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MES construction continues, board considers all-day kindgergarten

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By Lorrie Kinkade

By LORRIE KINKADE

The Trimble Banner

Trimble County Board of Education member Jill Simmons suggested the district document the progress of the new Milton Elementary School, under construction on U.S. 421 south of town.

“We need to take pictures of the progress more often, because they are really moving along," Simmons said at the July 16 meeting. "It looks like a school.”

Fran Scott of Scott-Klausing and Company said the project is nearly 60 percent complete, contrary to a previous report from general contractor Tim Breeding of Teton Corporation, who said days before it was about 52 percent complete and and requested payment in the amount of $739,665.

“I’m really pleased with the project,” Scott said. “They are about 90 percent complete on the structural block work. Brick work and the roof trusses have really come along well this week.”

Scott said contractors have taken advantage of mild weather to stay on schedule for a January 2009 move to the facility.

The board unanimously approved the requested payment.

All-day kindergarten being considered

Board member Scott Burrows urged his colleagues to investigate the possibility of offering all-day kindergarten in Trimble County.

Burrows said he frequently is asked about the possibility of extending the school day for some of the district’s youngest pupils, and said he would like to examine the feasibility of such a program. He also wants to poll parents and others in the community to determine if the support is there.

“I don’t know if this is something that can be achieved in the short-term, long-term or ever,” he said.

Chairman J.W. Sachleben said the board considered extending the classes from half-day to full days about two years ago, but abandoned the idea because of cost. He said the additional cost was determined to be as much as $70,000 annually.

“The new school means facility space is not a problem, but we need to see whether the money is there for teachers and everything else we would need,” Superintendent Marcia Haney Dunaway said.

The topic was tabled for at least one month or until financial data regarding the proposal can be gathered.

Staff search continues

Also at the meeting, Dunaway and Rebecca Moore, who recently was named district instructional supervisor, updated the board on the search for new educators.

Dunaway said most of the vacated positions within the district, including three at MES, three at Trimble County Middle School and one at Bedford Elementary School, have been filled. But the search continues for several openings at the high school, including band instructor, Spanish teacher and Moore’s former position as principal.

Dunaway said she had received several applications for the principal position and said she is confident it will be filled by the start of school Aug. 12.

The school’s site-based decision-making council met yesterday to review applications for principal and schedule interviews, which are likely to begin next week.

Dunaway introduced new assistant superintendent Jessica Wilcoxson to the board. Wilcoxson previously was director of pupil personnel, however with the completion of additional training, she became eligible for the title change. Her job duties will remain the same.