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January 4, 2018

 

With no school in session this week, Martin Co. school officials make effort to help students...

 

FREE MEALS FOR KIDS 18 AND UNDER FRIDAY

 

 

December 20, 2017

A parent from Blaine read what was on a petition with 75 names asking for the removal of principal Shawn Jennings.A parent from Blaine read what was on a petition with 75 names asking for the removal of principal Shawn Jennings.

BOE release by James Ellis

LOUISA – The Lawrence County Board of Education met on Monday evening at the Lawrence County High School library at 6 p.m. and heard some good news and a few bah humbugs in their December convening.

First off, the Board offered recognition for various student achievements, beginning with the LCHS engineering students who had recently participated in the Youth Career Connect Group project through the Department of Labor. Students Caden Ratliff, Jackson Feltner, Kade Sword, Adrianna Burchett, Carly Kirk, Hunter Goble and Cameron Marcum were present and explained their foray into robotics for the project.

BOE engineering students at BOE meeting Monday.BOE engineering students at BOE meeting Monday.

Next was the annual presentation of the Food City School Bucks rewards checks to schools by Food City Manager Kevin Garrett and Human Resources Coordinator Cheryl Gowan. Superintendent Dr. Robbie Fletcher noted the partnership: “We couldn’t do things we do with and for kids without community partners like Food City. They are the ones who make it possible,” he said.

LCHS student and Rogers Scholar  Lincoln Rose gave a presentation at the BOE meeting. Lazer photo Tane' MosleyLCHS student and Rogers Scholar Lincoln Rose gave a presentation at the BOE meeting. Lazer photo Tane' MosleyRogers Scholar Mr. Lincoln Rose gave a presentation about his experience through the 2017 Rogers Scholar program, focusing on leadership development, service, and entrepreneurship. The program is the “flagship youth program of the Center for Rural Development.” More information on this program can be found at: http://centeryouthprograms.com/rogers-scholars/

Lawrence County School District Spelling Bee champion Kara Pannell, a fifth grader from Louisa East Elementary, and runner up Devin Thacker, a fifth grader from Blaine Elementary, were presented with certificates and recognized for their achievement.

Spelling Bee champs at BOE. LEES Kara Pannell, champion and BES Devin Thacker, runner-up are standing in back. Lazer photo by Tane' MosleySpelling Bee champs at BOE. LEES Kara Pannell, champion and BES Devin Thacker, runner-up are standing in back. Lazer photo by Tane' Mosley

Louisa Middle School girls basketball coach Paul Preece presented on the team’s unprecedented success this season. The 8th grade team won the regular season Ohio Valley Conference title and was unbeaten in the regular season. The 7th grade team won the regular season and OVC tournament titles. (See photo on another Lazer story)

Dr. Fletcher then reported to the Board on several items: the convening of the Local Facilities Planning Committee for orientation on December 5, the upcoming legislative agenda for the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents, the earlier-than-planned release of students for Christmas break due to widespread illness, the draft plans from various sources for retirement system reform, the completion of the Title IX Interest Survey, and finally, the fact that LCHS has more dual credit course offerings through Ashland Community and Technical College than any other high school.

During the public comment segment, various citizens from Blaine voiced a displeasure at a perceived lack of extracurricular and after-school programs available for students. Particularly, they complained about an inability to get any momentum established in having a basketball program for boys or girls there and noted the historic involvement of Blaine residents in basketball.

They talked about wanting to reestablish the pride and spirit in Blaine School and how extracurricular activities would help.

Dr. Fletcher offered a commitment to stepping up efforts to find an individual willing to coach there and perhaps even incentivize it through more pay than is customary. Dr. Fletcher agreed that he would like to see the pride in Blaine basketball re-established but also recognized the outstanding performance of the Blaine academic team in their recent league action as well as the success of the school based on state testing results. 

Specifically, Blaine Elementary was labeled a Proficient School by the Kentucky Department of Education in 2016, and Blaine Middle’s students had an index high enough to be the district’s first School of Distinction in 2017 based on previous statewide cut scores.

Board Chairman Heath Preston presented the members of the board with a gift in the spirit of the season, giving them each LC umbrellas that he personally purchased from a fundraiser held at Louisa East Elementary.

The next scheduled meeting is January 15, 2018 at Lawrence County High School at 6 p.m.

 

DECEMBER 20, 2017

Cancelled Christmas programs will be held when students return after New Year

Cook resigns as Asst. Principal at LCHS; Bus driver suspended with pay...

Supt. Dr. Rob Fletcher explained to the BOE that his administration had decided to go ahead and let school out for Christmas break due to the overall attendance dropping to as low as 73% as of today (Tuesday).

LAWRENCE SUPT. DR. ROB FLETCHER, LEFT, BOE CHAIRMAN HEATH PRESTON AND VICE-CHAIR GARNETT SKAGGS LISTENED TO PARENTS DISCUSS THE LACK OF EXTRA-CURRICULAR OPPORTUNITIES AT BLAINE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.LAWRENCE SUPT. DR. ROB FLETCHER, LEFT, BOE CHAIRMAN HEATH PRESTON AND VICE-CHAIR GARNETT SKAGGS LISTENED TO PARENTS DISCUSS THE LACK OF EXTRA-CURRICULAR OPPORTUNITIES AT BLAINE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.

 

As far as the Christmas programs that had been scheduled, they will be held when students and teachers come back from Christmas break, Fletcher told the school board at Monday night's regular December meeting.

Fletcher also announced that ACTC is now offering more duel credit through LCHS than any other high school.

"We have about 50 students taking part in duel credit which helps them tremendously by getting those classes provided at LCHS and out of the way before they graduate from high school," Fletcher said. "They have a chance to graduate college and get their degree sooner."

