School year extended into June
Barlow - “All we can do is come up with the best option,” was what Superintendent Casey Allen said of the decision the Board had to make regarding missed snow days during Monday’s Board of Education meeting.
With a growing concern about how the district is going to make up snow days, Director of Pupil Personnel Bob Wilson presented the board with three options to consider. At issue was a concern about the school year extending into June.
No matter which option the board decided to choose, the Kentucky Department of Education mandates that students must receive 1,062 hours of instruction and personnel must work 185 days, according to Board Chairman Haskell Sheeks.
After much deliberation, the board unanimously voted to amend the school calendar to include as instructional days Memorial Day along with June 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. The last day for school employees will be June 5th.
Another option considered was having students attend three Saturdays, which would include March 22nd, April 26th, and May 17th. This would have been in addition to attending on Memorial Day. If the board had gone with this option, the district would have an additional expense of $6,000 due to overtime. The hope was that the board would make this decision during the meeting and then be able to go back and amend it if legislation passes that would add disaster relief. In that case, students would not have to attend the Saturdays, but additional minutes would be added to each day until the entire 4 missed snow days were made up, thereby meeting the mandatory 1,062 hours of instruction.
Superintendent Casey Allen said, “We’re being told that some kind of relief is on the way. They have made it very clear that only the worst districts would get the most number of days.”
The third option was to have students attend school the first three days of Spring Break in addition to attending on Memorial Day. This would leave April 3rd and April 4th as Spring Break. Chairman Haskell Sheeks voiced concern over individuals who may have already made plans for Spring Break that would cause them to lose money if Spring Break was cancelled since they may lose their deposits.
A main concern with the options of attending during Spring Break or going on Saturdays was over timing. Even if legislation does pass, there is no guarantee of how many days relief the district would get, nor is there a guarantee of how long it would take to get a decision. According to Allen, once legislation is passed, the decision then goes to the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE). The district would then have to apply for disaster relief and wait for approval by KDE.
As it stands now, the Board’s decision is for students to attend school through June 4th with the last day for employees being June 5th. If legislation passes to provide disaster relief, student days will be taken off the calendar starting with June 4th. The days will then be incorporated as additional minutes to each regular school day until the required amount of minutes is met. Even with the disaster days for students, school employees will have to work until June 5th.
As it stands now with the Board’s decision to attend school through June 4th, if legislation passes to provide disaster relief, days will be taken off the calendar starting with June 4th. The days will then be incorporated as additional minutes each regular school day until the required amount of minutes is met.
“There are no easy options,” said Allen. “There are no options to satisfy everyone.”
In other business, the board discussed SBDM tentative allocations as well as tentative staffing allocations. Allen recommended keeping the SBDM tentative allocation at 3.5 % of SEEK (Support Education Excellence in Kentucky) base. Staffing allocations will remain the same as they were last year until the district finds out exactly what its SEEK allocations will be.
Other items requiring board action during the meeting included the approval of the Kentucky Inter-local School Transportation Association (KISTA) sale of a bus. In addition, the board also approved the 6th grade Leadership Frankfort Trip and Superintendent Travel expenses, the 2014/15 Draft Calendar, and the Personnel Report.
An item not requiring board action involved Superintendent Casey Allen telling the board that he had filed an opinion with the court concerning an assessment done by the Kentucky School Boards Insurance Trust (KSBIT). The assessment indicates the formula by which KSBIT determined how much each district that had used KSBIT since 1999 owed to pay off the now defunct Insurance Trust’s debt.