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Furlough days wiped from KCSD calendar

Posted: July 21, 2011 3:55 p.m.
Updated: July 22, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Kershaw County School District employees can breathe a sigh of relief. Their furlough days are gone.

During its Tuesday evening meeting, the Kershaw County Board of School Trustees unanimously approved a revised 2011-12 calendar that eliminates all previously planned furlough days. Trustee Don Copley was absent.

“In this calendar, we have not adjusted any of the student days because we felt like what we sent out in the beginning of this year should stay -- parents have already made plans,” said KCSD Director for Communications Mary Anne Byrd. “What we’ve done is where there were furlough days we’ve been able to go back in and insert professional development time, and I know that will be very beneficial to all of our staff.”

Byrd said they didn’t want to go back in and insert “planning time” which could create half-days for students, as parents may have already made plans after seeing the previous calendar.

 “There’s the same starting day, same ending day, same holidays. The only changes are for our employees,” Byrd said.

The elimination of the furlough days was made possible after the board passed its fiscal year 2011-12 budget, which included a base student cost of $1,880. The base student cost included in the budget was significantly higher than the board previously expected, as state economists voted last month to funnel additional money into K-12 education.

Also during the meeting, the board approved two new policies that addressed teacher/class assignments and school visitors in detail, in response to a parent’s concern regarding visits to her child’s school.

According to the policy, parents/legal guardians can visit their child’s school on scheduled days for conferences with teachers, assemblies, parent-teacher meetings, volunteer service and other school programs. Additionally, the policy says parents must schedule mutually agreeable times with the principal to visit classrooms or other school day activities, and principals have “full discretion to do so in a way that minimizes disruption to instruction.”

In other news, the board approved entering into a one-year contract with Applied Building Sciences for environmental services, which includes asbestos, lead-based paint, indoor air quality and other related environmental issues. Ed Estridge, KCSD coordinator for procurement and contracted services, said the annual expense is usually less than $10,000 a year, and the vendor will only be used when issues cannot be “adequately addressed in house.”

Additionally, the board approved the issuance of annual general obligation bonds for the Installment Purchase Plan and other debt payments. The approved bonds, which came with the caveat that they were not to exceed $10 million, will not require a tax increase.

The board’s next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 2 in the district office board room, 2029 W. DeKalb St., Camden.

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