Members of the Laurel County school board approved the 2019-2020 school schedule, which will send students back to class on August 8.

The agenda for the upcoming school year was discussed during the April 8 meeting, according to Kentucky Department of Education regulations, and approved during Monday evening's meeting. The tentative date for the end of the 2019-2020 school year is May 13, although inclement weather causing the dismissal of school during the winter months usually extends that date until later in the month or into June.

Superintendent Dr. Doug Bennett explained that the upcoming school year schedule is similar to the past years but is mandated to include 174 instructional days for students with 14 additional days for teachers. Two of those days will be on Aug. 6 and Aug. 7 to allow teachers to prepare their classrooms for the opening day for students, open house events and any training necessary.

Board members also approved accepting the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act Grant for the upcoming school year.

"That is applied for career and technology classes in the amount of $157,000," Bennett explained.

Utilizing online educational resources for students was another aspect of the educational pluses in the local school system that was approved by school board members for the Discovery Education Subscriber Agreement for North Laurel Middle School for the upcoming school year.

Increasing the abilities and capabilities of teachers to instruct the Advanced Placement classes was another topic discussed briefly during Monday's meeting. From that action, two teachers from North Laurel High School were approved to apply for the Advance Kentucky College Readiness Program. Advanced Placement classes (also known as AP classes) allow students to complete a course, take a test and receive college credits if they pass the test.

Three job positions were also re-created during Monday's session. Those positions were: cook/baker at Hunter Hills Elementary for a seven-hour position; one school/home/community liaison position at Hunter Hills Elementary's Family Resource Center for two days per week; and one instructional assistant position at the Laurel County Day Treatment facility.

School administrators and board members also recognized several students for their acceptance into academic programs this summer.

Accepted into the Governor's Scholar program were South Laurel High students: Anna McWhorter, Poppy Spradlin, Spencer Hacker, Ryan Sweeney and John Snyder and North Laurel High students: Madison Broyles, Katelyn Fortney, Rebecca Mays, Darion Ball, Zachary Broyles, and Blaise Frasure. Two other NLHS students, Katie Brown and Jane Hall were selected for the Henry Clay High School Congress program.

Taylor Payne and Carter Nelson from SLHS were also selected for the Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts, a three week program held this summer. Staeton Sanders, a junior at SLHS, was also selected to participate in the Governor's School for Entrepreneurs (GSE) to be held this summer on the Northern Kentucky University campus. This program was established in 2013.

Board members also recognized London Elementary teacher Melanie Callahan for her selection as 2020 Valvoline Outstanding Educator of the Year. Approximately 24 educators are nominated for this honor.

The next meeting of the Laurel County School Board will be Monday, May 13, at 5 p.m. in the Laurel County School District's Central Office beside London Elementary School. The Laurel County School board meets the second and fourth Mondays of each month.

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