Board Sets May 8 as Last Day of School Year, Plans Underway for Graduation Ceremony
The Butler County Board of Education has set the final day of school for students as May 8 as non-traditional instruction (NTI) continues in the district. That decision was made at last night’s monthly meeting, which was held virtually through Google Meet. All Board members were present - Amy Hood, Delbert Johnson, Debbie Hammers, Richie Ellis, and Ryan Daugherty - as well as several school administrators and district leaders.
Following information provided by Superintendent Scott Howard and Assistant Superintendent Robert Tuck, board members approved a revised school calendar that would set May 8 as the final day of the 2019-20 academic year for students. According to Tuck, the district will have met the statutory requirement of 1,062 hours of instruction. Per the direction of Governor Andy Beshear and the Kentucky Department of Education, public school districts will not be returning to the classroom for in-person instruction but will rather finish the year with NTI days.
Assistant Superintendent Robert Tuck (file photo)
Mr. Tuck also reported that with the passage of Senate Bill 177, there have been some modifications in graduation requirements, which would allow senior students to graduate with a state minimum of 22 credit hours. The current district requirement is 26. According to Tuck, approximately 125 seniors are currently on track to graduate without difficulty while around 35 will need some additional credits before graduation. Of the 35, about 17 may be impacted. Students will have an approximate three-week period to finish up any needed work after the May 8 end-of-school date but prior to graduation.
“Our ultimate goal is for 100 percent graduation,” said Supt. Howard.
Board Chairperson Amy Hood asked if those students would have been in jeopardy in a regular school year.
“Yes, but some students are missing credit recovery opportunities,” said Tuck.
The other main topic of discussion among Board members and Supt. Howard was how to proceed with a graduation ceremony for Butler County High School seniors. The superintendent said he has looked into various virtual options, some of which will include an in-person component. Board member Ryan Daugherty expressed interest in trying to make sure something in-person is considered. However, Supt. Howard felt like trying to hold out for a traditional large-gathering ceremony is risky considering the various unknown factors related to the pandemic and its social restrictions.
Supt. Scott Howard (file photo)
Howard described the possibility of having all of the visual components of a traditional ceremony arranged and then bringing in students and a certain number of family members for the presentation of a diploma and a professional photograph. The superintendent stated that he has spoken with photographer and graphic artist Jeremy Hack about working with the school district to help produce a quality visual production of the event.
Supt. Howard and Board members agreed to tentatively set the time-frame for high school graduation toward the end of May or first part of June. He plans to gather more information and be in touch with Board members going forward with the possibility of a called meeting to finalize and approve a definite plan.
Note: More news from Tuesday night’s Board meeting will be covered separately.
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