Skip to content

Pre-School moving

Citing unsafe and cramped conditions, the McCreary County Board of Education voted 4-1 to relocate pre-school students out of their current facility into classrooms at Whitley City Elementary and Pine Knot Primary School for the coming school year.

Assistant Superintendent Aaron Anderson was tasked earlier this month to look at the possibility of such a move after Board member Debbie Gibson raised serious concerns over the conditions of the school located next to Pine Knot Intermediate.

Anderson informed the Board Tuesday night that there was sufficient room in the two schools to move the classes and the costs associated with the move would not be significant.

When discussion over the conditions of the buildings and the possibility of integrating the students into the larger schools first arose at a previous meeting, the Board stated they agreed the best possible scenario included building a new facility to keep the classes and staff together under one roof, but noted that funding wasn’t available to do so.

“I wish the pre-school could stay together,” Gibson said Tuesday. “But not in those conditions. It will put the kids in safer conditions.”

She stated if a tornado were to threaten the school, there was no safe place to put the children, exposing them to a great risk.

Board Chair Brandon Kidd stated he believed the move, along with creating another teaching position, would allow the District to begin expanding enrollment, eventually allowing every child in McCreary County to attend pre-school.

(Currently, due to limited space, enrollment is limited to qualified students.)

“I don’t see how our pre-school can grow where it is now,” he said. “It is not fair that every kid can’t go to pre-school.”

He noted that if classroom space would still be needed, the Board still had the option of moving third grade students from PKP to PKI and all sixth grade students to the Middle School.

The Board acknowledged there would be issues with supplies, transportation and workload associated with the move, but stated it would be the job of the Superintendent to overcome those obstacles.

The Board reasserted that the pre-school students would not be interacting with older students at the schools, noting that the classrooms and playgrounds would be separated from the general population, and the students would still ride their own bus.

One parent in attendance, upon hearing the decision, stood up and asked for her child to be withdrawn from pre-school.

Gibson stated she believed the move would only be temporary and was in the process of seeking donations to construct a new building to house all pre-school students.

“We are going to find it – I believe that,” she said.

Kidd motioned to approve the move, with Rhonda Armijo seconding. Roxanne Shook was the only Board member to vote against the move.

In other Board actions Tuesday night:

Judge Kathy Prewitt requested the Board’s assistance in funding Drug Court.

The Judge informed the Board that grant funding, which had been used to run the program had expired, and it would have to be discontinued unless the Board takes up the funding.

District Finance Officer Kristi Sizemore told the Board the funding was already included in the draft budget so no action needed to be taken.

The Board approved the first reading of the Tobacco Free Schools Policy, which would make all School District property tobacco free.

The proposed calendar for the 2015-16 school year was tabled so the Board could get more information.

The Board approved the advertisement of bids to repair the roof at PKI as well as the BG-2 and BG-3 forms to be sent to KDE for approval for the project.

Two Resource Officer positions, to be placed at WCE and Pine Knot schools, and one pre-school teacher and instructional assistant positions were created. Board member Roxanne Shook voted against those positions.

The next regular scheduled meeting of the McCreary County Board of Education will be on Tuesday, May 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the Central Office.

Leave a Comment