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In Ludlow, School District & City Come to Terms for School Resource Officer

Superintendent Michael Borchers will sign a contract with the City of Ludlow authorizing a School Resource Officer for the Ludlow School District after the board instructed him to at the regular board meeting Thursday night.

Borchers had declared at the May meeting that the schools would have a qualified SRO after talks with the city came to a standstill, but after renewed efforts the new contract jelled and the two sides agreed. The sticking point had been the cost of the SRO, which in the past had been $40,000. The city finally agreed to the amount.

"This is basically exactly what we have done in the past," said Borchers. "There is a clause about overtime in the contract, but if we ask the officer to attend an event not in school hours we will adjust their schedule so that it is not overtime."

The district is proceeding with the 1400 square foot gym addition referred to as a health facility because it will store $105,000 in health equipment, and a 500 square foot professional development room. Borchers told the board that they had approval from the state, and Robert Ehmet Hayes will have drawings ready by the July meeting. After sending it to the state again, the project should be ready to go out for bids in mid to late August, and Borchers said he is hoping to have it under roof by the time the weather turns bad. He also mentioned that he will meet with several alumni members to try and figure out a way that fundraising can help defray the cost of the project.

In a related matter, the board approved the final payment for the stadium project in the sum of $98,260 to Ashley Construction. Borchers told the board that all the items on the punch list had been taken care of so the final payment could be made. He also mentioned that there was a year's warranty on everything.

Jenny McMillen, College and Career Readiness Coordinator, reported that out of 53 graduating students, 17 received 62 scholarships from 37 different entities. It was also announced that fees for next year would stay the same: ­­$40 for the elementary school, $75 for the seventh and eighth grades, and $95 for the high school. Tuition would remain the same at $250 for out of district students.

Three employees left the school­­­­: Barb Atwood resigned, and Phyllis Hudson and George Johns retired. Mike Baugh will transfer from middle school math to computer technology teacher, and Jane Paulin will transfer from part time gifted and talented teacher to elementary intermediate teacher. Borchers reported on the position of District Technology Coordinator, which now has nine applicants, and said he hopes to start interviews at the end of this month.

McMillen told the board about the District Certified Evaluation Plan, which only had a few changes to what they already had. The biggest change was that the state plan wanted schools to be able to visit a classroom without notice for evaluation, and Ludlow will keep their plan of a week window of notice before the principal comes into their classroom. The plan was approved but board member Kym King voted no, saying that if the plan is that cumbersome and time consuming, how can it be effective.

Borchers reviewed the board policy updates, saying that due to a House bill passed in Kentucky last year, all students had to stay in school until they are 18 years old. This was the first full school year for this to be enforced. He also said the school had to have designated safe places in case of bad weather, which it does, but every year the plan has to be reevaluated.

The board went into executive session for Superintendent evaluation, the result of which is that Michael Borchers was awarded a new four year contract to continue his work at the Ludlow Independent School district.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor