Lawrence County Board of Education
September 18, 2023
LCHS at 6:00 PM
By Sarah Gauze
The Lawrence County Board of Education held its regular meeting at Lawrence County High School in the library on September 18, 2023, at 6:00 PM. Board members Jim See (Chairman), Maddlene Roberts (Vice Chair), Garnett Skaggs, Barbara Robinson, and Susie Rice were all present in person.
The meeting was called to order by Mr. See. The first order of business was to approve the agenda, as presented.
- A moment of silence was held in honor of Max Young. Rhonda Colvin reminisced about Mr. Young. She commented, “He would attend the school sporting events and take pictures of the students. He was very present and dependable. He was a great man.”
- The LCHS Football Team presented each of the LC Board of Education members with a gift of a framed photo of the new turf football field. (See photo above) The football team signed their signatures on the mat in each of the framed prints. The senior team members elaborated on their feelings about the new turf field being one of the nicest fields they have ever played on. Mr. Short, the LCHS Football Coach, thanked the board members for working so hard to make the field a reality.
- Ms. Debbie Cordle, of Joe Young Insurance, presented the LC Board of Education with a check for $22,781.74.
- The LC Retired Teachers Association presented Ms. Katie Webb, LC CAO, with a donation to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. Their donation will help to provide 100 LC children with free books for the month of October. To date, 334 children have been signed up for the program within Lawrence County.
In communications, Dr. Fletcher gave the Superintendent’s update.
- Dr. Fletcher is co-chairing a committee for KASA, which involves work toward lobbying for funding for staff raises. The state of TN is working to raise the minimum teaching salary to $50,000. In comparison, KY’s starting teaching salary starts at $37,000-$38,000 per year. Dr. Fletcher also served on the Accountability Standards Setting Committee in Frankfort, KY on September 13-15, 2023. He is also chairing the Appalachian Regional Advisory Committee, which represents KY, TN, VA, and WV. This committee will be drafting a report to the US Department of Education on the education needs of our area.
- The LC Schools Administration has utilized a new communication process with parents and implemented a bullying discipline matrix, because of the anti-bullying committee work. If a parent feels their child has been bullied, they are asked to submit an account of the incident in writing, including details and witnesses. Next, the school principal investigates the matter. The new system has received praise from parents.
- The LC Board was reminded they will need to set a date for the ground-breaking ceremony for the LAVEC construction project and for a working budget session.
- The LC Central Office staff have been collaborating on proposed changes to the classified pay scale and have a proposal for the food service team. If approved by the BOE, the food service team would receive a raise in October of 2023. The rest of the LC School classified workers would receive a raise in December. (If approved by the LC BOE.) There are hopes for state provisions toward certified salary increases.
- The KY BOE selected Robin Kinney to serve as the interim education commissioner, effective September 30, 2023.
- There was no public comment at this meeting.
In student learning and support services, the board approved the minutes of the August 21, 2023, Regular Meeting, and the August 31, 2023. They also approved the Claims and Orders of the Treasurer. Some of the claims/orders included:
Masonry sand for the LC Baseball Field.
Also, payment for the School Resource Officers’ attendance at all the ballgames
There was a payment for the turf installment.
The payment for the LC Choir risers.
And for payment for portable air conditioners needed for classrooms that were experiencing operational issues.
The monthly financial report was given by Finance Officer, Brandi Peters. The beginning balance for August was $5,246,550. The total revenue was $1,404,868. The expenditure totaled $2,503,044. The Fund 1 cash balance was $3,583,766. The balance sheets reflect the balance for each fund as of August 31, 2023. The expenditures exceeded revenues due to three payrolls plus bond payments. The special meeting for the work session for the Fiscal Year 2023-2024 Working Budget was set for Tuesday, September 26, 2023.
The consent agenda was approved by the LC Board Members. Items included the cost of $11,940 for the Apptegy/Thrillshare communication tool, used for district calls and posts.
There were also many requests such as fundraisers for BES, FES, LEES, LCHS, and LMS. There were many use-of-facility requests, including by the independent LC Wrestling program.
There were many out-of-state trip requests, including a trip for the LCHS boys’ and girls’ basketball teams to attend the Carolina Invitational from December 27-30, 2023.
In construction/building and grounds projects/updates, a payment to Sprinturf for the LCHS Football Turf Field was approved in the amount of $21,671.52.
There was a discussion on the LMS roof replacement project. The LC Board is able to bond $1.74 million in order to complete the construction. There are several issues, including the gutters being inside the walls of the LMS building. When rain is forecast, the stairwell, hallways, and classrooms have leaks. The project must be completed. The LC Board approved the hiring and the owner/architect agreement with RossTarrant Architects for the LMS Roof Replacement project.
An invoice for LE Gregg Associates was approved in the amount of $39.00 for a safety and structure test.
The change order in the amount of $14,355.86 for CPR Construction for the LCHS Softball Fieldhouse.
In other action, Ms. Susie Ward will serve on the District Improvement Plan Committee. The LC Board also approved an appointment of the District Improvement Plan Committee on the recommendation of Dr. Fletcher.
They also approved the information as provided within the KETS FY23 Technology Activity Report and its submission to KDE.
The KDE Indirect Costs Rates for Fiscal Year 2023-2024 was also approved.
The board approved the confirmation of the Letter of Auditing Services by Wells & Company, P.S.C., for Fiscal Year 22-23 not to exceed $23,500.
The advertisement for snow removal bids was approved.
The acknowledgment review of the New Procedure Notice of Alternative Education Program Placement was approved. This is a new law where an alternative placement setting may be used instead of expulsion. The final decision is placed with Dr. Fletcher on the issue. The board approved entering an Executive Session for the purpose of student discipline/expulsion hearings post-hearing review. The board approved to return to the Open Session.
There was no new business.
In personnel, the LC Board approved changes to the 2023-2024 LC Schools Pay Scales/Salary Schedules to include raises for the LC Food Services Department effective in October of 2023. The food service cooks/bakers/managers will receive a $2.00 per hour raise. The Food Service manager and clerk will also be receiving raises, bringing the entire department to a competitive pay scale within our region and surrounding school systems. There was no action in abolishment, creation, and/or changes regarding positions. The updates to the 2023-2024 pay scales/salary schedules from previous board action.
The request for unpaid leave of absence for Scott Smith for the 2023-2024 school year was tabled. Dr. Fletcher discussed Standard 4 of Human Resource Leadership. The work on finding provisions for funding the Food Service Department raises was a complete group effort. He thanked the staff of the LC Board Office including Ms. Hall, Ms. Peters, Ms. Adkins, Ms. Prince, Ms. Colvin, and Mr. Burns for their hard work on the issue. He discussed the long meetings and hours dedicated to the issue.
The acknowledgment of the Superintendent’s Personnel/Action Update was approved.
A Special School Board Meeting will be held for the Working Budget on September 26, 2023, at the LCHS library at 6:00 PM. The Regular LC School Board Meeting will be held on October 16, 2023, at Fallsburg Elementary School at 6:00 PM. 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 and meetings may be found on the current Lawrence County District webpage at www.lawrence.k12.ky.us.