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School Board Discusses Make-Up Days

The Butler County Board of Education regular monthly meeting focused on makeup days in the current school calendar and whether to cancel part or all of spring break.  Superintendent Scott Howard told the Board that 19 days of school have been missed so far, and the school district has to meet a state requirement of 170 days of instruction.  Currently the school district is three days past the scheduled last day of school of May 30.
Discussion centered around House Bill 410 in the state legislature which could offer forgiveness of some of the missed school days.  However, HB 410 may take until March 21 to pass both houses, and some of the details of the bill are still being debated.  Board member Amy Hooten and Superintendent Howard each voiced concern that by the time the legislature decides on how or if it forgives missed days, it will be too close to spring break for families to change plans should the Board want to cancel part or all of break.  North Butler Elementary principal Jeff Jennings said “a lot” of parents and students already have spring break plans, and BCHS principal Patrick O’Driscoll said many student groups such as the softball team and NJROTC have planned events during spring break.  Acting Board Chair Delbert Johnson asked if Howard knew of any other school districts planning on using spring break days as makeup days; Howard said he did not, although he speculated that eastern Kentucky districts who have lost as many as 32 days may be.
Alternatives were discussed such as lengthening the school day to help make up lost days.  Other issues were brought up, notably the prospect of spring floods cancelling more days.  Howard stressed that the Board did not have to act during this meeting since makeup days are built into the calendar, but he said that this week is crucial to make a decision and let parents know.  He recommended that spring break be left alone, and the will of the Board was to find ways to make up lost days without cancelling spring break.
Many student achievements were recognized by the Board.  Rayna Beller received a double recognition for winning both the Butler County Spelling Bee and the Grandparent Essay contest.  BCMS Band students were honored for achieving a distinguished rating at the KMEA Solo and Ensemble Festival at Western Kentucky University; those students were Hannah Logan, Bonnie West, Delaney Embry, Justin Elms, Lillian Dockery, Natalie Suoy, Aubrey Hall, Brooklyn Henderson, Claire Coleman, Randi Cline, Sarah Belcher, Katie Snodgrass, Chloe Dockery, and Jared Kurfiss.
The BCMS Bridge Building Team was recognized for winning its 13th regional team championship at the 19th Annual BRIMS Regional Bridge Building competition.  Individual students recognized included Maggie Dotson, 1st place; Kobe Annis, 2nd place; Leevi King, 3rd place; Nathan Boord, 4th place; Zander Sorrels, 5th place; Chelsey Renfrow, 9th place; and Autumn Jenkins, 10th place.  Trevor Cardwell was honored for his 1st place finish in architectural design at the BRIMS competition.
Sarah Ingram reported on results of Kindergarten Readiness Screening.  Ingram stated that all kindergarten students have to be tested 30 days before kindergarten starts.  In the most recent screening, Ingram reported that kindergarten students in the most recent tests scored 41 percent ready, compared to the state average of 49 percent; Ingram said that was a significant improvement over last year and said the district is “doing a better job in pre-school.”
In other business the Board approved the 2014-15 school year calendar, FY 15 SBDM allocations, the FY15 tentative budget, the FY 15 District Facility Plan, and the FY 14 Nutrition and Physical Activity report card.  Trips approved included the BCHS FCCLA trip to the state FCCLA Conference in Louisville on March 19-21; the BCHS FCCLA trip to Leadership Camp in Hardinsburg on June 9-11; the BCHS FBLA trip to state FBLA regional competition in Louisville on April 14-16; the BCHS NJROTC trip to Navy Flight School in Pensacola, Florida on March 31 – April 3; and the MES/NBES Gifted Talented students trip to the Adventure Science Museum in Nashville on March 26.


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