Hickman County lighthouse team reports to BOE

by Becky Meadows

Lighthouse team leader Kaitlyn Workman introduced Lighthouse team members Jenah Moore and Audrey Byassee to members of the Hickman County Board of Education during their meeting Oct. 23.
Moore showed board members the video she created on community service day held on Oct. 5 of all the students who participated working on various project, and Byassee reported that there were 155 students who participated in the event, outside of 50 students involved in Farm Safety Day for the elementary students.
Each student performed three hours of community service work for a total of 615 hours, working 16 projects that included Farm Safety Day, clean up at the parks in the county, and service work at various churches.

High school Principal Shane Bizzle reported that in state testing Hickman County scored third in state behind two magnet schools in eighth grade on demand writing with a score of 85.5%, which is well above the state average of 44.3%.

In eighth grade reading the school scored 76% proficient/distinguished with the state average of 60%.
In on demand writing for Juniors, the school had no novice scores while the state average is 16.4% novice. Juniors scored 72% proficient/distinguished in on demand writing and the state average of only 51.8% scoring proficient/distinguished.

The novice reading level for eighth grade students has been cut in half the past three years and is at 10%, while the state average of novice reading levels being 19.2%. Seventh grade students scoring novice in math is the lowest it has been in five years at 13% and 17% of eighth grade students are scoring proficient/distinguished. Bizzle said that improvements are being targeted with student relationships and teacher/administrator relationships, and the goal is child first then their test scores.

Bizzle said the stated goals are to achieve state averages in all areas.

He recognized the high school volleyball team for being District Champs, as well as, Leigh Ann Jones, Riley Barber, and Carrigan Dowdy who made the Volleyball All District Team.

Students of the month at the high school for September were seventh grade student Isaiah Smith and eighth grade student Bayleigh Basch, who were chosen for their exemplary behavior, effort, and leadership.

Upcoming events at the high school include the HCHS Pageant Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. and the Veterans Day Program Nov. 12.

Elementary school Principal Richard Todd reported that there are currently 356 students enrolled in kindergarten through sixth grades and 76 preschool students with 97 percent attendance.

He said the school is using the Four Rivers Reading Project and interventions to get the few students who are reading below grade level up to the level the students should be.

Todd reported that 42 students are benefiting from the 20 community members who volunteer for the VIP readers program.

Upcoming events at the elementary school include an awards program Nov. 5 for students who received proficient or distinguished scores on state testing, the Christmas program Dec. 13, and Falcon Flex Day Dec. 19.

The board approved use of the elementary school gymnasium for the Great Pretenders concert to benefit the Hickman County/Carlisle County Relay for Life Nov. 3, and approved the High School Lighthouse team selling tickets for custom corn hole boards.

Overnight trips were approved for the softball team to Pigeon Forge during Spring Break, and the Cross Country team to State in Lexington.

In personnel changes, Henderson reported that Eric Kerney was hired as middle school assistant boys basketball coach and Eron Jones was hired as a cook/baker for the elementary school.

Jane Hobbs, Kay Aleshire, Alisha Gourley, and Elizabeth Jewell were approved as substitute teachers for 2018-19. Thelma Totty was approved as a new substitute cafeteria workers for 2018-19.

Henderson said that interviews have been completed to fill the aide positions for the Preschool Partnership Grant.

The teaching position will be filled by transferring a current employee into the preschool. The goal is to have all positions in place and the room set up for students to arrive in mid-November. Receiving this grant creates an opportunity to apply for an expansion grant to be used improve the preschool playgrounds, classrooms, and other opportunities for improvement. The school will know in March if they have been awarded the expansion grant.

Henderson announced that the school has been awarded a GEAR UP grant for the district. GEAR UP is a federal discretionary grant program from the U.S. Department of Education.

The purpose of the grant is to provide support to students in obtaining secondary school diploma and to prepare them for post secondary education.

The West Kentucky GEAR UP will work with students beginning with this year’s sixth and seventh grade students and follow up with support for those students through their first year of college. The project will create a college and career pathway culture so all students are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education, obtain industry certification, and enter the work force within the high demand sectors of the STEM related fields. Hickman County is one of ten districts that worked together to bring this opportunity to their schools.

Four full-time STEM initiative consultants will be hired to work with teachers and staff as the new standards are being implemented in our schools. Also, six full time college-readiness coaches will be hired to serve the ten districts to work with the students and their families to prepare for post-secondary education. The grant has awarded a combined $9.5 million dollars for all districts involved over the next seven years.

He said that the revised BG-1 has been approved by the Kentucky Department of Education and background checks on contractors have been sent to the state for site clearance. The architect is awaiting the tentative contractors schedule from Lawson Construction.

A motion to approve bond issue interest payment in the amount of $105.79 (2012 Series) was passed by the board, as was the purchase of one new bus using capital outlay funds, and an additional full-time substitute bus driver position.

Present at the meeting were Superintendent Casey Henderson, Principal Richard Todd, Principal Shane Bizzle, Perry Collins, Kim Wilson, Heather Spillman, Christel Nall, board members Allen Kyle, Martie Templeton, Matt Hicks, Thomas Dodson, and Shannon Dowdy.