The Richmond Register


December 14, 2013

School board members 5-0 on every measure at meeting

RICHMOND — Perhaps for the first time in recent history, the Madison County School Board voted unanimously on every action on the agenda during its Thursday meeting at Madison Central High School.

The string of agreements began with the 5-0 approval of amendments to the District Facility Plan, a comprehensive review and evaluation of the school district’s facilities.

A Local Planning Committee of 20, consisting of parents, teachers, administrators and other district stakeholders, is charged with developing the plan, said Kevin Hub, director of operations.

The changes will be presented to the state department at a hearing scheduled Dec. 18. Hub will return in January with a report on the hearing and the board will be asked to make a final vote on the amendments, he said.

The LPC deleted completed projects on the plan, such as Farristown Middle School or renovations at Madison Southern High School.

The LPC also amended the DFP school center list to reflect the capacity changes at elementary schools as well as the closing of Mayfield Elementary as a school and its reopening as a kindergarten academy when the district begins full-day kindergarten in August.

Because kindergarten students in the Richmond-area schools will attend the Mayfield academy next year and Silver Creek kindergarteners will attend the Shannon Johnson Elementary academy, each school will now have room to grow, Hub said.

Next year, each building will have spaces available, more than 100 at some schools, according to capacities formulated by the Kentucky Department of Education, Hub said. Estimates of student enrollment next year are based on the number of current kindergarten students through fourth-grade students.

“This is plenty of room for growth,” board member Becky Coyle said, which could eliminate the need to redistrict over the next couple years.

EXPLORE/PLAN three-year report

Thursday’s report on EXPLORE and PLAN, tests administered nationwide and part of the ACT series, revealed that Madison County scores are above national averages and the composite scores have steadily increased over the past three years. However, students still lag behind in math on PLAN.

This series of tests, known as EPAS (Educational Planning and Assessment System) are used to determined a student’s college-readiness, which is one component of the state’s new assessment and accountability system Unbridled Learning.

EXPLORE is administered to eighth-grade students and PLAN is administered to sophomores, both in September.

Although the district’s EXPLORE/PLAN scores are generally above national averages, the ACT scores fall below.

Gilliam said EXPLORE and PLAN are both formative types of assessments used to prepare students for the ACT and is administered to the whole school.

Kentucky now gives the ACT to all high school juniors, but for the most part, only college-bound students takes the ACT nationwide, Gilliam said. Additionally, the SAT is more popular in some places, such as the West Coast, “skewing” a national comparison of ACT scores, he said.

“But EXPLORE and PLAN are good comparisons to where we rank nationally,” Gilliam said.

The mathematics task force, an initiative Superintendent Elmer Thomas proposed this year to improve math achievement districtwide, will present a math improvement plan in February, he said.

Eighteen teachers, representing every grade level and every school in the district, make up the task force.

Online program Edgenuity replaces APEX

The board approved 5-0 the purchase of Edgenuity Courseware, a “flexible online curriculum,” Gilliam said.

Although “face-to-face” instruction is the preferred format of teaching, he said, some students’ schedules make it “impossible” for them to earn certain credits.

For example, students in the Advanced Placement scholars academy may have classes that conflict with the regular school day schedule. Or, some students may need to make up certain classes and the software can be used for credit recovery.

“(The software) hits both ends of the spectrum,” he said. “We feel it is superior to APEX and it meets our needs as a district.”

Considering a teacher’s salary and curriculum expenses, it costs the district between $450-500 per credit hour earned, Gilliam said. However, it costs around $175 per credit hour if done through Edgenuity.

The estimates are based on the 900 credits earned by roughly 300 students through the online program each year, he said. “This is a low-cost way for students to earn credit.”

Gilliam said a classroom teacher can deliver around 120 credits each year, after board chair Mona Isaacs asked about how many credits can be earned through face-to-face instruction.

The three-year contract with APEX, which ends in August, cost the district $209,000 (just under $70,000 a year), part of which was paid for through a grant.

Edgenuity will cost the district $59,000 for the first year, and $55,000 for each additional year.

