BOE hears update on student housing insecurity

Published 10:26 am Wednesday, March 1, 2023

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The Jessamine County Board of Education heard an update about a troubling statistic during its recent meeting: student housing insecurity.

During a Monday work session, the board received a briefing from Jessamine County Schools Homeless Liaison Shainey Marcus, who updated the board about recently gathered data and programs to help said student population.

According to Marcus:

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• Four hundred twenty-six students were coded as having insufficient housing this year- whether that means poor, temporary housing, or no housing. Last year, 480 students were coded as having inadequate housing.

• Two hundred eleven of those students are in elementary school.

• Two hundred fifteen of those students are in middle and high school.

• Sixty-one students are unaccompanied, without guardians. These students are split evenly between east and west Jessamine County.

Marcus said some students stay in hotels because their houses burned down during the December 2022 freeze. She also noted that some students who live in houses are considered unsheltered because their homes- built at the beginning of the 20th century- no longer have working utilities.

This June, the summer school program will be run for three weeks instead of last year’s two-week session. In these programs, students are tutored and given two meals a day. In July, Marcus said that she is working on partnering with the Jessamine County Public Library and a meals on wheels program so that students can continue receiving tutoring and meals in July.

In other board business it:

• Approved an action item to remove a house on the property where the new middle school will be built.

• Approved the final projected costs of the new middle school with the addition of the baseball and softball fields. It is projected to cost about $85,300,000.

• Approved resurfacing the East and West Jessamine High school tracks.

The next school board meeting is a work session and will take place on Monday, March 13, at 6 p.m. at 871 Wilmore Rd.