PRIDE meetings to assist district leadership team to chart a path forward

Recently re-elected school board members Diane Breeding, left, and Jeff Dickerson take the oath of office at the start of Thursday’s board working session. Neither faced opposition for re-election. Click to enlarge.

Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 — The Nelson County Board of Education met Thursday in a board meeting room that had evidence of the district’s evolving priorities and the need for greater flexibility in its physical spaces.

Missing Thursday evening was is the large dais — the raised platform where the five board members and superintendent were seated on one end of the board meeting room. Drywall mud showed where the raised platform once connected to the wall.

According to Superintendent Wes Bradley, the board will no longer conduct its meetings from a raised platform; instead, the board will use tables designed to allow the board meeting room space to be easily reconfigured to meet the meeting space needs of other committees.

The Nelson County Board of Education prepares to start its meeting Thursday evening at Central Office. Click to enlarge.

Bradley explained to the board the plans for the district’s PRIDE teams, which he said will meet for an hour each month before the regular board meetings on the third Tuesday of the month from January through the month of May. The teams each have a specific focus, and features members who are teachers, administrators, parents, students and members of the community.

The PRIDE teams “are a conversation about our purpose as a district, and what is the purpose of our schools in the community,” Bradley said.

The district’s perspective is that every child who attends a district school is gifted, and it is the school system’s job to identify those gifts and help students develop them. Team members are still being recruited, he said.

DISTRICT NUTRITION REPORT. Jessica Hogue, the district’s food services director, reviewed the status and participation levels of the district’s breakfast and lunch programs.

The participation level dropped some over the past year, she explained, and she is examining ways to get more students to participate in the breakfast and lunch programs.

Five of the district’s schools participate in the Community Eligibility Program, which provides the schools with free breakfasts and lunches. The schools include New Haven, Boston and Bloomfield elementary schools, Horizon Academy and the Nelson County Early Learning Center, which was added in August 2018.

To qualify for the CEP free meal program, a school must have a minimum of 40 percent of its students considered as “identified students,” or those who are approved for free meals based on the family’s participation in a variety of programs, like SNAP.

Two other district schools qualify for the program, Hogue explained — Foster Heights Elementary School and Old Kentucky Home Middle School both qualify to participate. The schools won’t be added until additional information becomes available to guarantee they will remain eligible for the program moving forward.

Salaries make up nearly 80 percent of the district’s expenses in the 2019-20 draft budget. Click to enlarge.

2019-2020 DRAFT BUDGET. The board reviewed the draft of the 2019-2020 district budget with Amy Owens, the district’s chief financial officer.

Owens reminded the board that the draft budget is a rough estimate of anticipated revenues and expenses prior to the board’s approval of tentative budget in May later this year.

Owens said she expects the district to receive about the same amount of state SEEK money as it did in 2018. Her draft budget suggests a possible $100,000 increase, from $13.2 to $13.3 million for 2019.

SEEK funds are affected by the district’s average daily attendance (ADA); the district’s enrollment is up slightly this year, Owens told the board.

The district’s property tax revenue is expected to increase by about $740,000, which will likely be created by a combination of property value appreciation and a changed property tax rate. The district is restricted to 4 percent tax revenue increase; an increase greater than 4 percent is subject to a recall vote.

In other business, the board:

— elected Diane Berry to serve as board chair for the 2019 calendar year.

— Rebekah McGuire-Dye was elected to serve as vice chair.

— the board voted to make March 8, 2019, a staff work day. The move comes after two earlier dates were needed as snow makeup days. March 8 will be used as a snow makeup day should the need arise.

— the board discussed Chapter 2 of “Deep Learning,” a 2017 book that examines revolutionary approaches to education success found in school districts around the world by authors Michael Fullan, Joanne McEachen and Joanne Quinn.

NEXT UP. The board’s next meeting is 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019.


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