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County school board reviews expansion plans for Thomas Nelson ag program

The Nelson County Board of Education held its working session Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, at Central Office.

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 — The Nelson County Board of Education heard about the plans for expanding the FFA and ag science offerings at Thomas Nelson High School for teacher John Hammond.

John Hammond describes some of the future plans to provide students more opportunities for hands-on agriculture at Thomas Nelson High School.

The school’s FFA program currently has two goats and a donkey, and Hammond outlined ambitious plans to pursue grant money to expand students’ opportunity to experience hands-on agriculture, which may include the purchase of a used horse trailer to haul animals, a grant to build a mobile chicken coop, or purchase a used “gator” ATV to haul feed and other items around from site to site at the school’s Land Lab.

He also told the board there was an unoccupied 20-acre tract on the property, and if it was leased to a farmer, the money could be used to help support the TNHS ag program.

TECHNOLOGY ASSISTANCE. The board learned that it has been offered a total of $63,145 in Kentucky Education Technology Systems offers of financial assistance so far this school year.

The money comes through the Kentucky Department of Education, and is based on the district’s Adjusted Average Daily Attendance of its students. The districts must match the offers of assistance, or they can escrow them for up to three years before adding the district’s financial match. The money can only be spent on technology needs.

The $63,145 total represents the first two offers of assistance; most years, a third offer of assistance is forthcoming provided sufficient state money is available to do so.

In other business, the board of education:

Chase Goff, the district’s director of student leadership and learning, reviews data from the comprehensive district improvement plan (CDIP).

— reviewed the district’s plans for providing better funding to the district’s schools to hire sufficient personnel. The district plans to move away from funding half-time or quarter-time positions, and instead, fund those positions as full-time positions.

Additionally, the district will fund one teaching position at the Nelson County Area Technology Center. The ATC is technically not part of the county school district.

The board will review and approve school allocations at its regular meeting this month, and then review salary schedules and job descriptions at its March board meeting.

Chase Goff, the district’s director of student leadership and learning, said the district has reviewed the position changes closely to make sure the changes will be sustainable moving forward.

Goff also reviewed the goals set forth in the new comprehensive district improvement plan (CDIP) with the board.

— approved a contract between the district and Signature Health at Colonial for providing Certified Nursing Assistant training to district high school students.

Board member Jeff Dickerson listens to a presentation at Thursday night’s board of education working session.

— discussed a proposed five-year lease for fiber optic lines with the City of Bardstown.
— reviewed the current plan for snow make-up days, and discussed being prepared in the 2019-20 school year to announce the make-up day when a snow day is declared. The board will give final approval to the make up days — so far — at its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019.

— the board also discussed issued an RFQ for an agent to assist the district with its purchase of insurance. The RFQ will allow the board to review agents and compare the services each can offer the district above and beyond locating the needed lines of insurance.

NEXT UP. The Nelson County Schools Board of Education next meets on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in the board meeting room at Central Office on Wildcat Lane.

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