In a note he passed around, McGinnis said the time has come for change, both for the school district and for him, as he has been a superintendent for 10 years and has been in the education profession for 33 years.
McGinnis said he is leaving but stands behind his statement that Trigg County students are second to none, and added that now is the right time for him to step down. He also said he will help the board in their search for the right replacement.
“For anyone asking me about public education as a career, I can simply and honestly say, It was a wonderful fit for me and I have been blessed,” McGinnis said.
Butch Ganty with the Kentucky School Board Association, who was at the meeting, said he will help the school board find a replacement by April or May. The board approved a contract with the KSBA to help them with their search.
Ganty said the fact that he announced his retirement in December might give the school system a leg up in finding a good replacement, as most superintendents announce in January, and added that while there is a glut of teachers, superintendent replacements are harder to find.
In other business:
– A $250,000 school district technology plan, which spans two and a half years, was unanimously approved by the board.
The plan, which can be amended if necessary, involves several upgrades to the school district’s technology infrastructure, said Beth Sumner, assistant superintendent for instruction for Trigg County Schools.
Sumner outlined the technology plan for the board, stating that it includes, among other expenditures, smart boards, newer software and hardware, and ceiling speakers to allow teachers to better project to their classes.
“We’re looking at how we integrate technology into our curriculum,” said Sumner.
Also included in the plan is the SANS Solution virtual server, which would allow for a decrease in the number of servers from 14 to two, and would as a result lower the electrical cost for the school, said Sumner, who added that it would last for 5 – 10 years, that storage could be added and that it would cost about $50,000.
Other elements of the technology plan include other computer upgrades, speaker systems in the Little Theater and Cafeteria, and student response systems, said Sumner, who went on to say that she wants both students and teachers and staff to be technology literate, which the schools are having to report on.
McGinnis said the funding for technology plan is set to come from impact aid money, also known as Payment In Lieu of Tax (PILT), which the district received during the last fiscal year.
Officials from the Trigg County High, Middle, Intermediate and Primary Schools discussed their individual improvement plans, and Sumner discussed the district’s improvement plan. The improvement plans detail the strategies to improve the schools’ academic performance and test scores.
The district improvement plan calls for 75 percent of the students district wide to score proficient or distinguished in math and 80 percent in reading, while the individual schools have similar goals in line with meeting the No Child Left Behind benchmarks.
The board tabled a potential Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Kentucky For Understanding. McGinnis and others said it was tabled because they don’t know enough about it yet and are concerned about language that talks about performance pay for teachers.
A special called meeting relating to the MOU with Kentucky For Understanding will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday night at the school central office.
Anna Gentry of Kem, Duguid and Associates presented her audit. She told the board the school is doing okay, and that she had no findings. She also said the school district had $24 million in total assets.
Toward the end of the meeting, the board unanimously approved a position for a career counselor. McGinnis said the salary range for the position would be between $38,000 and $41,900 a year, and among the person’s duties would be to work with parents and students to help them with college and grant applications.
“Unofficially, 77 percent of our 2009 graduates continued their education,” said McGinnis. “Many of these graduates are first generation college students and parents are not familiar with applications and scholarship processes.”
The board also unanimously approved the superintendent to search for new marching band uniforms, which he said could cost about $20,000. However, the current ones are 11 years old, and the $20,000 would be a great investment, McGinnis said.
In other business, the board unanimously approved a calendar committee to set the 2010/2011 school year and also approved non-resident student contracts and a contract with the Christian County School District to educate a Trigg County preschool student.
At around 12:10 a.m., the meeting, which started at 7 p.m., formally adjourned.