The Adair County School District will soon undergo the biggest instructional change since Senate Bill 1 was implemented—A drive to focus more on individualized education.
The “Race to the Top” $1.6 million grant is good news for the school district, but most in the district have more questions than answers at this point as to what the grant really means for the schools.
Instructional Supervisor Phyllis Curry and Assistant Superintendent to the Schools Brenda Mann informed the school board at its regular meeting of what’s to come with the ‘Race to the Top’ grant requirements, which will mean an overhaul of the current “A, B, C, D, F” grading system beginning in the next school year.
One of the main concepts of the grant is to allow students to work at his or her own pace. For example, if a student excels in a certain subject matter, he or she is allowed to move on—even if it means a 5th grader taking Algebra 1 at the high school.
While the change seems drastic, Curry told the ACHS site based decision making council on Tuesday that the change would be gradual more than likely beginning with Pre-K through fifth grades.
The grant will also allow for the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative to place a full-time college and career readiness counselor in the district for the next four years. Curry said the district will know more as the planning process continues.
Superintendent Alan Reed gave his monthly report which as full of both bad and good news for the budget.
Reed received news that SEEK funds were cut by $102,000 earlier this month, while the district is still expecting an eight to nine percent cut in federal funds. Reed said recent cuts could have an effect on staff.
“If it affects staff, it will affect students,” Reed said.
The board received a tentative budget for the next school year, which was a carbon copy of the current budget. Financial adviser Renae Smith said with the upcoming federal cuts there is no way to predict what the budget will look like.
Some good news for the budget is that the funding for school nurses may continue with the Lake Cumberland District health Department.
Funding for school nurses was recently on the chopping block for the LCAHD. However, under Medicaid laws funding for school nurses is required. It is not set in stone, but the odds of retaining the funding are better, Reed said.
Reed also met with the local grandparents group where they shared concerns about school safety. Reed said school safety has been amped up over the past couple months included constant monitoring of entrances at each facility. A safety audit was performed at each facility in which Reed said had excellent results.
Reed also announced the high school recently decided to change from a trimester scheduling system to a 6-period day. The new schedule change will begin next year.
• Heather Jackson and Noah Richard were recognized for their work with the Governor’s Scholar program.
• Instructional Supervisor Phyllis Curry announced the first ever Leadership Academy, which includes local teachers Steve Burton, Robin Loy, Gina Pike, Steve Turner and Debra Wimmer. Reed said the academy was organized in order to discover future leaders in the school district.
• Maintenance director Ricky Bault asked the board for approval to remove the former Adult Learn Center building because of disrepair and asbestos. The board approved the removal contingent on a cost-saving plan.
• Jelaine Harlow from the Lake Cumberland District Health Department asked the board to consider having the district go “smoke free,” which after a grant process the district would receive a $10,000 grant to help aid the process. The board told Harlow she could write the grant and they would go from there.
• ACHS football coach Travis Gay approached the board regarding the possible construction of a football field for the local youth football program. The Adair County Youth League Football is officer to fund the construction of the field, which would be on school property. Board attorney Jeff Hoover informed Gay the group would have to submit a plan to the Kentucky Department of Education for approval and draw up an official agreement with the board prior to construction.
• Personnel action includes employment of Larry Johnson as Instructional assistant at the high school and Korianne Cox and Brittany Robinson as sub teachers.
Board members Mike Harris, Quinn Lasley, Floyd Burton, Joseph Payne and Greg Willis were all present at the meeting. The board meets on the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the central office.
By Allison Cross