Though the graduation ceremony remains set for May 19, students in the Harlan County School District will not be dismissed for the year until the following day. Closing day for teachers will be May 21.
The board of education amended the school calendar during a recent special meeting, making necessary adjustments following two days lost to weather during the last week of March.
Unfortunately for graduating seniors, actual diplomas will have to be held until the end of school. In order to comply with state regulations and not reschedule graduation, the soon-to-be future alumni will only receive empty ceremonial holders at Sunday’s ceremony.
The remainder of the school year will include teacher planning/work days from May 22 through 28 in order to complete their current 185-day contracts.
In a related action, the board discussed increasing the dropout age to 18. This will bring the county into compliance with state law when it becomes effective on or about June 28, which is 90 days after the closing of the most recent legislative session.
Several student groups were denied permission for end-of-year trips when the board split 2-2 on a list of nine trips planned by a variety of elementary groups and the high school cheerleaders.
With the absence of Pam Sheffield from the meeting, and board members Brenda Henson and Myra Mosley maintaining their opposition to groups requesting permission to travel for what appear to be recreational or pleasure purposes, the deadlock put at least a temporary halt to those plans.
The board did approve trips for JROTC to Camp Davy Crockett in Whitesburg, Tenn., for a junior cadet leadership program and the high school KOSSA and Work Keys tested students to visit Pigeon Forge on May 4.
They also approved the high school football team’s request to visit Greeneville, Tenn., on Sept. 27 for a game, and two two-day trips by the high school’s Educational Talent Search program to visit Lincoln Memorial University in June.
In other action, the board:
• Approved payment of claims totaling $957,868.56;
• Agreed to rescind a previous change order for construction at the high school football field due to an architect’s error and submit a corrected change order for the same work totaling $198,797;
• Granted approval to apply for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant for the 2013-2014 school year;
• Declared as surplus with no monetary value Dell GX 240, GX 260, GX 270 and GX 280 as the computers are outdated and no longer usable by the school district;
• Declared as surplus with no monetary value various items from the Family and Consumer Science Department at Harlan County High School including two 2 GE ranges, a microwave oven and four VCRs;
• Declared as surplus two Boxli CD 454 m visual equipment, a Toshiba copier, a Minolta copier and a Risograph from the District storage building;
• Approved the student teacher agreement with Eastern Kentucky University;
• Granted approval to advertise to solicit bids for bus maintenance parts and supplies;
• Approved advertising for gasoline and diesel for board owned vehicles;
• Approved advertising for bids on tires for board owned vehicles;
• Designated the physician and medical review officer (MRO) for school bus drivers and mechanics for the 2013-2014 school year;
• Approved the program administration agreement with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture Division of Food Distribution;
• Approved school food services request to apply for the Winston Equipment Grant for equipment for the cafeterias;
• Approved transferring a lease with CSX to Harlan County Fiscal Court regarding the old Hall School Property;
• Approved moving $479,000 out of escrow for workers compensation into the general fund beginning balance;
• Granted permission to apply for the Dollar General Literacy Grants for Wallins and Rosspoint elementary schools;
• Agreed to request the state education commissioner grant a disaster day declaration for Green Hills for April 17, 2013;
• Approved the second reading of a policy concerning the use of physical restraint and seclusion per the Kentucky School Boards Association;
• Agreed to evaluate the Evarts gymnasium HVAC replacement project at the end of the school year to see what is feasible;
• Accepted the superintendent’s report of nine certified retirements and one classified resignation;
• Approved a second reading of revised policies requiring all new employees to participate in direct deposit.