Working budget includes CCMS construction, raises

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By Kristin Beck

The Carroll County Middle School construction project caused the Carroll County Schools’ 2013-2014 working budget to be a little higher than normal, Chief Financial Officer Jon Conrad explained Thursday, Sept. 26, to the Board of Education.

The budget totals a little more than $34,794,000 and includes almost $8,704,000 in construction funds for the new middle school gymnasium and renovation and a general fund of $19,802,380. Conrad budgeted a 6 percent contingency, well above the required 2 percent. Salaries and benefits make up 75.4 percent of the budget, which he said was a good percentage. Conrad said he will continue to monitor that number to ensure the district stays under 80 percent to allow for operating room in case of an emergency.

The general fund includes a 2.5 percent salary increase plus step raises, $212,410 to purchase two new school buses – one Head Start and one Special Education – $140,902 for the new tennis courts and lighting and $60,000 for the Apple iPad initiative.

The general fund revenue includes $5.35 million carrying forward from 2012-2013, $6.5 million from SEEK, $3.855 million in property/PSC/motor vehicle taxes and $3.05 million in utility taxes.

About half of the general fund expenses goes directly to instruction, Conrad said.

Kentucky Department of Education requires the working budget be approved before Sept. 30. The board approved by a vote of 3-0, with Board member Mary Ann Pearson absent.

Focus on readiness to learn

At the Carroll County Childhood Development Center, the focus is getting students ready for kindergarten. According to a flier distributed to board members by Coordinator Pam McNeal, school readiness means that “each child enters school ready to engage in and benefit from early learning

experiences that best promote the child’s success and ability to be Ready to Grow, Ready to Learn and Ready to Succeed.”

The following are the five keys to school readiness:

• General knowledge and mathematics, includes sorting and classifying objects, identifying basic colors and counting to 30.

• Health and physical well-being, includes eating a balanced diet, receives regular medical and dental care, and runs, jumps and does other activities.

• Social and emotional development, includes learning to play and share with others, following simple rules and routines, and learns to work alone.  

• Language and communication development, includes knowing their full name and how to write it, using pictures to tell stories and speaking in five or six word sentences.

• Approaches to learning, includes the ability to focus and listen, continuing tasks that are challenging, and learning to play in groups or pairs based on interest.

McNeal said all parents receive a copy of this graphic at the beginning of their children’s assessment. Then, she showed a video by Preschool Instructional Supervisor Leah Spencer showing Carroll County students performing some of these tasks during class.

“We are changing lives in that building,” McNeal said at the conclusion of the video. “There are children changing that would never be exposed to some of the experiences they are having at this center.” 

Board Chairwoman Mona Kindoll said it was a shame this program could not be offered to every student.


Technology keeps learning going

Technology is used in almost every aspect of instruction, which is great. As long as it works.

Center of Technology and Innovation Network Administrator Zachary Dean explained he receives a text and an email anytime something goes down in the district. If he has not responded within five minutes, District Technology Coordinator Cindy Johann also receives an email. Dean said the goal is to know something is wrong when everyone else does.

Carroll County Schools has 32 servers, 60 Ethernet data switches, 2,928 active Ethernet data ports, Dean said, and there are 4,787 total devices throughout the network. All of this is monitored in the technology office to make sure everything is working smoothly.

“This is something I’m very proud of,” he said. “We have a very good network here … We pulled together as a team and put something together that fosters learning.”


Local Planning Committee formed

The Carroll County Board of Education approved new members for the Local Planning Committee.

The Local Planning Committee evaluates facilities within the district and plans on which need changes and improvements, Chief Operations Officer and Director of Pupil Personnel Larry Curell said in a Tuesday interview. This goes into a facilities plan that is submitted to the state. If changes need to be made, the group will get back together and discuss them. The state required the committee be in place by Jan. 1, 2014, he said.

Curell said the board is made up of teachers, parents, one Board member, community members, a county zoning person, Superintendent Lisa James, Ed.D., a Carroll County central office representative and himself. The committee will serve from 2014-2018.

The following parents were named to the committee: Amy Harris (Kathryn Winn Primary), Lisa Osborne (Cartmell Elementary), Robin Huesman (Carroll County Middle School) and John Corbin (Carroll County High School). The teachers voted on to the committee by their peers are Sheila Reynolds (Winn), Kim Jett (Cartmell), David Craig (CCMS) and Misty Buchanan (CCHS). The principals of all four schools will serve on the committee. Assistant Superintendent Bill Hogan will represent central office, and Carrollton Code Enforcement Officer John Welch also will serve. Community members on the committee are Brad McNeal, Greg Goff and Mike Willhoite. Board member Rob Spenneberg also volunteered to serve.


Attendance up

Attendance was high during the first month of school. Chief Operations Officer and Director of Pupil Personnel Larry Curell said all schools except the Alternative Learning Center held an attendance percentage of 96 percent or higher, with the middle school leading the pack at 97.04 percent. The district averaged 96.55 percent, the highest attendance Curell said he could remember.

The Kentucky Directors of Pupil Personnel designated Sept. 18 as “High Attendance Day” for public schools across the state. Curell said the middle school also had the highest attendance that day at 97.27 percent.


Champions for Kids

Four teachers were given the Champions for Kids awards for their leadership roles in their respective schools. Tamara Cady of Carroll County High School, Christie Jones of Carroll County Middle School, Kayla Webster of Cartmell Elementary School and Elizabeth Patton of Kathryn Winn Primary were recognized for helping implement the Continuous Instructional Improvement Technology System.

CIITS is a statewide technology program that will allow teachers to create tests online and record grades automatically into Infinite Campus. Over the summer, three of the four teaches were trained and certified to teach CIITS to the staff at their schools, Assistant Superintendent Bill Hogan said. Webster was the only teacher present at the meeting to accept her award from Superintendent Lisa James, Ed.D.


Lindamood-Bell is nominated for award

The Lindamood-Bell program has been chosen to represent the Carroll County School District for this year’s PEAK award, given by the Kentucky School Board Association, Director of Public Relations and Grant Writer Carl Roberts said Thursday. He and Elementary Instructional Supervisor Pam Williams worked on the nomination. Roberts said he broke down the program and included the degree of the Board of Education’s involvement and the progress students have made because of Lindamood-Bell. The board approved the nomination of the award so that it could move forward.


Field trip approved

The Board of Education approved an overnight campout trip for the Carroll County High School Honor Guard Oct. 11-13. Joe Dickerson submitted the proposal for the trip to a Worthville farm with the purpose of teaching military encampment. Parents would provide transportation for their children, meaning no buses would be needed. Eight students and seven chaperones will be present.


Next meetings

Carroll County Board of Education will hold a work session meeting at 3:30 p.m., Oct. 16, at the board office. Topics to be discussed include test scores from the Kentucky School Report Card, the possibility of hiring a school resource officer and/or an athletic trainer, and policies relating to smoke-free schools.

The next regular meeting will be held at 5 p.m., Oct. 24, at CCHS.