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Drainage issue hot topic at board of ed

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By Sharon Graves

With much of Carroll County battling flooding and road closings, a potential water hazard was also a topic of discussion at Thursday’s Board of Education meeting.

A pond built to improve a drainage problem that has long been present between Cartmell Elementary and the high school recently began filling up due to all the rain and a pump was required to empty it. Board member Tommy Unker questioned not only the amount of water being held in the pond but the security of it as well. 

Larry Curell, director of pupil personnel and chief operating officer for Carroll County Schools, explained to Unker and the board that he was aware of the water problem and had ordered a pump to have the water pumped out and into another storm drain on the opposite side of the street. Curell assured the board there is to be no water left in there. 

John Gilbert, project manager with Rosstarant Architects in charge of the renovations at Cartmell, explained that when the project is finished and grass is planted, that should alleviate most of the drainage problems. “The filtration drain could be the issue if it continues,” Gilbert explained.

Board attorney Jim Crawford was skeptical, citing problems Gallatin County had when they built several new schools.  “Gallatin County had similar problems and it never worked  It will be worth watching to see if it ever works.” 

“Until all issues get resolved, the area needs to be secured better,” Unker said, pointing out that current fencing there is ragged looking at best. 

An inspection of the working pump and the fence following the meeting showed anyone could gain access to the pond in several places where fencing was either not connected, bent up from the bottom or missing completely.

In a phone interview on Monday, Curell said he was sure the pond had filled up again over the weekend with the amount of rain Carroll County received.  He explained the 12-foot pond was completely empty by Friday and a drain at the bottom was opened up and new filtration felt had been put down. 

Champions for Kids award

Cody Hembree and Jared Powell, students at the vocational school, received the Champions for Kids award this month for winning first place in the state Skills USA competition in megatronics.  They will go to Kansas City in June to compete in nationals. 

Middle school excellence

Carroll County Middle School will once again keep the traveling trophy for attendance.  The school recently held a Hoops for Heart event where they shot basketball to raise money for the American Heart Association.  Principal Dana Oak said they did it last year with limited success but this year they raised $3,450.22 for the Heart Association. 

Teachers on target

“Every school district has to have a plan and we are pretty close to reaching our target,” Pam Williams, elementary curriculum director for the district said as she explained how teachers are dealing with basically teaching to two different standards.  As Kentucky moves away from its current CATS testing standards and toward a national standard, there will either be gaps or overlaps in what is taught.

Williams explained the program they are currently using to assure the concepts teachers are teaching are actually being learned.  “What gets monitored gets done,” Williams said as she explained the multi-layered system in place to track results, barriers students have that inhibit learning and leadership and the impact it has on students.

“We feel like we have made great progress.  You’re never there.  You’re always looking for ways to improve,” Williams said as she gave her report, but she expressed confidence in improvements being made in instruction.