The Grayson County School Board approved the list of appointees to the Local Planning Committee at their regular monthly meeting on November 8.
The committee is formed every four years, as per Kentucky Department of Education regulations, to review the current school facilities and to develop a plan to address any needs found during the review.
The group will spend time in each school building, noting any problems, classifying needs, assigning a dollar value to those needs, and addressing them in order of greatest to least priority, according to Superintendent Barry Anderson.
The group will consist of school administrators, teachers, parents, central office staff and interested community members. Representatives include Stacey Meredith, Tresia Lee, Salina Lindsey, Nancy Brooks, Josh Baldwin, Joe Kolter, Tim Watkins, Tia Watson, Jim Blain, Todd Johnston, Marcia Downs, Ronnie Sarver, Doug Robinson, David Downs, Dr. Brett Abney, and Anthony Elmore.
Anderson used Clarkson Elementary School’s new building as an example of what the committee’s recommendations can accomplish. Eight years ago, he said, the committee decided that the top priority was to build a new school in Clarkson to replace the old one. Now, Clarkson students can enjoy the added educational and environmental benefits of a top-notch new school building, thanks to their needs being identified.
Scott Noel, Senior Associate with the architectural firm Clotfelter Samokar, told the group that this year’s committee will be “looking further out,” adding that any new construction suggested at this point would be closer to the 20-year range, unlike Clarkson Elementary’s quick transformation.
Noel explained that “the main goal is to keep capacity as close as possible,” meaning that a school designed for 500 students has as close to 500 students as possible - no more, no less. Keeping at capacity, he said, means getting the most out of the money spent.
He added that the Grayson County school system is “close to needing a fifth elementary school.”
The school currently has their sites set on a new building to replace the current Board of Education Central Office located at 909 Brandenburg Road, in Leitchfield.
Construction of a new building has been a topic of discussion for some time, and the group is moving forward with their plans by approving the central office building project.
Clemons & Associates won the bid for surveying the site, located on the bypass, for a price of $2,000.
In addition to these items, the board also discussed a one-time supplemental pay increase for school employees for this school year only.
Since no raise was given above the built-in step increase this year, the group voted to approve the one-time one-percent increase and to hand out checks for the amount on December 15. “The board wants the employees to feel valued,” Anderson explained, adding, “I’m proud that the board feels that way.”
In other school-related news, the board took the following actions during the November meeting:
- Approval was provided to declare a number of items as surplus property to be sold at the Grayson County schools Maintenance Building on November 17. The sale will begin at 10 a.m.
- Approval was granted for H. W. Wilkey Elementary to apply for a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant in the amount of $150,000 per year for a three-year period. The grant would be used to fund an out of school program that would provide academic, enrichment and cultural/recreational/social activities to improve reading and math achievement of K-5 students. According to the board’s agenda, the program would serve up to 150 students daily, targeting those scoring below the proficiency level.
- Approval was granted to apply for the U. S. Soccer Foundation grant for partial funding of sports lights for the high school soccer field. The amount of funding would be $50,000, if awarded. The total cost of the lighting would be $80,000.
- Field trips were approved for two groups. Teresa Blain was granted permission to send a delegation of students to the Junior Kentucky Youth Assembly in Louisville and Frankfort on December 6 - 8. This student conference is a model legislature where students can participate in all aspects of the legislative process.
Also, the Middle School Cheerleading Team will attend the state competition on December 7 - 8 at Eastern Kentucky University. The board will provide funding for both housing and meals for this trip.
- GCMS Detention Teacher Pricilla Horn tendered her intent to retire, which will be effective December 31. Substitute teacher Amanda Grant and bus driver Stacy Stephens both tendered their resignations, effective October 8 and November 9, respectively. Also, Caneyville Elementary teacher Beverly Milan and bus driver Johnnie Williams were both approved for leaves of absence.