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Schools taking advantage of Jefferson-based program

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By Todd Martin

The Shelby County Board of Education finished an unusually short agenda quickly at Thursday’s meeting.

Superintendent James Neihof delivered a short report on the district’s Teach Kentucky recruits, something board member Sam Hinkle had asked for at a previous meeting.

Shelby County had six Teach Kentucky applicants this year. Three were offered positions and two accepted, Neihof said.

Teach Kentucky is a teacher recruitment program that targets recent graduates from selected national universities to teach in the greater Louisville area. The group has formed partnerships with the University of Louisville’s College of Education and Human Development along with Jefferson, Henry, Shelby and Spencer county school districts.

“I’ve always been impressed with their energy and enthusiasm,” Hinkle said, and he asked how the district could continue to recruit more of the new teachers.

Because Jefferson County partially funds the system, Neihof said, they normally get first pick, but he said he has been impressed with the teachers Shelby County has gotten from the program.

“I believe we’ve been able to take advantage of this resource,” he said. “We have been able to get some great additions from Teach Kentucky. I think the biggest thing we can do [to maintain and improve working with Teach Kentucky] is to continue to respond when given the opportunity.”

Currently, the district has six Teach Kentucky recruits already teaching in the district.

  Board reports

Neihof also delivered short status updates on other requests made by the board.

After a request to compare Shelby County against the national MAP testing data, Neihof asked that the board wait until after the August summer school testing for a report in September. The goal would be to see how students benefited from the new summer school program.

He also noted that a previously requested report on the education of Shelby County’s students on physical fitness and obesity is in the works. Traci Early, the district health coordinator, will have a report in late summer or early fall.

  Building fund reimbursement

The district’s building fund will regain $2.3 million after an update to the finance application that was originally signed and set in 2007. Because the original plan had called for two schools, the new updated plan – which is called for by state law when a project is near completion – is well overfunded. The residual amount,  however, must be placed back into the building fund. The district can use those funds for further planned new construction.

  Also at the meeting the board approved:

• Change orders for Collins High School to remove unsuitable soils from the parking lot areas of the school and athletic complex and to revise the sign.

• An agreement with OVEC for Jack Bosley as an American History Specialist.

• The intent to apply for a Project BALANCE grant for Southside Elementary in collaboration with OVEC.