School Board Recognizes Outstanding Performance and Hears From Principals
The Butler County Board of Education held its monthly meeting Tuesday, December 13, at the Butler County Education Complex. Anita Cardwell, teacher at Butler County Middle School, was recognized for becoming a National Board Certified Teacher. Another middle school teacher, Kyllie Doughty, was recognized for achieving her renewal certificate as a National Board Certified Teacher.
The Green River Youth Development Center was recognized for receiving the Department of Juvenile Justice Facility of the Year award. Mr. Jim Green, principal of the school, accepted the award.
The Butler County Adult Education Center was also recognized for receiving the 2011 Program of Excellence award. Delia Burns, Director of the Adult Education Program, and Ersley Amos accepted the award from Superintendent Howard.
The last person recognized was Butler County Middle School student, Maranda Pierson, for participating in the regional and state cross country events. After Superintendent Howard presented the award to Pierson, Principal Jeff Jennings said, “She is a really fine young lady.”
During the Superintendent’s report, Mr. Howard told the board about recent meetings he has attended. He said he had the opportunity to speak at Butler County High School’s Beta Club induction ceremony about the district’s motto for the year “Cross the Line.” Howard said, “I spoke to great students, and I think they are going to do great things.”
Mr. Jimmy Arnold spoke to the board members about the district’s energy utilization during the past year. Arnold reported that out of 140 districts in the state, Butler County School System is the “third most energy efficient in the state of Kentucky.”
Mr. O’Driscoll, principal of Butler County High School, presented an assessment report to the board. O’Driscoll said “for the last nine years English has met their progress goals, and for the last three years math has not met the progress goals.” He referred to the school’s improvement plan and said they have put things in place to raise the scores. The first thing he mentioned was adding Algebra 1 to the middle school at the beginning of this school year. He said they also look at student’s benchmarks to see where they need to be placed in classes. If they are not ready for high school math, they will be taking Math 180, a remediation class, instead of taking an elective. The high school will also be offering a basic class called Math 1.5 and an ACT Prep Program. O’Driscoll said, “We’re spending about $10,000 in remediation to supplement the lessons. We’re hitting math hard.” He also told the board, “We’re going to start the end-of-course assessments tomorrow. Our teachers have been knocking themselves out trying to get ready for this.”
Mr. Jeff Jennings also gave an assessment report to the board of the middle school’s progress. He told the board the school met nine out of ten No Child Left Behind (NCLB) goals. Jennings said, “We reached safe harbor because we had such a huge improvement with students who receive free or reduced lunch. We did very well and we’re really proud, but we still have work we need to do.” Jennings told the board for the first time that he knows of “we passed Ohio and Grayson Counties with our percentage of proficient and distinguished students. All of our scores are up, and this year we took a considerable jump. The scores are headed in the right direction. I am so proud of my faculty. They work so hard.” Jennings told the board that he believes the Response to Intervention classes are helping students and also explained that the 7th and 8th grade students are working on an ACT prep program.
Superintendent Howard praised Mr. O’Driscoll and Mr. Jennings for doing a tremendous job and said, “They have their schools headed in the right direction.” Howard said, “The middle school led the county in improvement this year.” Mr. Howard told the board he wanted to praise the teachers for their hard work. “We have to keep focused on why we do what we do, and it’s for kids. I am so proud of our district, more now than I’ve ever been.”
Mr. David Trabue gave the board a report of non-resident contracts. He said, “We have received 53 students from other districts, and we have 42 leaving to go to other districts.” Trabue also reported that there are 120 students in Butler County going to Christian schools or home/private schools.
Superintendent Howard also proposed that the board pass an Unused Sick Leave Program for classified staff members. This plan would allow classified staff to get 30% of any unused sick days when they retire. Howard said, “As it stands right now they don’t have any benefit for saving their sick days.”
District Finance Officer Eric Elms was unable to attend the board meeting, so Superintendent Howard gave the financial report. He said the beginning cash balance was $423,913.40. Howard said, “I’d like to caution the board a little bit. About $200,000 of that is insurance money we received off claims that will be dispersed in the next few days.” Howard said the ending balance was $1,243,297.37 and noted that the district is “running approximately $150,000 to $200,000 over where we were this time last year.”
Before adjournment, the board voted to approve the following items:
• Approve Project 3102 Fund 2 Budget Revision
• Approve Project 4012 Fund 2 Budget Revision
• Approve FY 13 Non- Resident Student Contracts with Surrounding School Districts
• Approve FY 11 Audit Report as provided by Carr, Riggs, and Ingram, CPAs
• Approve FY 13 District Technology Plan
• Approve Classified Alternate Unused Sick Leave Program
• Approve 2012 Board Monthly Meeting Schedule
• Approve BCHS FY 12 Consolidated School Improvement Plan Revision
• Approve BCMS FY 12 Consolidated School Improvement Plan Revision
• Approve FY 12 Consolidated District Improvement Plan Revision
Story and photos by Paige McKinney, Beech Tree News