The Richmond Register

June 24, 2009

County schools to start Aug. 24

Bill Robinson

Monday, Aug. 24, will be the first day of classes for students in the Madison County School District.

The school board adopted a new calendar in a special called meeting Monday at the superintendent’s office.

At the board’s regular monthly meeting June 11, Superintendent Tommy Floyd said rainy weather had delayed work on expansion and renovation of Madison Southern High School by eight working days and a calendar revision would be needed.

The board had adopted a calendar May 14 that would have put students back in classrooms Wednesday, Aug. 12.

Because all of the district’s schools follow closely coordinated schedules and bus routes, Madison Southern could not operate on a separate calendar, Floyd said.

The revised calendar presented Monday by Assistant Superintendent Paul Baker makes up four days each semester, setting Tuesday, May 25, as the school year’s last day of classes.

Students will get only one day, Friday, Oct. 9, for fall break instead of the two days previously scheduled. Tuesday, Dec. 22, instead of Friday, Dec. 18, will be the last day of school before Christmas.

Students will not be out of school for Presidents’ Day, Feb. 15. They also will have classes March 19, when they previously were scheduled to be out for a teachers’ professional day.

Instead, cancelling classes one day in February and another in March, teachers will be in training on two Saturdays, Feb. 20 and March 27.

Any school days lost to inclement weather, illness or other causes would be made up after May 25, Baker said.

Information about the opening of school, including registration and bus schedules, will be available to parents by Aug. 10, Floyd said.

The board also approved a Madison Central baseball team trip to Nashville, Tenn., July 22-25 for the Sand Lot World Series.

The request was granted in a 3-1 vote with board member John Lackey opposed. It had been denied June 9, when only three members – Lackey, Becky Coyle and Glyn Green – were present and Lackey voted in opposition. Board member Doug Whitlock was absent from both meetings.

On Monday, Betsy Bohannon joined Coyle and Green to approve the trip.

MCHS Baseball Coach Steve Roof said the team had taken one summer trip in recent years, usually to a tournament in Louisville. In-state trips do not require board approval.

This year, players and parents voted for a different trip that would allow college scouts to observe the Madison Central players, he said.

The three-night trip will include 16 players at a cost of $155 each. Some team members – those playing in a Lexington summer league and others who will be practicing with the football team – will not make the trip.

The board approved the purchase of software packages costing about $275,000 that will allow cable television and other video signals, as well as telephone calls, to be carried over the district’s existing communications networks.

Up to $29,000 of the cost would come from the Madison County Emergency Management Agency, which wants video transmission capability in the schools, Floyd said. Among other uses, the software will allow students and teachers in distance learning classrooms to see and hear each other, he said.

The superintendent’s personnel and pay-scale recommendations were approved 3-1, with Lackey opposed. The package included upgrading the director of special education position to an assistant superintendent, the salary of one person trained to use the Infinite Campus enrollment management software system and pay supplements for mock trial and archery coaches.

Lackey said he was against putting more money into a senior administrative salary when the district had laid off 17 teachers to balance its budget.

“I would prefer to see cuts in the central office instead of in the classroom,” he said.

While some cutbacks may have occurred in central administration, 90 percent had been achieved by laying off teachers, he said.

Bill Robinson can be reached at brobinson@richmondregister.com or at 624-6622.