The Herald News

Posted January 3, 2013 at 7:16 pm

The December 17 meeting of the school board began as usual, with a video presentation of the students who were being recognized for their accomplishments: STLP students from every school who qualified for the state competition and a long list of students scoring All Distinguished on the Spring K-PREP assessment who are now members of the Superintendent’s Club of Distinction.

That was followed with the recognition that this school board configuration will change dramatically in January as two members and the superintendent step down. Karen Tudor (2004-12) and Laketia O’Leary (2008-12) were given a farewell gift for their service on the school board. Superintendent Patricia Hurt was presented a gift as the board officially accepted her retirement effective December 31.

Lynn and Ann Lawrence (not present) were awarded the Act of Kindness award for closing their store, All Start Shirts & More, to finish the special t-shirts for the Superintendent’s Club of Distinction recipients.

In her report, Hurt pointed out that the District, as part of the Green River Education Cooperative (GRREC), in partnership with the Ohio Valley Education Cooperative has been awarded a $40 million Race to the Top District (RTT-D) grant. An overview published by GRREC highlights one of the goals for the RTT-D is to make school not a place where students have to be, but where they want to be. A focus will be on personalized learning and competency-based instruction beginning at the earliest level.

At the recent Kentucky Association of School Superintendent’s (KASS) conference, Commissioner Terry Holliday talked of a new initiative in which districts could be in a District of Innovation. Applications will be available January 1 and Holliday encouraged superintendents to submit a proposal as soon as possible. Districts approved for this will be allowed to disregard certain regulations that would interfere with their attempts to think outside the box in improving student performance. Commissioner Holliday showed conference attendees a power-point presentation from Colorado on innovation in education and Hurt showed it at the board meeting.

Beth Miller presented her nutrition report. The District receives federal reimbursement for each school breakfast and lunch served that meets the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nutrition guidelines. She noted that 80 percent of elementary students are being served breakfast.

Chris Huffman presented a preliminary 2013-14 school calendar indicating a first day for students on August 8 and May 20 as the last day.

The school board meeting for January was changed from Monday to Tuesday, January 22 at 5 p.m. at the Central Office. Board Chairman Joey Shive said that a board member has a prior commitment on Monday and that in January they can officially schedule the board meetings for 2013.

Following an executive session, on a motion from Shive, the board approved in a three to two vote to appoint Byron Jeffries as interim superintendent. Jeffries had served previously as superintendent until he retired in October 2004.

Joey Shive was also given authorization to notify the appropriate groups whose task it will be to select a new superintendent.