By Al Owens
Meeting in regular session last week the Lewis County Board of Education heard a presentation from Belinda Forman about plans for teacher professional development over the summer.
The training sessions begin on May 30 and are available on a variety of topics through August 2. One of the highlights of the schedule is an Administrators Retreat at the Middle School July 12-14. Topics on the summer’s agenda include Reading First, Science Alliance, Geography Alive, Math Cadre and Calculator Training. The teachers take professional development to learn how to better conduct these special learning programs.
Training will also be provided on technology by Jamie McKenzie from California, on LCHS Core Plus, Core Content roll out and 4-Square Writing.
Superintendent Maurice Reeder, Jr. said, “This is heavy duty professional development. It’s not Mickey Mouse stuff. This is big time heavy duty stuff.”
Reeder brought two large student portfolios with him to show the board members.
Forman explained that the portfolios are scored. The portfolios require a lot of hard work by both the students and teachers.
She explained that a portfolio rated “distinguished” means that the portfolio got a score in every area of study.
Diane Johnson told the board that the school district has received an HP Technology grant that provided $35,000 worth of equipment. That included five laptop tablet PCs, five projection devices, five digital cameras, five high-speed printers and some professional development for the teachers about driving safety and using the technology in that program.
She said that the district also got a Partnership Enhancement Project Grant through the Appalachian Math/Science Partnership, and that Lewis County will be working with Rowan County, Bath County and Carter County on a chemistry unit this summer. That grant was for $30,000.
Forman pointed out that in the second round of the technology grant the schools received they were able to purchase 21 workstations and laser printers for the high school.
Returning to the subject of portfolios Forman reported that since 2002 the district has made marked improvement in the portfolios across the board. This Spring of 2006 Garrison Elementary had a rating of proficient on all its portfolios as did Laurel and Tollesboro.
Central Elementary had three distinguished portfolios and 71 rated as proficient. The Middle School had about 15 portfolios rated as distinguished, and the High School had five. Their novice portfolios were reduced to five and two. The rest of their portfolios were rated as proficient.
Forman reminded the board that they have retired teachers coming in to help with the portfolios, and that is paying off.
The board approved the summer meal program at Tollesboro, Garrison and Central Elementary Schools. The program provides free breakfasts and lunches for students aged 18 and under. The program runs from May 31 to June 23.
The board gave the code of conduct for the 2006-2007 school year a second reading and approved it.
The board also approved the tentative budget for the 2006-2007 year. This is the second look the board has had at the new budget, and it changed very little from the first budget effort. It includes a two percent salary increase for all employees both certified and classified plus the STEP increases. Extra funds were added to cover the increasing costs of fuel and energy.
The board approved the beverage marketing bid from Pepsi as opposed to the bid received from Coke. The contract is for five years. Pepsi had better prices for their products.
The board also approved an annual contract for student accident insurance with the Bob Roberts Insurance Company at a cost of $29,277.
A BG-1 for Phase II of the Tollesboro Elementary school addition and renovation project was approved. Phase I has just been completed. Phase II will see the construction of a new administrative wing in the front of the school plus replacing the windows with thermal windows, renovating some restrooms and perhaps replacing some doors. The project totals $1,120,000.
Related to the Phase II Tollesboro Elementary Project the board approved the owner/architect agreement. That is with Lucas/Schwering Architects, Lexington.
In order to expedite the procedures the board approved the schematic design for that project in advance. The design is subject to approval by the Kentucky Department of Education.
The board approved a BG-1 to replace two HVAC units and to replace a section of roof at Central Elementary at a cost of $85,000. That project must also be approved by the state.
The board approved the KEDC 2006-2007 Cooperative Membership. The program provides a technology retainer who will come in and do wiring or help with the technology. That membership costs $24,731.29.