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Bellevue Administrators Applaud Custodians Amid Fight Against Whooping Cough

During the Bellevue Board of Education meeting on Wednesday night, members discussed how well the schools have done in containing the handful pertussis, or whooping cough, cases that have occurred during the month of January.

Jennifer Cox, principal of Grandview Elementary, explained that the elementary school has had 15 confirmed cases of pertussis in January.

"Most of the cases were fifth grade students who fell into the gap of having had a vaccination against pertussis when they started school, but had not yet received the booster vaccine required in the fifth grade," said Cox. "We heard that the disease was all over the Northern Kentucky area, but Campbell County was really hit hard. Once students started getting the whooping cough here the doctors weren't helping because a lot of them would say the children could come back to school when there were three criteria for them to be able to come back to school, after 21 days, a negative diagnostic test, and being finished with a course of antibiotics."

Dave Pelgen, assistant principal at Bellevue High School, said that the high school only had one suspected case, and highly commended the custodial staff for their vigilant cleaning of the school, which he said probably contributed to the lack of cases in the high school.

Cox commended the custodial staff also, saying she believed that the outbreak could have been much worse if the janitors hadn't been so thorough in their constant cleaning. She said the school is in the seventh day of the last 21 day waiting period, so although they hope the outbreak is over, they can't be sure.

"We sent information home after the first case, telling parents what was going on," said Cox. "But we also held a clinic for the parents telling them what they had to do to keep their children safe from the disease. We have done everything the Board of Health has told us to do."

In other business, the board voted Julia Webb Fischer as the new board chair, and Dan Sparks as the Vice Chair. Superintendent Robb Smith will be the Secretary to the board.

The board approved the offer of assistance from the School Facilities Construction Commission in the amount of $8,404 as annual debt service on bonds to be sold for proposed construction or renovation of facilities in the approved facilities plan.

They also approved the tech offer of assistance in the amount of $5212, to be matched by the board.

Dr. David Rust, from Academic Services, reported that the programs put in place last fall are having an effect on the MAP and CERT testing, according to the most recent scores. He also said that all outside building doors have been re-keyed, and that all the alarm security keypads have been updated or replaced. The next project is the interior doors.

Board member Jenny Hazeres was nominated to the calendar committee, and Vanessa Groneck was nominated to serve on the code of conduct committee.

Next year's school schedule was announced, and the starting day of school will be August 8, 2016, while the ending day will be May 27, 2017.

Bellevue mayor Edward Riehl came to the board meeting to read a proclamation announcing January as School Board Appreciation Month and handed out the proclamation to the board members.

Several students were recognized as students of the month from both Grandview Elementary and Bellevue High School.

Written by Patricia A Scheyer, RCN contributor
Top photo: Bellevue mayor Ed Riehl congratulates the board for their service
Slideshow Images & Captions: 
Students from Grandview elementary honored for discipline and attendance: Kade Wells, Zekiel Fullman, Patrick Vogt, Ally Macpherson, Carson Evers, Ryan Routzon and Charlotte McDonald.