Save the Children visits Pineville School Board

From left: Pineville School Board members Josh Howard and Mary Steele, Chelsi Hinkle and Kellsy Clard from Save the Children, Superindentent Russell Thompson and board member Clark Jones.

Representatives from Save the Children spoke to the Pineville School Board about their organization at Monday’s meeting. Save the Children is partnering with Pineville Independent Schools to provide a new literacy program to get all primary students reading at their grade level.

“We actually started in 1932 providing lunches to children in coal camps over in Harlan so we’re really excited to be pushing back into this area,” said Chelsi Hinkle with Save the Children.

Through a grant from Save the Children, the school will be adding a program coordinator and a tutor. They will be taking up to 20 children to a classroom for 30-minute sessions that include guided independent reading practice, read-aloud and vocabulary activities and fluency building activities.

Save the Children, based in Berea, currently works with 12 school districts in nine counties in eastern Kentucky. For the upcoming school year they will be adding Pineville as well as Harlan Independent, Floyd and Menifee counties.

“We have a full menu of services that we offer to each school and it will really be up your administrators and teachers to see what will work best at your school,” said Kellsy Clark of Save the Children.

Clark explained that children are tested three times a year with a baseline test done in August for all children from Kindergarten through 6th grade. The results of those tests help to determine which kids they will be working with the rest of the year.

“We do see a correlation with the kids that are testing well and doing well in our program, you’ll see their iReady and MAP scores increasing as well,” she said.

Statistics show that 85 percent of Kentucky students who participate regularly in the Save the Children program show significant progress.

“We’re very excited to be a part of this program and are looking forward to working together,” superintendent Russell Thompson said. “We’ve got great students, a great staff and this is going to be a great partnership.”

In other business, the Kentucky Board of Education has scheduled a hearing on the non-resident student contract dispute between Pineville Independent and the Bell County School District. The Attorney General’s office has assigned a mediator to hear the case during the week of July 8-12 in the second floor hearing room at the Farmer Helton Judicial Center in Pineville. After hearing from both sides, the mediator will give a recommendation to the state school board and they will make a ruling.

Thompson also gave a personnel update to the board. The district is currently looking for a new technology coordinator. Justin Dunn has informed the district he is leaving for a higher paying job. Jeremy Hicks has been hired as facilities and buildings coordinator and two math teachers have been hired — Amy Shields and Kyle Adams.

Also School Resource Officer Randy Clark has applied for Special Law Enforcement Officer status.

The school also received it’s fourth and final payment from FEMA totaling over $112,000 to repair flood damage at the baseball and softball fields.

“We appreciate FEMA and the good work that they’ve done for us. This has helped us repair our baseball and softball fields and our football practice field in order to offer the best facilities we possibly can for our students and we couldn’t have done it otherwise,” Thompson said.

The repairs included new scoreboards for both the softball and baseball fields.

The board also approved:

— the 2019-20 salary schedules

— the amended 2019-20 school calendar

— 2019-20 SESC membership

— 2019-20 liability insurance that includes cyber coverage

— the 2019-20 agreement with Bell-Whitley for preschool. Bell-Whitley will be doing preschool five days a week this school year.

—  policy and procedure updates

— 2019-20 physical therapy contract

— an early graduation request.

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