School board hears presentation on how to save on utility costs

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Board passes its goal for 2009-10 school year

By Lisa King

Although it made no decision on the matter, the Shelby County Board of Education listened for an hour Thursday to a presentation from a company that proposes to save the school district more than $4 million in utility costs during the next 10 years.

Glen Gaines with Energy Education told board members that his company is currently working with 150 school districts, including Anderson, Pulaski and Hardin counties.

For a fixed fee each month, Gaines said that Energy Education would work to bring down utility costs district wide through a variety of different techniques, including altering the habits of school district employees to be more energy efficient.

"Some of our school districts have cut their energy costs by 30 percent in just three months," he said.

Gaines added that most of the company's Kentucky clients exceeded their 1-year projections by 41 percent.

Board member Doug Butler was skeptical.

"Is it as easy as you make it sound?" he asked.

"No," Gaines replied. "It's hard enough getting one person to change their habits ist hard enough, let alone getting several hundred people to do it – but that's what we do."

Board member Sam Hinkle said it sounded like it could be a good opportunity for the school system but that it needed to be checked out thoroughly first, and the other board members agreed.

The proposal will be examined again at a future meeting.


Board goals for 2010


Superintendent James Neihof presented and the board approved the district's 2010 goals, focusing on curriculum, instructional norms, professional learning communities, interventions and enrichment.

They included:

Setting by 2011 new math and language standards to match standards adopted by the Kentucky Department of Education.

Training and providing ongoing developing in the board’s ongoing 5 Main Things program. This includes a much broader based training initiatives that ensure assistant principals and student support specialists are proficient in the subject.

Creating what is called professional learning communities that push students more aggressively through the elementary and high school by focusing on grades of greatest transitional importance (3,5, 7 and 9).

Improving by 50 percent reading and math scores that are below grade level compared to the data from fall 2009. This includes reducing by 10 percent the number of students scoring below level on standardized tests.

Focusing on enrichment programs that increase by 50 percent the number of students scoring above grade level in reading and math and emphasizing higher scores on AP tests.


Other agenda items approved:

The district’s daycare program for 2010, which will include the operation of a full-day program during the summer, which will be June 9 to Aug. 13. There will be no daycare service on the following days: July 2, July 5, Aug. 16 and Aug. 17. The registration fee is $25 nonrefundable, and rates will be $18 per day or $90 per week, due on the second day of care each week. Call 633-5123 for more information.

Reallocation of $200,000 from Heritage Sewer Treatment Plant to Shelby County High School renovation.

Change orders for the Collins High School construction.

A revision of the SCHS roof project.