HAZARD — The Perry County School Board met Thursday morning for its monthly board meeting to finalize an agreement for collaboration with the Hazard Independent School District and to discuss construction updates and academic improvement.
The board voted unanimously to adopt a memorandum of agreement that was drafted and signed by the Hazard Independent School Board last month. Hazard Superintendent Sandra Johnson and Chairman of the Hazard Independent School Board Grady Varney attended Thursday’s meeting.
“As a single district, we could never combine all of the courses necessary for some of the career ready certification, but if we work together and plan those then our students would have an advantage,” Johnson said.
Jonathan Jett, interim superintendent for the Perry County schools, presented the board with the memorandum and explained that the purpose of it was to allow for a comprehensive effort to improve college and career readiness, provide high quality extra- and co-curricular activities for students K-12, and meet the unique needs of all students enrolled in each district.
“We’re well on our way to repairing any issues that we’ve had with the district in the past,” Jett said.
The board was also presented with construction updates for the new East Perry Elementary School, with “substantial completion” scheduled for June 30, at which time furniture will be able to be moved in and the building can be occupied, said Melinda Joseph-Dezarn, with the architecture firm Ross-Tarrant.
“It’s moving along, I can’t complain,” Joseph-Dezarn said. “We are probably about 62 percent [complete].”
Joseph-Dezarn said due to the inclement weather for the last few days, the construction company has requested a five-day weather extension for the athletic complex, which the board approved.
The board approved pay applications and purchase orders for the athletic complex that totaled $275,536.87.
A pay application of $555,836.63 for East Perry was also approved by the board, and two change orders, adding up to just under $55,000, one for a metal fascia piece for the perimeter of the building and another to install the wiring to use SMART Boards and projectors in class rooms instead of TV monitors.
Jett also presented the board with an academic update for the district.
In 2011, Perry County Central was included in a list of persistently low-achieving (PLA) schools in the state. To be considered a PLA school in Kentucky, the school must fail to meet benchmarks for three years straight.
Since the high school was named a PLA, steps have been taken to ensure recovery; one of the biggest of those steps thus far has been to ensure accountability among administration, teachers, and students alike. This move for more accountability seems to have also spilled over into the district itself.
“I’ve had conversations with the principals, and we’ve talked about teachers that weren’t providing students with the education they needed. And I talked to the principals at the principals’ meeting, you know, that’s their responsibility, being in those classrooms and making sure those people are being effective,” Jett said.
The board was also presented with a presentation from ALUMALIGHT, a lighting company that quoted the district as being able to save over $200,000 annually on electricity bills if Perry Central High School updated its lighting system. Chairman of the Board John Combs said the board would consider the quote.