The Lawrence County Board of Education’s regular meeting was held at Lawrence County High School in the library on December 19, 2022, at 6:00 PM. Board members Jim See, Maddlene Roberts, Barbara Robinson, Garnett Skaggs, and Chairman, Heath Preston were all present in person.
After opening the meeting, a moment of silence was observed for Anita Clotine Bailey and Jean Meade, who were both educators for Lawrence County Schools. Several members of the LC Board members spoke kind words and shared fond memories of both ladies. Kentucky Department of Education awarded the Stilwell Meritorious Award to the Lawrence County Media/Technology Department’s outstanding work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Congratulations to Tommy Burns, Michael Muncy, Joey McClanahan, Jennifer Burns, Erica Parsons, Julie Cooper, Brian Akers, Kim Cecil, Stephanie West, Rebecca Hollyfield, and Paul Chapman.
In communications, Dr. Fletcher presented updates on several travel conferences. Dr. Fletcher attended the KY Association of School Superintendents (KASS) from Dec 4-6, 2022. Discussions were held on educational and legislative topics. Also, Dr. Fletcher, Ms. Roberts, and Ms. Robinson attended the KSBA Winter Symposium on Dec 8- 10, 2022. This symposium included training on various topics including safety, ethics, and finance. All agreed the topics were very informative and realistic. Dr. Fletcher continues to serve as co-chair of KASA’s Sustaining the Education Profession Retention Task Force. This task force has recently focused on legislative priorities, including teacher shortages, working conditions, compensation, and retention. The KY Supreme Court ruled that tax credits for private schools are unconstitutional. Also, the NKU Board of Regents declined an invitation from state lawmakers to oversee the creation of a charter school under a new pilot program. Vice Chairman, Jim See, Dr. Fletcher, Coach Short, and Mr. Burns visited several schools to compare the quality of various types of turf fields. The Spartanburg County Baptist Church Network donated backpacks filled with various items to every student and a check for $5000 toward new playground equipment for the students.
A summary report on the Nutrition and Physical Activity Report was provided by Food Service Director Kyla Farley. This report is generated annually in October from each school’s data for a comprehensive view of the district’s nutrition and physical activity data. There were discussions on the positive effects of having the free lunch program throughout the school district. There were also discussions about the new basketball programs in the elementary schools, which provide more physical activity for students.
During public Comments, LC Board of Education, Chairman, Mr. Heath Preston, presented the board with his resignation. Mr. Preston discussed the circumstances of his family relocating to northern KY. He discussed his involvement with the LC Board of Education for the past ten years, and how proud he is of the accomplishments that have been made during this time. Mr. Preston stated, “It has been an unbelievable experience and I have loved every minute of it.” He also expressed, “I know I have put my whole heart into every decision, and into every minute I spent representing Lawrence County Schools.” He added, “I would like to thank the board for entrusting me to be your chairman for these past eight years.”
In student learning and support services, the minutes/claims and Orders of the Treasurer were approved from the Nov 21, 2022, meeting. Financial Officer, Brandi VanHoose gave the monthly financial report. The beginning balance for November was $13,263,325. The total revenue for November was $3,342,389. The expenditures were $2,445,349. The Fund 1 cash balance for November was 2,948,322. The ending balance for all funds for November was $14,163,447, which includes the $9.3 million allocated through the vocational upgrades grant. The balance sheets reflect the balance of each fund through Nov 30, 2022.
In the consent agenda, there were per diem and expenses for board members in attendance. A price adjustment was made with DC Elevator for an increase of $5.36 effective Dec 1, 2022. The Walsworth Yearbook Agreement with LCHS totaled $8,580. Louisa East Elementary’s Safety Patrol to travel to Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and the Nauticus on April 26-29, 2022. LCHS Tennis out-of-state trip for matches and recreation in Sevierville, TN on April 2-5, 2022. Approval of donation from the Spartanburg County Baptist Network for Blaine Elementary for playground equipment or where needed. All items were approved.
In construction, the 2022 District Facility Plan & Local Planning Committee plan is still being reviewed by the Kentucky Department of Education. Embedded in this plan, are many facility upgrades. There are plans for a new Louisa West Elementary, a box gym for Blaine Elementary, a new cafeteria for Fallsburg Elementary, and new awnings for Louisa East Elementary. Once the plan is returned, a meeting will be scheduled for the Local Planning Committee and advertised to the public.
The Softball Facilities Project LCHS BG: 22-147 approved the pay application #2 to CPR Construction in the amount of $58,469.83 for work completed on the project. The motion was made to pay by Maddlene Roberts and seconded by Barbara Robinson. The motion passed unanimously. There was also a change to order #1 in the amount of $6,063.04 for cement work. This motion also passed unanimously. The tennis facility upgrades of a new gate into the existing tennis court fence for the cost of $2,045 was approved. In LCHS Football Field Upgrades Update: BG: 23-237, a motion was made to approve the infilled synthetic turf system quote from the KPC bid list for the LCHS football field. The bid was recommended for SprinTurf for a total of $998,000, with an additional $18,000 for a groomer/sweeper system. The motion was made by Jim See and seconded by Maddlene Roberts. The motion passed. Next, a motion was made for approval of the BG-1 Project Application for Lawrence County High School- Football Turf Project. The motion was made by Maddlene Roberts and seconded by Barbara Robinson. The motion passed unanimously. LCHS Football Head Coach, Alan Short commented, “Thank you to Dr. Fletcher and all the board members for all the work you’ve done to get this project off the ground and for all the research. Thank you all!”
In other action, a motion to approve a quote for an upgrade district phone system with a local company was discussed. The motion was tabled at this time.
A motion to approve to accept FY2023 KETS First Offer of Assistance for Education Technology in the amount of $26,979 with the equal match by the district was approved.
The 2023-2024 Comprehensive District Improvement Plan and Assurances was approved. The 2023-2024 Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP) was approved for LCHS, LWES, LEES, BES, FES, and Louisa Middle School. A motion was made and approved to approve a board member representative to the 2023-2024 District Calendar Committee. Several other agreements, revisions, and updated procedures were approved by the board.
The LC Board of Education approved entering an Executive Session for a Student Discipline/Expulsion Hearing.
All residents are always invited to attend the Lawrence County Board Meetings to become aware of the issues affecting our students and schools. The meetings may also be viewed virtually through the public viewing link. A copy of the most recent Lawrence County Board agendas & meetings may be found on the current Lawrence County District webpage at www.lawrence.k12.ky.us.