Boyle school board looks at SB 128, other topics

Published 2:00 pm Thursday, June 17, 2021

The Boyle County Board of Education tackled several agenda items at their June 10 meeting related to staffing and other issues, and how to handle transfer students who wish to take a re-do school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic under Senate Bill 128 but come from other school districts came up as a topic of discussion. Ultimately Superintendent Mike LaFavers said the district will uphold the student’s previous district’s decision, as it has done with other issues in the past.

During the board of education meeting:

• The board was introduced to the district’s new finance director, Nick Clark. LaFavers said Clark was the finance director for Anderson County Schools a few years ago, a role he held for about nine years. He comes to Boyle from Scott County Schools, where he currently holds a finance position and has for about three years.

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Clark is replacing David Morris, who is starting a new job in Lexington with the Central Kentucky Educational Cooperative.

Clark will begin as finance director on July 1. He was chosen through a committee of four people, consisting of LaFavers, school administrators and central office members.

He also is the president-elect and current vice president of KASBO, or the Kentucky Association of School Business Officials.

“He’s a guy that has a wealth of knowledge, very strong background,” LaFavers said.

• The board voted 4-1, with Ruth Ann Elliot as the dissenting vote, to create an assistant director for finance and federal programs position. LaFavers said this assistant director would be assisting Clark, and he said the position is hoped to strengthen the district’s business department.

“By that part being strong, it strengthens every department,” he said. “It strengthens academics. It strengthens food service, transportation, because all of your funds are being spent in a targeted and efficient manner.”

Also, in the past when it came to federal programs, he said several people have been involved in different aspects, while a lot of districts of a similar size have a separate federal program coordinator. So, what’s unique is this assistant director for finance and federal programs position will marry together two responsibilities: finance and federal programs.

“And the reason we’re putting those two together is because we think that it will strengthen our business program by adding that asset to the business department, and then it’ll also streamline our federal programs in that one person will be doing it versus having a half a dozen people,” LaFavers said.

• In his superintendent report, LaFavers said one issue to consider is how the district will handle transfer students who wish to take a re-do year under SB 128.

The bill reads that students had until May 1 to submit a request to their board of education, and boards had until June 1 to decide whether to accept all or no requests. At a previous board meeting, the board voted to approve all requests within the district, 50 in total.

In guidance for schools and districts provided by the Kentucky Department of Education, it reads, “If a district elects to participate in the Supplemental School Year Program by June 1, the district may provide access to the program for students who transfer into the district after that date, but is under no obligation to do so, and may otherwise treat these students as required by existing policies for students transferring into the district.”

The bill itself reads that “A local board approving the requests shall develop a plan for implementing the supplemental school year … and may adopt policies on grades, schedules, classifications, graduation ceremonies and other operational issues in offering the supplemental school year.”

In terms of what the district will do, LaFavers said in the past, if a child has come to the district from a previous district, they’ve always honored the decision of the previous district as to the child’s status.

“To be consistent with that regarding Senate Bill 128, if they’re coming to us from a district that voted yes on Senate Bill 128, then as long as they put their name in by May 1, which is what the law requires, then we will honor that,” LaFavers said. “If they’re coming to us from a district that voted no on it, then we’ll honor that as well.”

In terms of how the district will keep track of if the bill’s process has been followed for a student, he said the two districts’ directors of people personnel will be in contact to confirm process.

“They’ll just communicate with each other, and really, the two questions are: ‘Did this child have their name in before May 1?’ And the second question is ‘How did your board vote?’” LaFavers said.

• The board unanimously approved an emergency reading of classified personnel salaries.

For what it entails, LaFavers said in the past, what the district has done is that if an incoming staff member is a teacher, the district gives them a year’s experience for every year they have worked as a teacher. For those who work outside of education, the district has historically given those staff members one year of experience for every two years they have worked. So if a person for example has worked with heating, ventilation and air conditioning for 20 years, the district would acknowledge 10 years of experience. The emergency reading of classified personnel salaries, however, changes this so incoming classified personnel will be granted a year’s experience for every year they have worked.

LaFavers said the old policy was outdated because recently, the district has hired a lot of people with experience not directly tied to education, like those who are nurses, in health fields, in transportation, in the business department and in the central office, hence why it was changed.

• The board unanimously approved the creation of an educational interpreter classified district position, job description and salary schedule for the 2021-22 school year, working 185 days out of the year, 7.25 hours per day. This will be an interpreter for a student who needs American Sign Language.

• The board unanimously approved creating four temporary classified positions for summer custodians to help current custodians, due to the intensity of summer custodial work.

• The board tabled accepting, awarding or rejecting bids for the new Boyle County Middle School campus walkway project for a future meeting. This project will consist of a walkway between the middle and high schools.