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School board to consider schedule, new school plan

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By Lisa King

Two hot topics will go before the Shelby County School Board at its meeting Thursday night.

The board will hear about changes in the 2009-10 school calendar and the organizational plan for its new secondary center west of Shelbyville.

The calendar the board will review has been redesigned with a later start date for students and fewer days overall. The changes were made prompted by needs expressed by parents and staff, as well as to cut expenses in response to recent budget cuts by the state, school officials say.

The revised dates will be submitted by the Calendar Committee, which is made up of school representatives and parents.

Superintendent James Neihof will present a final report to the board concerning the organizational plan for the new facility named after former Governor Martha Layne Collins. Concerns and opinions from two public forums on the topic are expected to be addressed in the report.

The plan under review is to open the facility as a second high school for grades 8-12 in the fall of  2010. Shelby County High School would also have grades 8-12, and East and West Middle Schools would continue with only sixth- and seventh-graders.

The two public meetings generated much dialogue between parents and the administration. You can visit the school district's Web site (www.shelby.kyschools.us) to see responses to those forums.

About the plan, Neihof said, "We understand any time changes are made to a school structure, people are going to be upset because change always impacts students and the consistency to which we have grown accustomed.

"At the same time, as the leader of this school system, I feel it is my primary role to ensure all students' needs are met in the very best possible environment.

"That is why I proposed two high schools in this grade format because it certainly gives elbow room and opportunities for students to excel."

The board will meet at 7 p.m. at its central office located at 1155 West Main Street in Shelbyville.

  Other agenda items

• Presentation of  WOW (What Outstanding Work) Awards.

• Presentation by Elementary and Middle School Teachers of Year.

• Announcement of 2009 Shelby County ExCEL Teacher of Year.

• Presentation on National Math & Science Initiative Grant.

• Public input of PTA, SBDM councils, SCEA and community input.

• Contract for asphalt work for Clear Creek, Painted Stone and SCHS.

• Contract for SCHS Roof Project. • Personnel appointments. • Summer Feeding Program. • School yearbook and portraits. • Unmet needs.