School officials approved the graduation requirement policy during the Bell County School Board meeting on Monday. Three diploma programs have been authorized for students. All of the programs either meet or exceed minimum requirements established by the Kentucky Board of Education.
Those diploma programs include: the Career/Pathways Diploma, Pre-College Diploma and Commonwealth Diploma. Each diploma requires 22 credits.
Students that receive a Career/Pathways Diploma must meet one of the two following criteria: student should be enrolled in a career and technical program and complete a concentration (three classes) or career major (four or more classes) or student will major in one of the four core content areas by completing an additional credit with that area (English, math, science, social studies or a foreign language).
A Commonwealth Diploma, which is no longer recognized by the Kentucky Department of Education, is issued to each student who successfully completes the pre-college curriculum. The pre-college curriculum includes Spanish I, Spanish II and Algebra II.
In addition, the student must earn a final, unweighted grade of “C” or better in four Advanced Placement courses. That would include AP English, AP Math or Science and two AP electives. The student must complete three AP exams: one in English, one in math or science and in one elective.
The board also discussed a piano lab maintenance agreement. The total cost of the agreement would be $14,000. The group will still maintenance the pianos at Lone Jack and Frakes, though there are no piano teachers at those two schools.
Pending on the final budget for the year, superintendent Yvonne Gilliam said a piano teacher may be hired to split time between the two schools. If a teacher is not hired, the board will be able to establish a credit which can be used the following year for piano maintenance. The board did approve the agreement.
The school board approved the Cumberland River Comprehensive Care MOA during the meeting. Cumberland River provides specialized counseling for the district. In certain situations, the district is not licensed to provide counseling.
“In most cases, they are a licensed health care provider and they can bill medicaid for the students insurance,” said Gilliam in reference to the agreement.
The board also approved a contract with the Bell County Health Department concerning health clinics. Gilliam stated she feels good about the services that the health clinic provides. It was also mentioned that the health clinics do not bill private insurances.
If the school has a child with an IEP (Individualized Education Program), the health department cannot bill for the services provided. Chairman Kenneth Sams said the district could bill Medicaid for these services, but has not in the past. A decision on future billing for IEP services was not decided during the meeting.
One resignation has been turned in recently to Gilliam. Tom Greer resigned from his position.
The board tabled issues concerning the TRANE HVAC service agreements until the next board meeting. The board wants to speak with TRANE before agreeing to a service agreement.
Other business approved during the meeting included:
• Minutes of previous meeting and special-called meeting;
• Payments of bills;
• Fundraising request;
• Facilities request;
• Riso Maintenance Agreement;
• Medical leave request;
• Out-of-state transportation request;
• Grant applications - Community Ed continuation;
• MOA with Bell County Forestry Camp - Frakes;
• Instructional Support contracts;
• Bell-Whitley bus lease;
• Exchange non-resident student contract - Corbin Independent;
• Move technology department to the Bell Co. Area Technology Center.
Anthony Cloud is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. He can be contacted via email at email@example.com.