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School Choice Already Exists in NKY, Bellevue Superintendent Says as Agreement is Approved

At the most recent meeting of the Bellevue Board of Education, a yearly reciprocal agreement for non-residents to attend the city schools was approved.

Superintendent Robb Smith said the Bellevue Independent Schools has had the agreement between school districts for years. He said public schools have a lot to offer, and proponents of charter schools should realize that people already have a choice of schools in Northern Kentucky.

"Sometimes kids need a different environment in order to be a success," Smith said. "We allow kids to switch if necessary. The ones who want charter schools should give public schools a chance to be able to provide what they want."

The new president of the Bellevue Education Foundation also addressed the board of education at its most recent meeting.

David Fessler explained what the foundation hopes to accomplish under his leadership of the organization that raises money for schools and projects, and for teachers who engage in extracurricular activities with students.

"The neat thing is that Dave is also a Bellevue graduate," said Superintendent Robb Smith. "He talked to us about all the really ambitious plans he has for the school year. He plans to get a lot done."

Several retiring staff members were also honored for their service. Katy Drinkhouse, Karen Bird, Janice Harris, Marguerite Nienaber, Darlene Baker, Zona Vogt, and Nina Wilz all were recognized for their years of service.

Students were recognized as students of the month for leadership, and going above and beyond. The students from Grandview Elementary are Kameron Stokes, Tristan Moore, Kensley Henry, Lauriana Guzman, Malia Cooper, Ally McPherson, and Cameron Stull. The students from Bellevue High School are Mackenzize Tiemeyer, Lea Baker, Will Ryan, Estelle Chase, Dustin Nifong, Jeffrey Bishop, and Gabby Schwaninger.

The board approved the tentative working budget of approximately $7.5 million. The district has a contingency fund of 8 percent.

The board also approved a scholarship of $500 provided by Alfred and Sara West.

The professional development plans for Bellevue High School and Grandview elementary were approved. Superintendent Smith reminded the board that the state cut funds for professional development this year.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor