They approved a FRYCS contract with Stephanie K. Smith for arts and humanities programs.
The next regular board meeting will be Dec. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the central office. It will be preceded by an induction ceremony to the Frank Brittain Hall of Fame beginning at 5:30 p.m.