School board to discuss amended calendar

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Name for new school, after-school child care also to be discussed

By Lisa King

An amended calendar to deal with the days missed because of winter weather will be a key agenda item for the Shelby County Board of Education at its meeting Thursday night.

The change to the calendar is necessary because of school days missed because of bad weather, according to Gary Kidwell, Director of Student Accounting and Support Services.

"Shelby County Public Schools missed seven days due to inclement weather this winter," he said. "The usual process is to extend the school year by the number of days missed, except for Memorial Day. However, we evaluated several options to avoid hardships to families and staff who were not anticipating going to school well into the month of June."

Kidwell was reluctant to disclose an end of school date before the board meeting, however.

"Since the final amended calendar is pending approval by the School Board March 26, we do not believe it is in the best interest to publicize what might be the last day for students or closing day for staff," he said.  "Waiting for the board's final decision can avoid further confusion."

Another intriguing item on the board's agenda is to select a name of the new secondary center on Discovery Boulevard. And it's so sensitive, school officials would not disclose the name being considered.

The board will also decide whether to approve a proposal that local after-school day-care programs be operated by the Frankfort YMCA.

Shelbyville City Councilman Shane Suttor said he thought any parents who have children in elementary school should consider attending the board meeting to get information on what he considers a very important topic.

"Whose hands will we be putting our children in now?" he asked.

He said he also was concerned that the matter has been considered and maybe even decided without informing parents by a letter or other correspondence.

"I'm just worried because instead of certified teachers, who will be taking care of the children now? What are their credentials? We want to know," he said.

Lisa Smith, director of student programs and services, said that a letter was not sent home to parents regarding the matter.

"We were approached by the YMCA about taking charge of our after-school programs," she said. "They operate such programs in Franklin, Anderson and many other counties."

Also at the meeting, architects for the new secondary center, Sherman Carter Barnhart, will also be on hand to give school board members an update on its design.

A school board summary is available for previous meetings and can be accessed at http://www.shelby.kyschools.us/.