Madison school board addresses youth suicides among other items


Story by J.T. Elliott
Thursday evening, August 11,  the Madison County Board of Education held their monthly meeting. The meeting began without  any audience member comments concerning agenda items. Though the opportunity was made available. 

All consent agenda items were passed, including two approved out of state field trips for the Madison Central High School cross country team to North Carolina and Tennessee. Admission and Release Committee Chairpersons for special education meetings and Section 504 Accommodation Plans were approved. 

Three instructional reports were provided to the board. First,  Angie Wilcox, MTSS/School Counseling Services, reviewed the review the multi-tiered system of supports for students concerning academics, behavior, and mental health.  Wilcox stated that social and emotional learning curriculum will be provided in elementary and middle schools this year Whereas,  high schools will have suicide prevention training. Trauma training for all schools will be provided by Dr. Bruce Perry. Wilcox explained that this training involves, “how your brain is changed by trauma and how we can help those kids.”

The second report presented was by Ben Burnett, Director of Technology, concerning data breach policies. Mr. Burnett stated that to be considered a data breach, the result must have a “likelihood of harm.” Within 35 days the district must notify all individuals effected. If over 1,000 individual’s information is breached, credit reporting agencies must be notified as well.   Concerning school district cyber security, Mr. Burnett stated, “We are pretty secure in the county. No system is obliviously perfect, but we feel that we do a pretty good job.”

Third, Superintendent David Gilliam presented the construction report as Clotfelter-Samokar Architect, Tony Thomas, was unable to attend due to traffic.

The first construction project reviewed was Clark Moore middle school. Dr. Gilliam stated that the school is, “Getting better every single day.” Paving and striping of the parking lot is completed, as well as, a new band room. 

However, parts on the freezer and refrigerator are back ordered. As a result,  temporary units will be used for a few months.

Other projects discussed included athletic dugouts. Dr. Gilliam stated that the decision to install concrete roofs slowed the projects done due to their complexity. Additionally, Dr. Gilliam stated that the Ignite North vocational school is also, “really close to being ready.” Madison Central administration will handle the transition for students to Ignite North on day two of school. 

In Berea, the Madison Southern activities building is prepping the ground for the slab to be poured. Dr. Gilliam said that Ignite South  has “more work to be done than in Richmond.” This is primarily due to not being able to get parts for the HVAC system.  Madison Southern students will stay at the high school in the meantime. 

Mark Woods, CFO, provided the monthly financial report to begin the Action Agenda. Mr. Woods stated that as  of July 31, the  reconciled balance was $61,994,739.51. This is “Down sizably compared to the year before,” said Mr. Woods. He explained that the district was paying a lot of invoices due to construction. The district has 5 million in investments meetings with banks are schedule as the district desires to get interest earnings back. Mr. Woods believes the district can earn two percentage points more than what the district is currently earning. 

The district approved the purchase of copy paper with Action Business Suppliers. One and a half truck loads were approved at the price of  $53,638.20.

The board entered into executive session to discuss pending litigation to conclude the meeting. No action was taken from the executive session.

Photo courtesy of meeting livestream

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Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, Michael Watkins...what do all those names have in common? Greatness...Michael Watkins is from a small town in Eastern Kentucky where he grew up dreaming of being a sports broadcaster. At the age of 16 he started working WJSN radio station in his hometown of Jackson Kentucky in his first step toward that dream. Michael has been at Wallingford Broadcasting since November 2012 and took over as Sports Director in 2015. The dream of being a sports broadcaster became a bigger reality when the Wallingford Sports Show was launched in late 2015. He also can be heard throughout the year calling local high school sports in the area across the different Wallingford Media Platforms. Michael and his wife, Morgan, gave birth to their first child in March of 2017 and the city of Richmond is now home to the Wallingford Sports Guy.