There also is a clause in the Edgenuity contract that allows the district to opt-out if administrators and teachers are not satisfied with the program.

During his monthly report, Thomas announced he will give a “state of the district” address in April or May. As a “snapshot” of his upcoming address, Thomas reported on his first semester as superintendent and the partnerships he has made since stepping into the position.

Thomas said he had met with Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson, and the university and district are working to set corresponding dates for spring break.

In other business, the board:

• Approved the 2014 Comprehensive District Improvement Plan

• Approved an international trip to Italy for the Madison Middle Travel Club. The trip is scheduled March 27 to April 7.

• Approved the BG-1s, or project application forms for KDE, to complete major renovations to White Hall, Daniel Boone and Kit Carson elementary schools. Most or all of the major systems in portions of each school are more than 30 years old. The initial estimated cost for the three projects is just under $12 million. The anticipated completion date is August 2015.

• Voted 5-0 to revise hiring procedures to begin online job applications in January. The automated TalentED Recruit and Hire program also will streamline the process for retirement and vacancy notifications, said Dustin Brumbaugh, human resources director.

See Sunday’s Richmond Register for a story about the district’s use of jail trusties for work at the school bus garage.

Crystal Wylie can be reached at or 623-1669, Ext. 6696. 

Text Only
  • 7-29 YMCA-Schools.jpg YMCA, county district to provide after-school care

    The Telford YMCA is partnering with the Madison County School District to provide after-school child care for kindergarten and elementary students.
    YMCA Executive Director Dave Wallace and Madison County School Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the partnership Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-25 Camp Invention 1.jpg Young inventors turn trash to treasure

    The first day of Camp Invention began with a room full of objects ready to be recycled, Sarah Shaffer, director of the camp said Thursday.

    July 24, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-22 Band Camp 1.jpg Band students ‛take over’ MCHS campus

    The Madison Central High School campus has been “taken over” for two weeks by 170 students attending band camp.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-22 Child vs Wild Camp 3.jpg Campers learn hazards of the ‛wild’

    Fifteen “Child vs. Wild” campers crowded around a plate full of gooey marshmallows, freshly toasted by camp leaders on a St. Mark Catholic School stovetop Monday.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • MCHS, Caudill win world archery titles

    Caudill Middle School and Madison Central High School won their divisions in the National Archery in Schools Program World Championships in Madison, Wisc. this past weekend

    The win is a third consecutive title for Caudill Middle School and a first for MCHS.

    July 13, 2014

  • 7-12 White Hall principal.jpg Eversole returns to White Hall as principal

    The White Hall Elementary School-based Decision-making Council has selected Monica Eversole as the school’s new principal.
    Eversole was serving as guidance counselor at Lexington’s Dixie Magnet Elementary School.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • School board to save $53,000 yearly by refinancing bonds

    The Madison County School Board authorized issuance of almost $10.5 million in school building revenue bonds at its monthly meeting Thursday.
    The board approved a recommendation from the Madison County School District Finance Corporation to issue slightly more than $10.49 million in bonds to help finance renovation projects at three district elementary schools.

    July 12, 2014

  • Madison Kindergarten Academy at Mayfield

    The kindergarten center that will serve the county’s four Richmond elementary schools will be known as the Madison Kindergarten Academy at Mayfield.
    The Madison County School Board at its monthly meeting Thursday night chose the name for the all-kindergarten academy that will be housed in the former Mayfield Elementary School.

    July 10, 2014

  • Naming of kindergarten academy on school board agenda

    Naming of the new kindergarten academy to be housed in the former Mayfield Elementary School building is on the Madison County School Board’s agenda Thursday evening.
    The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Madison Central High School lecture lab.

    July 8, 2014

  • Bluegrass Christian School closes

    Bluegrass Christian School did not get enough enrollment contracts by June 30, and its board of directors has decided to cease operations.
    The school will be dissolved Aug. 1., according to a Tuesday statement from the six-member board.
    Families may pick up transcripts, records and prepaid tuition or application fees the week of July 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the statement added.

    July 2, 2014

AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should Madison County’s three local governing bodies ban smoking in indoor public places?

     View Results