The Clinton County School Board had a busy first meeting of the new year Monday night, meeting in regular session with all members present, including newest member Jeff Sams.
With the month of January designated as School Board Member Appreciation Month, Superintendent Charlotte Bernard presented board members with a gift of appreciation in observance of the month, prior to regular business being conducted.
The board, on a motion by Junior Cecil, voted to appoint Paula Key to the position of board chair for the next two year period, beginning January 1 of this year.
Also, on a motion by Key, Cecil was selected for a two-year period as vice-chairman, a position that Key had been serving in previously.
After approving board minutes, with board member Goldie Stonecipher abstaining since she was not present at the last meeting, more family and/or medical leaves were approved, including: a family medical leave for Shirley Williams through February 15; family medical leave for Anna Sue Smith through January 31; family medical to Kim Fitzgerald through January 16; and a medical leave to Beth Sullivan through April 1.
After approving between meeting disbursements and voting to pay claims and bills, Supt. Bernard gave a brief monthly personnel report, as follows: Certified hired–Ashley Neathery, teacher at CCHS; substitute teachers–Michelle Porter, CCHS/CCMS and Ashley Hardin, Chris Marcum and Tim Perdew, district-wide; and classified retired–Shirley Latham, Director of Youth Services at the high school.
The board then took steps to save the district over $91,000 over the long haul by opting to refinance two school building revenue bond series, 1999 and 2005.
Brian Skinner with Ross-Sinclaire & Associates, the same firm that recently assisted the City of Albany in its refinancing of utility bonds which saved close to a million dollars, explained the bond refinancing plan to the board.
After approving an initial resolution initiating the refinancing process “in order to refund and retire some of the outstanding school district building revenue bonds,” the board briefly recessed the regular meeting and called to order a meeting of the District Finance Corporation–made up of the board itself.
Following discussion in the District Finance Corporation meeting, they voted unanimously to refinance the two combined bond series and Skinner estimated that the district, over time by refinancing the current amount, could save at least $92,000 and possibly more.
Skinner noted the Kentucky Department of Education requires that any bond refinancing would have to save a district at least five percent of the total bond amount and he estimated by refinancing the $1,510,000 principal amount, the district would save an estimated 6.7 percent.
When the board went back into regular session, they reviewed the 2013-14 fiscal year “draft” budget with Finance Director Greg Wells.
Wells noted that the draft was simply the starting point of the continuing budget process throughout the year and a projection of the district’s financial status. No official budget totals will be known until the state sets the amount of SEEK funding for schools later in the year.
The second of three total budgets, with more accurate totals, will be the tentative budget that is presented in May and the actual working budget is approved in September.
Although Wells noted that like everything else, costs are going up and revenues are staying down, making for another tight budget, but did assure the board they would be presented a workable, balanced budget when the tentative budget is put together this spring.
Following some discussion, on a motion by board member Kevin Marcum, the board voted to amend policy 03.121 to stipulate that all newly employed (school) district personnel shall participate in direct deposit of payroll, effective January 1, 2013.
The board then voted to establish one 230 day LBD Special Education certified teaching position at Foothills Academy. Supt. Bernard stipulated that no new hiring would be done, but rather special education teachers from other schools that had less need would be transferred to work with Foothills students.
The board also voted to establish a certified assistant superintendent position at a rate of $7,000 annually to combine with the position of Supervisor of Instruction, which is Paula Little.
On a motion by Sams, they voted to sell, by sealed bids, two Garland Master gas conventional ovens, to advertise for bids for two weeks and open the bids on January 31 at 10 a.m.
The board also approved an overnight trip to Bowling Green for the CCHS Band to participate in the WKU Honors Band January 24 through 26.
A parent of an archery team member then questioned the board about a policy recently put in place by the Director of Transportation which he (the parent) said no longer allowed his child to take his bow onto the practice bus. He said he had to take his child’s bow to the elementary school himself and noted it was somewhat inconvenient to parents and questioned why the policy was in place.
Superintendent Bernard, as well as board members, tended to agree with the parent, since there is no apparent issue of not having enough room on the bus, or any type of safety issue.
Bernard told the parent she would discuss the matter with Larry Koger, Director of Transportation, to work out a solution to the matter.
The superintendent, prior to adjourning, also noted the continued mourning by students and staff for the late golf coach Mike Anders. She also noted several teachers were on leaves for family and medical problems and asked they be kept in people’s prayers.
Julie York, Director of Pupil Personnel, also gave the monthly attendance report, and more details on that report can be found in a separate article pertaining to the closing of Clinton schools due to the flu. That article appears elsewhere in this week’s Clinton County News.
The next regular meeting of the Board of Education is scheduled for February 11 at 5 p.m. at the Central Office and is open to the public.