Upon the request for public comment, approximately 15 to 20 people were there from the Blaine area due to a petition signed by over 75 individuals trying to get the principal of Blaine Elementary, Shawn Jennings replaced.

Blaine resident Danny Ramey presented a petition with 75 names asking for the removal of Blaine principal Shawn Jennings.Blaine resident Danny Ramey presented a petition with 75 names asking for the removal of Blaine principal Shawn Jennings.Blaine resident and parent Danny Ramey, (pictured at right) presented the petition with 75 signatures to the BOE saying he understands it has no real power except to show the dissatisfaction of the signers.

He told Supt. Fletcher that he had researched it and found that only Fletcher can hire and fire.

Fletcher answered "Yep" to that question.

There were several reasons given why some Blaine residents feel Principal Jennings was "inadequate as the leader of Blaine Elementary".

Brad Skaggs, a lifetime resident of Blaine and owner of Kimber's Grocery in Blaine said he didn't start the petition, but he and his wife support it.

"We rented a place in Paintsville and pulled our girls out of school there {Blaine} because they have nothing, no extracurricular events," Skaggs said. "How do they expect our kids to start a sport as a freshman when they've never Blaine businessman Brad Skaggs said Blaine School does not have enough extra-curricular activities.Blaine businessman Brad Skaggs said Blaine School does not have enough extra-curricular activities.been exposed to any sports? It's unfair, Blaine kids have been forgotten."

Skaggs, the son of BOE member Garnett Skaggs also said that several teachers had told him that Jennings had told them not to shop at his store after he took his kids out.

Board member Skaggs issued a statement reported below.

"I've lost business over it., but I only care about the kids," Brad Skaggs said. "I just want them to have the same thing that all of the other schools have."

He said many more people wanted to sign the petition but was afraid their children would be retaliated against or they were employed there and were afraid to lose their jobs.

Lesa Williams of Blaine spoke about her handicapped son being bullied, she said it took a year to get something done.

Some family representatives spoke about how they had several generations that had gone to Blaine and there was something missing at that school, "Pride!"

Dr. Fletcher assured everyone that something would be done about each of the issues brought to his attention. He said he would pay someone extra money if he had to, just to get someone to coach basketball there.

Statement from Dr. Rob Fletcher on Blaine Elementary

"...Mr. Jennings and I have spoken on several occasions.  Mr. Jennings has a sincere desire to see the students of Blaine be successful and will continue to work hard to meet the their needs," Fletcher said in a prepared statement Wednesday.   "Under his leadership, Blaine has been recognized as a Proficient elementary school, and based on cut scores, Blaine Middle would have been a School of Distinction in 2017, which is the highest classification that a school could receive under the former accountability system."  

"As always, Mr. Jennings will address concerns raised by parents, and we will be there to support Mr. Jennings, the staff, the community, and especially the students of Blaine each step of the way."

Statement from BOE member Garnett Skaggs

"... I have heard the same complaints about Blaine Elementary School from several people in the community. I had nothing to do with the petition either, but these people have brought attention to things that need to be fixed.

ALL kids deserve every opportunity and exposure possible in the educational system. That is what the parents want for their kids at Blaine. I agree with what my son, Brad Skaggs had to say at the meeting. As he said, "My girls don't go to Blaine, and I wish they could." What he said about others would express their concerns, but they are hesitant to speak up. With the attention being brought to the issues, I feel we will see positive change and progress at Blaine Elementary School."

LCHS YCC Engineering Students: BAS student internship program. LCHS YCC Engineering Students: BAS student internship program.

Community Partner, Food City's Cheryl Gowan and Kevin Garrett present checks from School Bucks to school representatives.Community Partner, Food City's Cheryl Gowan and Kevin Garrett present checks from School Bucks to school representatives.

BOE with administratorsBOE with administrators

LMS girls BB team being honore at MONDAY NIGHT'S BOE MEETING.meetingLMS girls BB team being honore at MONDAY NIGHT'S BOE MEETING.meeting

 

Superintendent’s Personnel Action/Update

December 18, 2017

 

Hiring

Jessyca Conatser - Teacher at Lawrence County High School

Maleesa Clark - Teacher at Louisa West Elementary School

Melissa Young - Full-Time Bus Monitor

Cody Osborne - Full-Time Bus Monitor

 

Substitute Teachers

Lisa Methax

Shawna Marcum

Crystal Conley

Kassidy Cyrus

 

Substitute Instructional Assistants

Lisa Methax

Shawna Marcum

Substitute Custodian

Joey Spurlock

 

Suspension with Pay

Linda Wagner - Bus Driver (10 days)

 

Resignations

Lana Prichard - District Resource Teacher (effective January 1, 2018)

Stuart Cook - Assistant Principal at Lawrence County High School

(effective January 1, 2018)

 

Requests

Re: Request to the Lawrence County Board of Education for Abolishment and Creation regarding Positions and Extra Duty Service Pay

Request the following position be abolished effective January 1, 2018:

  • (1) Assistant Principal at Lawrence County High School

Request the following position be abolished effective December 19, 2017:

  • (1) Speech/Language Pathologist District-wide

Request the following position be created effective December 19, 2017:

  • (1) Speech/Language Pathologist Assistant District-wide (Classified Position; Certified Pay Scale; Bachelor’s Degree to receive Rank III pay; Master’s Degree to Receive Rank II pay)

Request the following Extra Duty Service Pay be created effective December 19, 2017:

  • (1) Baseball Jr. Varsity Coach at Lawrence County High School ($500 Extra Duty Service Pay)
  • (1) Softball Jr. Varsity Coach at Lawrence County High School ($500 Extra Duty Service Pay)