In July 3-9 issue By Greg Wells Times Journal Managing Editor
JAMESTOWN - Proposed changes for the Russell County school district next year includes different school hours, different start and end dates and fewer days of school.
At their Monday night meeting, the school board approved a tentative schedule that will be passed along for state approval.
The new schedule has classes beginning August 5 and ending May 14. Spring Break would b the first full week of April, Fall Break the first full week of October and the Christmas holiday running from December 20 through January 6.
Because of the change in the length of the school day, the total number of school days would drop from 173 to 170, rather than the 175 that was planned.
"There would be the same 1,062 hours of instruction," Superintendent Scott Pierce told the board. He said they would be making changes to the daily schedule as well as other alterations to have students in class the same number of hours while cutting the number of days in the school year.
The 5-day reduction in the school year would mean well over $100,000 in savings on transportation costs alone, given fuel prices were somehow held to present levels, Pierce said in an interview after the meeting.
Classes would begin somewhere between 7:50 and 8 a.m. every weekday, and would end sometime before 3 p.m. after the board approved Pierce's recommendation.
He said he did not feel that it was "appropriate" for children to be waiting outside for school buses in the dark, as they have been with the previous schedule.
Two programs were praised in particular by Pierce during the meeting. He said the student insurance program was an excellent safeguard for a family's financial situation and he encouraged everyone to apply for the free and reduced meals program.
"There are a lot of people out there who are not taking advantage of this program who would qualify if they applied," He said.
The board approved increases for the prices students and teachers will pay for breakfasts and lunches. Student prices went up 25 cents for each making them $1.75 for breakfast and $2 for lunches.
Adult meals will be $2 and $3.50
There were change orders approved for the $14 million auditorium and natatorium project, currently under construction.
A $59,200 savings came from a grant to fund the installation of telephone and internet lines to several of the buildings on campus.
An additional $42,000 was approved to install an elevator to the second floor of the new building. That will facilitate access for the handicapped and elderly to the wellness center located on the second floor, Pierce said.
The board also approved an additional $9,000 for changes to the lighting in the new building. Pierce said they were removing the computer control system for the lighting and replacing it with breaker panels and switches.
He explained that another such system was a problem in a recently competed building and it was simpler to let people turn lights on and off when needed.
The change also approved using aluminum wire rather than copper in the building.
As an aside, Pierce praised the help Mae Hoover provided over the years to the school district and suggested that the board should do something to recognize her work on behalf of the district.
"I don't know of anything Mae ever refused to do for this school system," Pierce said, speaking of the former State Representative and owner of local radio stations WJRS-WJKY, who recently passed away.
The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
404 Monument Square
Jamestown KY 42629