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School district to hire 20 substitutes

The new school year will bring a slight pay raise  for employees of the Laurel County School district, rounding out a 4 percent increase over the past three years.

The half-percent increase is the final installment of an overall 4 percent increase since the 2014-2015 year.

Superintendent Dr. Doug Bennett said the pay raise will be for all certified and classified personnel of the school system. 

"In the 2014-2015 school year, they received a 1 percent increase, in 2015-2016 they received a 2 1/2 percent increase," Bennett said. "The .5 percent increase rounds out a 4 percent increase over the past three years, but it's really more than that once you compound the interest over the past three years."

Board member Bud Stuber said the increase was done "locally," meaning the increase was done from the Laurel County school district funds, not from any additional funding from the state.

The new school year also marks the completion of expansions at two local elementary schools. Bennett said construction at Hazel Green and Sublimity elementary schools have culminated.

"We are on schedule at Hazel Green and Sublimity," Bennett said, "and all is well."

Bennett said an official open house for the public would be scheduled soon, although both schools were open for students and their parents on Monday night.

Additional school personnel was another item addressed during Monday night's meeting. Board members approved the recreation of five positions. Those include an instructional assistant position at Day Treatment, a speech language pathologist at Colony Elementary, an LBD teacher at North Laurel High School, one district custodian position and one school nurse position. 

Hiring 20 substitute teachers are also on the agenda. Bennett said the school district "always need" substitute teachers. Substitute teachers are utilized for a single day as well as some short-term assignments, depending on the situation.

Bennett used the winter flu season as an example of why an adequate list of substitute teachers are necessary.

"There's always flu season, and teachers and substitutes get sick too," he said.

Another item on the agenda for Monday night's meeting included the approval of a Shortened School Day. Bennett explained this item pertained to some special needs students whose conditions prevented them from participating in the full school day. 

"This applies to just a couple of students," Bennett said. "Due to their particular needs, they cannot remain for the full school day. This is only for those students, not for a shortened day for other students."

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