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Boyle Schools’ top 10 from 2019

During Thursday evening’s Boyle County Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Mike LaFavers delivered a Top 10 list from the year, something he got the idea for from the former late-night talk-show host David Letterman and does annually at the first board meeting of the new year. 

“These are the Top 10 Board Votes of the Year,” LaFavers said. “If you hear these, think about how big these votes are, and how diverse they are, right?” 

They are as follows: 

10 — Accepted a bid for the new Boyle County Middle School roadway in the amount of $471,000, with additional utility modifications to be paid for by the City of Danville.

9 — Purchased three Bluebird 72-passenger buses ($96,725.00 each; total cost was $290,175.00).

8 — Approved a 2% pay raise for all staff.

7 — Approved a work ethic seal for Boyle County High School on diplomas this school year, intended to identify students who have excelled at academics, extracurriculars and community service and are considered highly employable.

6 — Approved final plans for the Woodlawn Elementary School renovation project.

5 — Approved a compensating tax rate to bring in roughly the same amount of revenue from property taxes.

4 — Perryville Elementary School was recognized as a Blue Ribbon School by the Department of Education for achieving superior standards of academic excellence.

3 — Approved three school resource officers for the 19-20 school year.

2 — Acquired 1.429 acres of land to enable construction of the new Boyle Middle School road; “We couldn’t have built the roadway, wouldn’t have a second way into the middle school without that land,” LaFavers said.

LaFavers No. 1 item: “We implemented policies and procedures for student random drug testing. I think the reason we put that as No. 1 is because it got a lot of attention,” he said. “And I think Mr. (Mark) Wade (high school principal) would say it’s been really good so far.” 

 

Teachers and other employees of the year 

 

LaFavers also recognized the Teachers and Classified Employees of the Year by handing out awards to each one. “We always have a great group, this year in particular, just a strong, strong group of people who make a difference in so many ways for our kids.” 

The winners, their schools, positions and hire dates are as follows. 

Teachers of the Year: 

  • Jameson DeBord; Boyle County High School special education teacher; Aug. 1, 2016.
  • Mary Rush; Boyle County Middle School seventh-grade science teacher; Aug. 1, 2015.
  • Andrea Ball, Junction City Elementary School speech therapist; Aug. 1, 2010 (LaFavers said he believes Ball is the first-ever speech therapist to win teacher of the year).
  • Kendra Helm, Perryville Elementary School; first-grade teacher; June 3, 2005.
  • Kelly Karnes, Woodlawn Elementary School; special education teacher; Aug. 1, 2006.

Employees of the Year: 

  • Tori Pruitt, BCMS office/receptionist; Aug. 1, 2017 
  • Tammy Williams, Junction City Elementary attendance clerk, Aug. 1, 2015
  • Jaime Kendrick, interim transportation manager for the district, Jan. 12, 2016 

LaFavers asked the audience to join in a round of applause for the eight who were awarded, calling them, “very deserving recipients.” 

 

Wellness report returned 

 

Pam Tamme, district counselor, delivered the required annual report, which collects various health statistics about students in the district. 

Tamme said the model used is the “whole school, whole community, whole child approach.” It focuses on the entire community — not just the schools — working together to help optimize wellness in students.

The report is turned into the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an organization founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation, which works to reduce childhood obesity and help kids develop lifelong healthy habits. 

Tamme said the district is at or above national standards at every level, with the exception of two: physical activity and employee wellness. 

Tamme gave some highlights of the report, which she said helps the district determine its goals and what it has to work on. They included: 

  • Direct student office visits in the past calendar year (January-December of 2018) totaled 10,373. Of those, 9,876 students returned to class. “So, we have 95% of our students not having to check out due to illness, because nurses are able to meet their needs at school.” 
  • A total of 1,961 health conditions were reported in the district. “That’s how many conditions, not necessarily how many students with conditions; some students don’t have any, some students have five,” Tamme said. The district is up 292 conditions from ‘18-’19 statistics. Those categories included 60 who carry epipens (for severe allergies), which is 13 more than the last report; asthma conditions were slightly lower, at 383 cases; non-food allergies, 328; Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, 158; seizure/convulsion, 66; food allergies, 226; Type 1 diabetes, 12; other mental health conditions, 96 (reported by parents or on child’s school physical form). 
  • The chronic absenteeism rate is just below 10%, which is better than the previous two years. This counts students who have missed 10% or more school days. 
  • One piece of the Basic Needs Survey was reported, with more to come at a later date. The question was asked if students are happy most of the time; 135 students said no, and counselors follow up with any students whose answers gave concern. Tamme said this is roughly 5% of the student population. 1,833 said yes, they are happy most of the time. 

Those who weren’t happy most of the time indicated answers such as feeling anxious or stressed; “That’s important information for us to have in order to meet their needs,” she said. 

  • Two mental health specialists with the district have 119 students on their caseload; there’s been 81 emergency assessments with students who met with them, for reasons such as panic attacks, for example, or suicidal tendencies. 98 of those 119 students received individual counseling; and they “touched base” with 296 students. 
  • Tamme said more information may come later about the drug testing. As of now, she said 55% of middle school students are in the random testing pool, while 80% of high schoolers are. 
  • 57% of students are involved in sports and clubs in third through 12th grades. 
  • 72% indicated they take lessons in music, art or sports, or are into other hobbies.