School board meets Monday night

Posted June 23, 2021 at 11:25 am

Clinton County Board of Education held its regular monthly business meeting Monday night of this week with four of five members on hand and several items of business on the meeting agenda.

The meeting opened with the adoption of the board agenda, followed by the Moment of Inspiration, which was delivered by student Sydnee Albertson and followed with prayer led by Autumn McCutchen.

Under Bulldog Boost, two CCHS FFA students were recognized for their outstanding success at the recent FFA State Convention.

They included Caleb Marlow, who became the first local FFA student to win a state competition and advance to the national competitions to be held later. Marlow won the state in the impromptu speaking contest, speaking on Agriculture Mechanics. Marlow is Sentinel of the local FFA Chapter.

Christian Derryberry was also recognized for finishing third place in the state impromptu speaking contest, with his topic being Nursery Landscape.

Five school system retirees were also presented plaques for their years of service, including Reda Thurman, Mike Reeves, Pat Riddle, Linda Brummett and Shelia Thrasher. Each expressed the sentiment that they enjoyed their job when they decided to retire as much as they did when they first started.

Director of Transportation Doug Barney then made a presentation to the board, giving statistics and information on what is going on with the transportation department and bus garage.

Some of the stats Barney shared were that there are 22 bus routes in the county. Miles traveled per day averages 1,846 and counting all trips made, about 313,000 per year.

As far as accident rates involving buses, Clinton County is very low compared to state averages as only two were recorded during the 2018-19 school year, none last year and only two the current year. He noted both the current year involved buses having to back up in turnaround situations.

The transportation director also informed the board they planned on selling six buses as surplus this year and there are a total of 41 buses in the fleet.

He also noted that in many cases in the county, buses traveled several miles in some areas between actual student pick ups and told the board that most drivers ranged in age over 50 and over 60.

The largest problem the school district’s transportation department has is the lack of drivers. Barney said it used to be they would be training two or three people to drive this time of year, but have none this year. He also added that about five drivers had enough time in and at least one would probably take retirement later this year.

Adding further to the lack of driver manpower, he said the department has only four drivers for trips, such as school sponsored field trips, ball games, etc. This means during school days, some people have to double up and this causes some delays in picking up and dropping off children.

He also said beginning next February, the state has made it a law to register training plans to obtain a CDL license in Kentucky.

Barney also touched on the work that was going on to keep up the bus garage.

Superintendent Dr. Tim Parson noted during the discussion that state funding for transportation was not keeping up and several school districts were experiencing similar problems finding qualified drivers.

Board member Ronald Albertson also asked about bus turnaround areas and upkeep. Both Barney and Parson noted the school district and transportation department had a good working relationship with both state highway department officials and the county judge and fiscal court in helping keep those areas maintained.

Dr. Parson then presented the monthly superintendent’s report, first saying he had notified parents and the public that students and parents would no longer have to purchase their own school supplies, which will help ease the burden on many parents and caregivers.

The superintendent also went through his second evaluation in his capacity and thanked the board for their vote of confidence and support.

He also noted he was happy to see the CCHS Classes of 2020 and 21 be able to graduate in-person and have a prom night this year; informed the board about the newly established Bulldog Byte newsletter which is available online; the science programs in the schools; various job openings that have been posted since the pandemic that are currently being filled, and the Summer School program, which saw some 96 students take part.

New Finance Director Courtney Norris then gave the board the monthly finance report, which was followed by action items that were on the agenda.

The board first approved minor revisions in the classified salary schedule and on a motion by Bobbi Stone, voted to give a one time increment pay for substitute teachers–based on certification, experience, etc. due to COVID-19 and on a motion by Gary Norris, voted unanimously to establish a special education certified position.

Also approved on 5-0 votes were the 2021-22 indirect cost rates set by the state, a second reading on policy updates and the annual instructional day schedule for the next year.

On a motion by Albertson, the board voted to switch the district’s soft drink provider from Pepsi to Coca-Cola. The prices and proposals presented by each company were the apparent reasoning behind the board’s unanimous decision to go with Coca-Cola.

The price comparison for each item showed the Coca-Cola cost on each product bid lower, as well as individual prices per product. Also, the annual stipend for Pepsi was $5,000 and $6,500 for Coke, with Pepsi not submitting a bid on two products.

The board also voted unanimously to accept the umbrella coverage insurance policy from Liberty Mutual at $215,000 plus a $4,000 on a cyber security policy.

After approving KSBA (Kentucky School Boards Association) training for board members who may need it, the board approved a contract with Head Start and an agreement (full utilization) with Head Start.

The board also approved an agreement with INTRUST HEALTHCARE and Adanta and voted to declare six school buses as surplus property.

They then approved consent items of approval of minutes, leave of absence, subsequent disbursements and payment of bills.

Under public comment, just retired Finance Director Mike Reeves expressed his thanks for having been in the school system for some 32 years. Reeves has actually retired twice in his career, once from a certified position. He then came back to accept the Finance Director position (a classified job) before his most recent retirement.

Like the other personnel who retired had said, he noted, “I came in loving my job and I left loving my job.”

Also, James Guffey, a teacher in the school district, thanked the school board for voting to give all employees the one time extra increment pay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it was appreciated by himself and all the staff.

The 48 minute meeting was then adjourned.

The school board’s next work session is scheduled for Thursday, July 15 and next regular business session for Monday, July 19. Both meetings will begin at 5 p.m. at the Learning Center on Hwy. 90.