|By Al Owens
The Lewis County Board
of Education met in regular session last week and was presented an award from the Kentucky
School Board Association.
Kerri Schelling, the association's Director of Student Support, said, "I'm here to
congratulate you on all the wonderful work you have done on behalf of children in Lewis
County. In fact, you all have done so well with your CATS scores this year that you've
been selected to receive a CATS Progress Award from the School Board Association."
Schelling told the board that every school in this district either met or is
progressing in its goals.
She lauded Lewis County Central Elementary by saying that the school was especially
impressive. It became the first school in this district to pass the 80 percent mark, which
is a wonderful trend.
Schelling explained that the award is not based on this year alone. She said, "It
really was based on progress that you all have shown over the past several years."
She concluded her remarks by declaring, "It is with great pleasure that I present
this to you from the Kentucky School Board Association."
And with that she handed the award to Lewis County Superintendent Maurice Reeder Jr.
Reeder responded by saying, "We appreciate the school boards for taking time to
recognize the school districts, and we accept this. We'll do even better next time."
Reeder told the board that the award from the School Board Association was part of a
program to recognize the top 25 school districts in the state as far as progress on the
CATS scores is concerned based.
Belinda Forman then updated the board on the district's scores.
She said that all of the Lewis County schools continue to make good progress, and they
are all where they should be.
Forman said the district goal for the 2002-04 biennium was 70.2, and the district had a
combined index of 72.3. She added that this past year the schools made a 74.5.
The goal at Garrison Elementary was 71.4 and the combined index was a 73, and this past
year they had 74.1
Laurel Elementary had a 76.8 goal with a combined index of 76.2 with a score this year
Central Elementary's goal was 66.5. Their combined index was 74.1 but they scored 81.4
this past year.
The goal at Tollesboro Elementary was 71.8. They scored a combined index of 74.5 with a
score of 78.0 for this past year.
Lewis County Middle School's goal was 69 and their combined index came just short at
68.8. However, they scored a 69.6 in 2004, so they were .2 behind.
Forman told the board that she has filed a data review for them because four or five
mistakes were found in their testing data, and she anticipates that LCMS will meet their
goal when the corrections are made.
The high school goal was 69.8. This year's score was 75.3, and that led to a combined
index score of 73.6.
Reeder stated that the district was about one student away from being a distinguished
district, and that he is proud of the progress all of the schools in Lewis County are
Forman then presented the board members with Palm Pilots the teachers use to test the
students and actually tested them on the kindergarten level just for demonstration
purposes. The test was to determine the recognition of speech sounds.
Eric Bloomfield then presented the financial audit report.
He gave the board good news. He said that the audit was clean, and revealed no
"findings" of any thing out of order.
|Bloomfield explained the complicated testing
procedures used during the audit. He summarized the results of the audit by saying,
"You guys are watching the budget here, and you're doing a good job on that." He
added, "The district is setting on good financial ground."
The audit shows
that the total revenues for 2004 were $11,557,000, up from $10,893,000 in the 2003 fiscal
The total expenses were $11,555,000, and that's up from $11,476,000 in 2003.
Bloomfield noted that the General Fund revenues were up about $650,000 whereas the
expenses were only up about $80,000.
He pointed out that the figures show that the board did a good job of tightening the
purse strings. This year the revenue exceeded the expenses, and that was the opposite last
After hearing the good news the board approved the audit report.
Jerry Ugrin, CEO of the Lewis County Primary Care Center and Lori Holder appeared
before the board to explain the new Lifestyle Enhancement Activity Program (LEAP).
Ugrin explained that the program is designed to help the school board employees, bus
drivers, etc., as well as the teachers to enjoy better health. He said that would reduce
insurance costs and decrease the amount of money paid to substitute teachers who have to
be called in to teach when the regular teachers are ill.
Holder explained that the exercise and diet program helped people with their
cholesterol, weight and blood pressure. She said that the procedure calls for drawing
blood after 24 hours of fasting. The participant is given the results of the blood test
and advised on what to do to achieve better health.
Ugrin said that the teacher would pay $5.00 for the blood test. It would be repeated in
three months in order to check the participant's progress.
The program is voluntary.
Ugrin stressed that Primary Care would lose money on the program, but he thought it is
important to help the people and the community.
The board moved to enter the program after the holidays.
The board approved the annual contract with Medbrook for drug testing for the bus
drivers and mechanics. This program has been used for several years and has been efficient
The board approved the purchase of three new 66-passenger buses and one handicap bus.
The large buses cost about $57,000 each, and the handicap bus costs just over $60,000.
The annual Kentucky Interlocal School Transportation Association (KISTA) resolution was
also renewed. KISTA makes the purchase of new buses convenient and effective. The board
has used them for bus purchases for several years.
Reeder told the board that Accelerated Reader money is extra money provided for the
schools on a per child average daily attendance basis.
He said that this year Garrison is getting over $2,300; Laurel is getting almost $600;
Central gets nearly $2,700; the Middle School is getting $3,000; the High School is
getting $6,100; and Tollesboro is getting almost $1,700.
The board approved the support and Accelerated Reader money.
The board also approved a BG4 for the Middle School's addition and renovation project.
The BG4 permits the final payment of bills for the project and closes it out.
The board approved the KETS offer of assistance of $14,857 to help with technology.
That is a matching fund, and the board must also provide $14,857 for that purpose.