by Rob McDaniel
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
The East Bernstadt Independent Board of Education met Thursday night to discuss complaints after-school traffic blocking School Street as parents go to pick up their children.
According to district superintendent Vicki Jones, the school has received numerous complaints from property owners on School Street saying that parents block the road and their driveways starting around 12:45 until students are picked up.
Among the complaints, Kip Jervis noted that several property owners have complained that as parents waited they would leave their vehicles parked the street and empty drinks and ashtrays in yards along the street.
Laurel County Sheriff John Root was scheduled to speak at the meeting to help the board work out a solution to the problem, but due to personal reasons he was unable to attend the meeting.
“We’ve been trying for a long time to figure out a way to fix the traffic problems on School Street,” Jervis said. “Nothing has seemed to work though.”
Board members all agreed that the major issues to address are finding a better way to manage the flow of traffic as parents pick up their students and finding a way to get parents to stop lining up several hours prior to the end of the school day.
“We’ve asked the parents to not do this,” said Vice-Chairman Jim Sutton. “I’ve had complaints that traffic has been backed up all the way to the post office.”
The board expressed their concern and commitment to finding a resolution to the traffic situation and will be actively working with the sheriff’s department to resolve the issue.
The board also received updates on the construction project that has been going on for the last 18 months. Despite minor setbacks, construction is said to be on schedule and will complete in August 2014.
When renovations are complete, the school will have an updated kitchen and cafeteria, new classrooms and office and gymnasium renovations.
Included in the renovations, the gymnasium will feature a middle school sized regulation basketball court.
Additionally, Jones reported that East Bernstadt Independent Schools made a big overall gain overall in the annual school report cards, a report released by the Kentucky Department of Education.
The independent school district, which has classes from kindergarten to 8th Grade, earned an overall score of 57.1, up from the 46.5 they had in 2012.
Additionally, they scored a 62 percentile rank which is considerably higher than last year’s 10.
Due to the significant improvements, the district was classified as a Needs Improvement/Progressing district. They were also rewarded by the state as being known as a High Progress District.
Last year the district was classified as a Needs Improvement district and was recognized as a “Focus District.”
“I think it’s outstanding what you all have accomplished,” Sutton said after hearing Jones’ report on the school report card. “It’s obvious that we have a wonderful staff.”
The district was recognized as the state winner of high attendance day. The district, which had 100 percent attendance on the day of the contest, will be presented with a plaque and a $500 reward.
Board members say that the money will be used for a surprise for the students.