Sunday, November 17, 2013

LMSD Trustees Deal with Policies/ Substitutes/ Board Attorney

The Louisville Municipal School District Board of Trustees met on Thursday, November 14 and dealt with a number of issues:

  • The Board approved a speech policy required due to recent legislation that requires all children to be screened for speech and language issues prior by the 1st grade.
  • Received an update on the Dreams Grant  from Dr. Theresa Jayroe. Through the program initiated with MSU, 12 interventionists have been employed  to provide after school services at Fair, Louisville Elementary, Noxapater and Nanih Waiya for kindergarten through 4th grade students. Starting in December, each interventionist will be able to work up to 21 hours per week. Currently 240 students are involved in the program.
  • The Board received a request from the P-16 Community Engagement Council to waive any fees for copies of documents requested including the Title One budget. Superintendent McMullan thought the matter should be brought before the Board due to current district policy. After discussion of need and availability of information requested, the Board voted to provided a limited amount of copies at no cost.
  • Approved the funds in the amount of $49,383 from the Title VI Part B budget to provide upgrades to technology at all schools including increasing the number and upgrading internet access points.
  • Approved a District Test Security Plan.
  • Provided funding for a "Boot Camp" at LHS for test prep of the state required Biology I test. Students from all schools could attend but parents are responsible for transportation.
  • Provided for the hire of 6 permanent substitute teachers at all the schools due to changes on health insurance coverage required by the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). Under the new guidelines, any substitutes who worked over 30 hrs per week would be eligible for health coverage by the District.  With currently 75 people on the substitute list, the cost to provide coverage would be prohibitive. The policy change would allow for health coverage for the 6 full time hires and give the District the ability to limit all others to less than 30 hours per week.
  • After interviews in last month's board meeting, the trustees voted to hire John Mayo of the Fair and Mayo Firm as the board attorney. 
  • The Board was updated on the Star Project which is an online curriculum guide for CommonCore which willl be implemented next year.
  • The Board was also updated LMSD 2013 Star Reading and Math Results. Areas of particular concern centered around middle school students, particularly at Eiland but also for 7th and 8th graders at Nanih Waiya and Noxapater. Director of Curriculum, Penny Hill indicated that staff had been working hard in these areas but the lack of experienced teachers at certain levels and especially at Eiland was an issue.
  • The Board took upcoming Policy revisions prompted by legislative changes under review until the next meeting.
  • Reviewed and approved several 16th section leases or changes to leases. The Board also approved go ahead ont he sale of three school properties that were not 16th section that included the Gum Branch, Bond and Rocky Hill properties. 
  • The Board entered into executive session to discuss several issues and concluded by: approving a student transfer and giving the District Superintendent the authority and funding to change the official entrance of the Nanih Waiya Attendance Center to a more western side of the property.