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School board stays busy during summer months

Despite school ending for the summer, the Jessamine County School Board remains hard at work searching for a new superintendent, planning retreats and naming buildings.

The room was packed at the first school board meeting of the summer Monday night with Boy Scout troupe 473 earning community service. Members of the Jessamine County Bass Fishing Team were also in attendance and recognized for all their hard work throughout the school year. 

Some consent items that were approved include:

• Therapy dogs for both Jessamine Early Learning Village and Nicholasville Elementary. 

• The acceptance of a $20,000 Community Education Grant.

• A price increase for preschool, kindergarten and elementary lunch prices from $1.65 to $1.75 for the 2017-2018 school year. It’s required by the Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act which was put into place in 2010. A gradual increase since 2012, it will take several years to get to the level where the government reimbursement rate for the free and reduced lunch matches the price for paid lunches. The last increase last year was also 10 cents at both the middle and high schools. 

Action items approved included: 

• An agreement with BSN Sports for sports equipment and attire.

• The second reading of revisions to policy 03.125 and 03.225 involving reimbursements for employee’s food expense incurred on business trips to be conducted on a per diem basis instead of receipts.

• The second reading of the Kentucky School Board Association (KSBA) annual policy updates. 

• Revisions to the Code of Conduct.

• A Herff Jones graduation proposal, which offered graduation items such as signage, flags, diploma coverings, caps and gowns. The agreement has an estimated savings of $20,000, $9,000 of which are reoccurring costs the schools are already paying. 

• The new position and job description of an East Jessamine Middle School Dean of Students.

• The new position and job description of an Assistant Director of Student Services.

• A stainless steel armored curb to withstand the weight of buses at the diesel mechanics site, which will increase the diesel mechanics construction and transportation renovation project contract by $5,831. 

• The revision of a BG-1 for the Warner Elementary School renovation for new funding resources for the project, and the approval of the BG-5 to close out the project. 

• The 2017 Certified Evaluation Plan. 

• Contracts for KVC Behavioral HealthCare Kentucky and the Kentucky Counseling Associates. Both contracts come after Jessamine County middle and high schools, as well as Rosenwald-Dunbar Elementary, received supplemental mental health services from Daniel Lee and Associates last year. The service worked so well thanks to student participation and attendance that the school board decided to add more on for the other schools in the district. “We were just so unbelievably pleased with the results,” Matt Moore, deputy superintendent said. 

• A contract with H.D. Solutions for keynote speaker, Hasan Davis, to speak for the 2017-2018 Opening Day. Davis will expand on last year’s theme of how a committed adult can have a huge impact on a child’s success. The contract will cost $3,000 for the presentation and $500 for books. 

Monday night was also Superintendent Kathy Fields’s final official school board meeting as superintendent. Fields reflected on some the improvements the district has made, such as its status rising to a progressing proficient, and also the improved attendance in the last four years.

During the working session, the Jessamine County School Board discussed naming the newly-renovated bus garage and diesel mechanic building. Jessamine County School Board Chairwoman Amy Day suggested renaming the building after former board member for District One, Eugene Peel, who gave 32 years of service to the Jessamine County School Board. More will be discussed on the matter at the next school board meeting. 

The estimated end date for the construction that will house The Methodist Home of Kentucky has been pushed back to around September 1. Students will attend class with the teachers they will have for the rest of the year at the Jessamine County Adult Education Center until the construction is complete. 

The next board meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Monday, July 31.