Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

April 4, 2014

Districts making plans for snow days

LLOYD — The ice and snow is gone, lawmakers have voted, and now rural school districts have gained some traction in efforts to finish the academic years.

Since the Kentucky General Assembly late last month hammered together an agreement relaxing requirements for completing academic schedules, school boards have been busy amending calendars and setting graduation dates.

Greenup County is the latest to do so when earlier this week its board set June 6 both as the last day of school and graduation day as well.

The Greenup board also set Election Day and Memorial Day as school days.

It was able to do so because the conditions the General Assembly set call for districts to do their utmost to reach 1,062 hours of instruction for the year, and allow them to seek the assistance of Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday to do so. Districts also can’t be forced to stay in school after June 6, even if they don’t have the required hours and may be open on primary election day if their schools aren’t used for voting.

Previously, all public schools were prohibited from opening on election days whether they housed polling places or not.

However, they cannot stretch the school day beyond seven hours.

Greenup County, which lost 28 days to snow and power-outage closures, will be able to get in 1,062 hours by June 6 after 171 instructional days. Before Gov. Steve Beshear signed the legislation into law, the district was looking at an end date in mid-June.

Extending school past the first week of June presents significant problems, among them being conflicts with vacation plans of both students and staff, Superintendent Steve Hall said.

Also, state law now requires accountability testing to be conducted during the last two weeks of the year, and districts don’t want the results to be skewed because students don’t attend or aren’t motivated.

One issue Greenup will have to work out involves teacher contracts, Hall said. Teachers are hired to work 185 days each year, 175 of them instructional days. Since now the year will be completed with 171 instructional days, that leaves four days in which to find meaningful work for faculty.

The district is working on setting up job-specific professional development sessions for its teachers, he said.

Lawrence County schools, which missed a whopping 34 days this winter, also will be able to meet the 1,062 hour requirement by June 6 and that will be the last day, according to personnel director Vernon Hall. The Lawrence board already had decided to omit spring break and hold classes on Memorial Day.

The coast is not entirely clear for Lawrence County, where roads are vulnerable to flooding in the spring. If such conditions close school again the district will work with the state education department on relief measures, Hall said.

“We were relieved the General Assembly came together,” Lawrence County Superintendent Mike Armstrong said. “Hopefully in April and May we can get some teaching and learning momentum.”

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.

Text Only
Local News
  • Golden Corral sends children to camp

    Ashland’s Golden Corral teamed with other restaurants across nation this year to raise $1.5 million to send a total of 3,000 children to Camp Corral.

    July 24, 2014

  • Burglars steal golf gear

    A couple of golf enthusiasts might not make their tee times Saturday because burglars stole golf equipment from their garages.

    July 24, 2014

  • Music instructor claims age discrimination

    The Russell Independent School District is denying allegations of a former band director who claims in a lawsuit the district discriminated against him because of his age.

    July 24, 2014

  • Financial blunder leads to heated board discussion

    In a surprising turn of events, City Manager Ben Bitter’s supervision authority was challenged by the Board of Commissioners after Commissioner Cheryl Spriggs filed a motion to have legal and finance department heads also report to the board in light of a financial blunder by Bitter.
    Ashland Mayor Chuck Charles and City Attorney Richard “Sonny” Martin confirmed a new ordinance will be drafted so the department heads of finance and legal counsel will be checked by the board, in addition to Bitter’s current oversight.

    July 24, 2014

  • Stricter enforcement, diagonal spots endorsed to help downtown

    A group of business owners operating along Winchester Avenue — Ashland’s main thoroughfare — asked the Ashland Board of Commissioners to replace current parallel parking spots with diagonal ones, and also for more strick enforcement of a two-hour parking law.

    July 24, 2014

  • National act takes stage at Boyd County Fair

    The Building of Dreams erupted into screams Thursday night at the 2014 Boyd County Fair, as country music fans saw Bucky Covington take the stage.
    According to Ellen Keaton, fair board president, Covington was a favorite on season five of Fox’s talent competition series American Idol.

    July 24, 2014

  • Smoke-free advocates bound for Ashland

    Advocates for smoke-free public spaces are touring the state, starting in Ashland, to drum up support for anti-tobacco legislation they hope to pass next year.
    Smoke-Free Kentucky is a coalition of organizations and people who support a ban on smoking in all public and work places in Kentucky.

    July 24, 2014

  • Ohio State Band Direc_Mayn.jpg Ohio State marching band chief fired after probe

    Ohio State University fired the director of its celebrated marching band on Thursday after determining he ignored a "sexualized" culture of rituals including students being pressured to march in their underwear and participate in sexually themed stunts.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Grimes has pep rally before energetic Democrats

    Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes was preaching to the Democratic choir Thursday night at the Wendell Ford Dinner attended by about 700 here.

    July 24, 2014

  • Commissioners challenge city manager’s authority

    In a surprising turn of events, City Manager Ben Bitter’s supervision authority was challenged by the Board of Commissioners after Commissioner Cheryl Spriggs filed a motion to have legal and finance department heads also report to the board in light of a financial blunder by Bitter.

    July 24, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP basketball
SEC Zone