School news

Laurel County school administrators and board members were a bit leery after canceling school on Thursday in lieu of a predicted winter storm that didn't arrive until the early afternoon. But the weather forecasts prevailed and within an hour, the heavy snowfall left roadways treacherous.

"I was glad we called school off," said board member John Begley. "The snow came fast."

Board chair Ed Jones added, "I had some people calling me asking why we called school off. I told them to just wait."

Thursday was the first of three days that school was dismissed, as warmer temperatures on Friday melted some of the half-foot snowfall and Saturday's rain washing the remainder into the history books. But colder temperatures on Sunday night brought the threat of icy roads on Monday, giving Laurel County students an unexpected five-day holiday.

Besides the wintery weather that marked the new year, board members also dealt with the business aspect of the school district during Monday's bi-monthly meeting.

On the agenda was the approval of the School Facilities Construction Commission Offer of Assistance in the amount of $5,881, which Superintendent Dr. Doug Bennett explained was lower than in past years.

"Each year the grant is determined by the need - this year it was much lower, which is good," Bennett said.

Bennett also reported that Phase 1 of the Day Treatment facility has begun, with utility lines completed and concrete being poured for the renovation process. He added that the facility has a new entrance for construction equipment, with that entrance to be paved after the project is completed. Phase 1, he said, is projected for completion this summer, with the entirety of the renovation and additions being finished by "next summer."

Board members also approved re-creating several positions for the remainder of the school year. Those included a Preschool teacher to (IECE) at Wyan Pine Grove, two Special Needs assistants at Bush, three Special Needs assistants at South Laurel Middle School and an Academic Interventionist for the school district. Two new positions were also approved - a part-time Title 1 Assistant for Keavy Elementary and a mechanic for the school district.

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