Boyle BOE hears student health report, high school Big 5; Board signs lease for Jennie Rogers child care center

Published 7:17 pm Friday, February 3, 2023

The Boyle Schools Board of Education heard the 2022-23 Student Wellness Report by Nichole Brown, Deanna Padgett, and Katie Ellis at their meeting on Jan. 19.

The report, called Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child, gave updates on where the schools are in terms of physical health, mental health, and nutrition. Brown started by presenting progress on physical health.

In the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program Assessment, Boyle Schools had significant growth in all areas of assessment in the last five years. Categories assessed are policy and environment, nutrition services, smart snacks, health and physical education, physical activity, and employee wellness.

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The district has above average scores at the state and national levels in all areas except physical activity, which is at 33% of meeting its modules. At the state level, the average is 40%, and at the national level it’s 33.8%.

Brown said the district is still meeting benchmarks for physical activity, despite goals not being fully implemented. One part of the plan they have trouble implementing is promoting biking and walking, which isn’t safe in front of the county schools, so they might not make much improvement in that area.

Areas of the plan include providing students with physical activity breaks in the classroom, offering organized before and after school activities, requiring classroom teachers to participate in physical activity, and withholding activity as punishment.

They are going to work on strategic planning for these areas. Current efforts at each school are listed below.

• At the elementary level, physical activity is integrated into a typical school day for about 30 minutes per day. Dance is also included in 5th grade semester rotations.

FitnessGram testing is used for assessments, with a pacer test, curl ups, push ups, and sit and reach. Assessments are given twice a year, but are also incorporated into stations and games.

• At the middle school, all students have the opportunity to participate in PE classes. Students get two 20 minute breaks each week. Dance class is offered, but not required.

The school has after school sports and activities like basketball, football, volleyball, golf, wrestling, soccer, cross country, track, softball, baseball, cheer, dance, bowling, archery, tennis, swim/dive, fishing and marching band.

• At the high school, students are required to take a Wellness course; nine weeks of health, and nine weeks of PE. Weightlifting and Dance courses are offered, but not required. They get offered the same after school sports/activities as the middle school, as well as yoga club.

Brown said that the wellness policy states, “Teachers will make all reasonable efforts to avoid periods of more than 30 minutes when students are physically inactive. When possible, physical activity will be integrated into learning activities. When that is not possible, students will be given periodic breaks during which they are encouraged to stand and move in some form.”

To get more physical activity in the classroom, the wellness committee recommended they explore opportunities for additional course electives at BCHS, build flexibility into the master schedule to not limit enrollment in physical education courses, and put intentional emphasis on movement in the classroom at the elementaries.

The schools resumed mass student health screenings this year. They are conducted K-5 across all elementary schools, and 7th grade, for height, weight, BMI, vision, and hearing. Referrals are made for failed screenings.

Mental Health

In the area of mental health, Padgett said the number of people requesting mental health services has increased. She said the BWell program has really taken off, which is a substance use diversion group.

The groups are available at both the middle and high school. Groups are also available for Anger Management, Grief and Loss, and Focus for ADHD. Padgett said the schools have a huge number of kids with ADHD.

Food Services Director Katie Ellis gave a nutrition update about making the healthy choice the easy choice. They provide smart snacks in schools, which now include all food and beverages sold to students at schools during the school day, other than what’s part of school meal programs.

The snacks’ nutrient standards are: Calories < 200, Sodium < 200 mg, Total Fat < 35% of calories, Saturated Fat < 10% of calories, Trans Fat 0g, and Sugar < 35%.

In serving breakfast, students must pick either a fruit or vegetable or both, either grains or protein or both, and milk in order for it to be a USDA Meal Pattern reimbursable meal.

The wellness committee recommended they explore the feasibility of expanding breakfast services by implementing second chance breakfast at BCHS; offering additional sale areas for breakfast after the initial serving period, like the front Office or FRYSC; and implementing the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables program.

The full report is available here: BCS Wellness Report Jan. 2023

Jennie Rogers

The board approved a lease agreement with the City of Danville for housing the district’s Early Childhood Facility at the Jennie Rogers Community Center. The lease is for three years starting August 1, 2023 and ending July 31, 2026; monthly payments are $2,938.

The center will have 54 childcare spots and 80 wrap-around care spots for preschool students.

Tuition for infants and toddlers will be $150 per week. For ages 3-5, it will be $140 per week, and wrap-around care will be $90 per week.

Preschool Director Chelsea Clark said the center’s capacity to breakeven is 86%. She said it will not impact the district’s general fund; and it’s a low risk proposition as they are not paying to renovate the building. It’s expected to fully fund itself.

“I think this will be big; I think we’re going to look back on it and think that was a really good move,” Superintendent Mike LaFavers said.

Most of the operating costs will go toward having two staff per room, a floater to relieve people, and four part time assistants.

High School Big 5 strategic plan

High School Principal Mark Wade gave a presentation update on their “Big 5” priorities; they are listed below.

1. Student Involvement

• Students meet monthly in teams for ILP Completion, Schedule Work/Completion, and assemblies.

• In the daily schedule, students have two breaks of 10 minutes, which allows for student interaction outside of the classroom, and for students to communicate with teachers and administrators.

• BCHS offers 27 clubs, which meet monthly. Clubs are structured throughout the day to allow students every opportunity to join different clubs.

• The high school offers 18 of the 20 KHSAA sanctioned sports; Dance and Field Hockey are the only ones not offered. 446 students are competing in sports at the high school level, and 50% of students participate in sports and extracurricular activities.

2. School Safety

• The school has 76 active cameras – 36 exterior and 40 interior. They also installed vape detection in bathrooms.

• The goal is to keep kids in the classroom for the first and last 10 minutes of class. They have a sign out form and hall pass.

• Doors are locked at all times, and administration uses the raptor system with visitor badges.

• The state started requiring two extra lockdown drills.

• Mental health safety includes having a Threat Assessment Team to identify, assess, and respond to potential threats to school safety and school security. They also have a Trauma-informed Team to help better recognize, understand, and address the learning needs of students impacted by trauma.

• Three school counselors spend 60% or more their time in direct service to students. Counselors and mental health specialists meet weekly to discuss student needs, and have check-ins with all students twice a year on mental health.

3. Student Celebrations

• Student accomplishments are shared via Facebook, Twitter, the School Website, and on BCSN. Students are awarded lunch passes for meeting their goals.

4. Data Driven Instruction

• Freshman MAP testing in reading and math is given multiple times a semester to assess progress and modify instruction to address concerns.

• The Sophomore ACT (with TIR report) offered to all members of the sophomore class and has 86% participation. TIR data is collected, analyzed, and used to create review materials for junior year ACT prep.

• Junior spring ACT is preceded by flashback prep in four core classes. There’s also three Saturday prep sessions prior to the March ACT.

• They also have Senior Benchmark Intervention for reading and math for seniors who have not met ACT benchmarks; and Career and Technical Education End Of Program exams.

5. High Expectations

• To maintain high expectations for students, the school does formative assessments daily to see if the students are understanding material. They also reach out to parents before students are failing, and update and upload grades as soon as possible.

• The Administrative Team does constant walkthroughs to give teacher feedback, and works hard to ensure that students meet school behavior expectations via a firm and consistent discipline hierarchy.

• They work to create pathways for students pursuing Dual Credit, Early College Credit, and Industry Certification/Career options. They ensure significant counseling to assist students in the selection of a pathway prior to or during sophomore year.

The full report is available here: Boyle County High School Big 5 Board Presentation