By Jeff Noble, Staff Writer
A policy that would provide “safe restraint training” to all Laurel County Schools staff members was approved Monday by the Laurel County Board of Education.
Board members gave the green light to approving the revised policy and procedure, and then adopting the policy after they discussed the situation at their regular session held at the Central Office Administration Building in London.
Superintendent Doug Bennett said the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) would provide the training in the form of a webinar to staff members.
“The statute is already in effect. ...We will work with the principals prior to the policy being revised,” he added.
The board’s attorney, Larry Bryson, noted the action would have to be implemented before Wednesday, May 1.
“We’re required by the state to do this. The big change will be the documentation. … All staff will be trained and it applies to all students,” said Bryson.
The state regulation— known as 704 KAR 7:160; “Use of physical restraint and seclusion in public schools” — went into effect Feb. 1. It allows students to be physically restrained or placed in a secluded area away from classmates only to protect them from hurting other students or themselves.
It was approved by the state General Assembly’s Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee in Frankfort last December after work was done over a three-year period by several organizations, including the KDE and the advocacy group Kentucky Protection and Advocacy.
The state Department of Education has said it would not be put into use until classes start in the upcoming 2013-14 school year in order to give schools some time to prepare.
Approval was also given to a contract with the London construction firm Hacker Brothers, Inc. to construct security vestibule entries for four of the district’s elementary schools. The entries would be built at Hazel Green, Camp Ground, Hunter Hills and Sublimity Elementary schools, with the bid from Hacker Brothers being $194,760.
Construction of the vestibule entries would begin as soon as the current school year ends in May, and should be ready by the start of the new school year in August.
Among other actions taken at the session, the board approved the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act Grant for the 2013-14 school year. Officials said the grant would be the same as last year’s grant, and would be awarded at the high school level. Approval was also given to create the positions of District Athletic Director and Chief Academic Officer, effective for the 2013-14 year. In addition, board members approved creating 12 summer maintenance worker positions, as well as abolish the positions of Assistant Superintendent and Director of Assessment and Accountability, effective for the 2013-14 school year.
Other approvals were for a student teacher agreement with Eastern Kentucky University for the 2013-14 school year, along with a contract for professional services with Vinson, Comer, Hansill and Associates for “Pre-K Imagine It!” professional development training. In addition, approval was given to appropriate $3,000 to Laurel County ASAP (Agency for Substance Abuse Policy).
Board members later went into executive session to discuss litigation matters. No action was taken.
The meeting began with Bennett and the board recognizing the members of the South Laurel High School girls soccer team. Certificates were given to the team, assistant coaches and head coach Todd White, as well as to have a photo opportunity with the school board.
“The girls soccer team at South Laurel High was won seven straight district championships, six out of seven regional championships, and in 2012, the girls advance to the ‘Elite Eight’ championship. Great job. Great season,” Bennett told the team and the audience.
By Jeff Noble, Staff Writer
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