Boyle County Schools share wellness report, approve draft of facility plan

During a Boyle County Schools board of education meeting on Jan. 21, the board approved a draft of a facility plan, to be passed along to the Kentucky Board of Education for approval, and viewed a wellness report shared with the board.

Wellness report

Katie Ellis, director of food service, and Deanna Padgett, student services specialist, presented a wellness report during the meeting. Padgett shared the results from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Healthy Schools Program Assessment from October and gave a COVID-19 and mental health update for the district.

For the COVID-19 update, Padgett shared that between Sept. 23 and Jan. 15, district-wide there were 174 positive student cases, 217 exposed students, 58 positive staff cases and 42 exposed staff.

“It’s a picture of what we’re up against and what our students and staff are facing, truly,” Padgett said.

Superintendent Mike LaFavers said staff of BCS received their first round of COVID-19 vaccines on Jan. 26 and hopefully will receive round two at the end of February.

In a discussion of student mental health, Padgett shared that in a basic needs survey given to all students — to their parents if they were below third grade — 5.4% of students answered “no” for legitimate reasons when asked if they were happy most of the time in fall 2020, a 0.4% increase compared to 2019, Padgett said.

Due to the mental health concerns surrounding the pandemic, Padgett said one of the efforts LaFavers set in place was asking elementary school counselors and mental health staff to make contact with every student through phone calls, which Padgett said resulted in some students receiving services they may have not received or known about before. Most counseling sessions have been done as telehealth sessions for high school students during the pandemic, she said.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation Healthy Schools Program Assessment found the district is underperforming in employee wellness and physical activity compared to Kentucky and U.S. numbers, but the district has improved in these areas and across the board in health areas compared to around the 2017-2018 school year, showing though the district comes up short in areas, it has been improving, Padgett said. In areas where the district is deficient, she said the next step is for the administration and human resources to develop a strategic plan to promote employee wellness and physical activity for students.

The district significantly outperforms the state and U.S. numbers in the 2020 assessment in nutrition services, however.

Ellis said nutrition services in the district have especially stepped up during the pandemic with home food delivery, the bulk meal program, meal kits for the holidays and emergency feeding.

Facility plan

The board hosted a public hearing via teleconference prior to its regular board meeting to discuss the district’s facility plan for the next four years, but no one from the public called in. The plan has been approved by the board and will pass on to the Kentucky Board of Education for approval.

Susan Taylor, who served as chair of the Local Planning Committee that developed the plan, said per the plan, “the district’s calculated unmet need is $24,204,223.”

“This number is derived from the work of the Local Planning Committee, community feedback and a comprehensive assessment of the age and educational space needs of our buildings,” she said in an email. “This number does not represent a budget we will have to construct/renovate all that is outlined in the Facility Plan. Rather it is a report for the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) to use as they allocate funding for construction. Upon approval from the KBE, any projects pursued in the Facility Plan will be determined by the Boyle County Board of Education. This four year plan will help guide those decisions.”

She said a couple of key takeaways on the plan are a career and technology center, which is planned to provide space for coursework in areas including transportation/logistics, advanced manufacturing, aviation, health science, air conditioning and plumbing.

Also, she said, “At the High School, an additional 3,000 square feet has been identified as a need. This equates to four additional classrooms.

Renovation high points include door access control to allow monitoring and ensuring security of all buildings. This marries well with the district’s School Safety Strategic Plan.”

For next steps, the state will use information from the plan to allocate funds based on district need. Once approved by the state board, the district will work off the plan for the next four years, then begin the process again.

In other business:

• During the meeting, LaFavers reminded the board that the ribbon cutting for the new Woodlawn Elementary School, located in the old Boyle County Middle School building, which is now renovated, will be Feb. 18 at 6 p.m.

• Chief financial officer David Morris said the district has received its award notification for its second round of CARES Act funding with the award amount $1,390,077.