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Board of Education | Jan. 30, 2014

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CCMS bid opening Feb. 6

The Carroll County Middle School project continues to move forward with bids to be opened on Feb. 6.

There were 8-10 construction companies and about 50 people who attended the pre-bid meeting held earlier in the afternoon, Superintendent Lisa James, Ed.D., told the Board of Education at its meeting Jan. 23.

The opening of the bids was changed to Feb. 6 because of the pre-bid meeting being moved. James said she would like to set up a working meeting Feb. 11 to discuss the bids, what alternatives they would like to address, etc.

Board members agreed to the work session at 3 p.m. on Feb. 11, at central office. Smoke-free campuses and the valedictorian and salutatorian also will be discussed at the work session.

The board will not vote on the bids until the next regular board meeting Feb. 27 at the high school.

CCR update

College and Career Readiness counselor Rachel Mefford updated board members on the Carroll County High School students’ progress toward becoming College and Career Ready. All students were given a survey during the first month of school to help identify their needs and to see what careers interest them. Mefford said she is focusing on the juniors and seniors, but she has an open door policy for everyone who wants to come see her.

Mefford said she is targeting the 48 seniors who are not yet College and Career Ready. The goal is to have 65 percent of the class earn this designation. As of Jan. 22, they were at 52 percent. However, the career certifications are not added to that total until the end of the year, she said.

Mefford also is meeting with the 130 juniors. She said she asked students to pick three goals they want to work on for the year, and she works with the gap teachers to follow up and make sure these goals are met.

From the surveys, Mefford said she targeted the top 20 career interests and has been bringing in guest speakers or arranging Skype interviews for the students. She can also assist with setting up job shadows, assisting with filling out the FAFSA form and registering students for the ACT.

Mefford said she partnered with Northern Kentucky Area Development District for its Career Readiness Workshop. She also works with students in the early college program at Jefferson Community and Technical College and with the Family Resource and Youth Service Center to provide college and career planning and to help target struggling students.

Mefford also told the board about a committee she formed with other high school administrators to contact all of the junior and senior parents by Feb. 1. These individual meetings are to ensure that the parents know about CCR and about what the high school is doing to move their student forward, she said.

“Pop in any time you want,” she said. “I’m very excited about what is going on at Carroll County with College and Career Readiness.”

“We are very fortunate to have Rachel in this position,” Superintendent Lisa James, Ed.D., said. Mefford is not too far removed from the students and is very passionate about her work, she said.

Board approves draft budget, 4-0

The board members approved the draft budget for the 2014-15 school year, 4-0. Chief Executive Officer Jon Conrad said the board also will vote on a tentative budget in May before the official working budget is approved in September.

Conrad began his presentation by mentioning to the board that Gov. Steve Beshear has included pay raises for school employees in his budget proposal: 2 percent in 2014-15 and 1 percent in 2015-16. The state legislature has until April 15 to approve the budget.

County’s draft budget does not reflect these possible raises, he said. Conrad said he met with Superintendent Lisa James, Ed.D., and they decided to just include the step increases, which are based on experience.

Beshear’s budget proposal also includes $34 million in preschool funding, increasing the poverty level from 150 percent to 160 percent.

The Carroll County Schools 2014-15 draft budget is $21,887,769, with a contingency of 7.64 percent.

Carroll applying for career grant

Carroll County Schools – along with Owen, Gallatin, Trimble and Henry counties – is applying for the Youth Career Connect grant, which emphasizes the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

Superintendent Lisa James, Ed.D., asked the board to allow the district to apply for this federal grant, which could be worth up to $7 million. OVEC is helping the schools write the grant, she said. The grant will be awarded in April.

If awarded the grant, the schools could create a separate high school complex within the Jefferson Community and Technical College just for students entering the engineering and manufacturing fields. What to name the new school has been the worst part of the entire decision-making process, James said.

James said it takes the support of many parties to receive federal grants, and the local industries have all sent letters of support. Rep. Rick Rand and other legislators also have been involved in the conversation, she said.

Sight Word Busters underway at Winn

Kathryn Winn Primary Principal Gerda Wise described her school’s newest reading initiative to the board. Sight Word Busters began right before Christmas and “the flood gates opened” over Christmas break, she said.

The school is looking for 110 community members to volunteer in the classrooms once a week for an hour and work with the students. The woman in California who started the program told Wise she would not be able to get 50 volunteers. Wise quickly proved her wrong by having 50 volunteers within the first week.

The next Sight Word Buster training is at 8:30 a.m. Thursday. Anyone interested in participating may call Cydney Conley at Winn, (502) 732-7090.

Cartmell, CCMS team up

Cartmell Elementary and Carroll County Middle School have partnered to form a mentoring program for students in need of academic support. Cartmell Principal Doug Oak explained that staff members will be partnered with students who are not progressing, and the two will meet for 10 minutes each week to look over the student’s folder and see where they need additional support. Oak said volunteers are welcome to work one-on-one with the students in need of extra help.

Board recognized

In lieu of a Champions for Kids award, Superintendent Lisa James, Ed.D., recognized the five Carroll County Board of Education members in honor of January being School Board Recognition Month. Members on the board are Chair Mona Kindoll, Vice Chair Carolyn Jones, Rob Spenneberg, Dru Maiden and Mary Ann Pearson. “We’re very fortunate to have five wonderful people serving in that capacity,” James said.

Although they only meet once a month, the board does a lot of work behind the scenes, James said. “I appreciate all that you do for the kids of Carroll County.”