MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County Educational Service Center school board on Wednesday learned more about programs offered at the Knox Learning Center. Principal Quinn Haas said most students are doing well in both the virtual community school and the prep program.
“The staff here has done extremely well,” he said.
Lauren Downes, coordinator of 21st century community learning center grant programs, also gave a presentation on the various activities made possible through the grant. She said the focus is on academic enrichment activities and literacy and other educational services for the families of participating children. Grant funds also make possible various family enrichment opportunities.
Board president Richard McLarnan, in discussing proposed legislation, said it is important to continue to tell legislators know people oppose HB 136. He said the bill, if passed, could have devastating effects on public schools because taxpayer money would be used to pay for private edcuation. He said the bill, in fact, represents a bigger movement toward the privatization of public education.
Regarding personnel, the board accepted the resignation of speech pathologist Toni Tamborino, effective Nov. 18. It added to the substitute teacher list and approved a resolution to suspend, in part, the contract of each one-on-one substitute aide for a total of nine workdays each. This decision is based on the financial condition of the ESC. The board also approved certified nurse practitioner Phyllis Sim to administer bus driver physicals for the 2011-12 school year, and approved Judy McVay as a bus driver for Fredericktown schools. Hannah Freeman was hired as a one-on-one student aide for the 2011-12 school year, and the board approved personnel for 21st century grant activities. Funding is through the 21st century grant.
In addition to approving routine fiscal actions, the board accepted the donation of more than 200 books and other items from DeAnn Nightengale. The items will be used in the Learning Center school library, in the classrooms and in the afterschool program. The board also entered into an agreement with Knox County Board of Developmental Disabilities to provide 45 minutes of early intervention speech therapy per week and contracted with Marion Technical College for occupational therapist Katherine Kraft to mentor students who require fieldwork in order to graduate. That program will start in the winter. The board also approved an agreement to provide Fredericktown Local Schools with technology coordinator services. Paul Brenton Wolfe was tapped to be the technology services provider.