FIS Board to convey property for childcare

by Benita Fuzzell

Fulton Independent Board of Education members approved the first reading of the 2023-2024 school calender, during regular monthly board session Nov. 17 at 5:45 p.m. at Fulton High School.

Professional Development Days are marked for Aug. 3 and 7, staff only, with opening day Aug. 8, 2023 for staff only and the first day for students, Aug. 9. Sept. 4 classes are dismissed for Labor Day, and Oct. 2-6 is Fall Break, with an early dismissal at noon on Oct. 19. Nov. 7, 2023 is a Professional Development Day for staff only and Nov. 22-24, 2023 is Thanksgiving Break. Early dismissal is observed Dec. 15, with Christmas Break Dec. 18-29, and no classes Jan. 1, 2024.

In February, 2024, the proposed calendar includes a Professional Development Day for staff only on Feb. 16 and no classes on Feb. 19, for snow day. March 14, classes dismiss at noon with snow days marked in March for March 15 and 29.

April 1-5, 2024 is Spring Break, and no classes May 21, last day for students May 23 and Closing Day for staff only May 24.

Pastor Jessie Webb, who is the minister for Kingdom Harvest church in South Fulton and also oversees Kingdom Kidz childcare at the Forestdale Avenue facility, addressed the board regarding the shortage of child care facilities in Fulton County, currently with none available. He explained he would like to open a child care facility in Fulton, and requested the board’s consideration in exploring options for “Kingdom Care Learning Center-Fulton Site” to locate on property currently owned by the school district.

The property, approximately 1.3 acres, is adjacent to, and south of the Fulton High/Middle School campus, Webb said. He shared with the board that currently the Kingdom Kidz facility located at the Kingdom Harvest church property in South Fulton, is open from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m., to provide child care for those who work day and night shifts, and at the present time, there are 52 children at the center there, and 17 on the waiting list.

The proposed new facility in Fulton, Pastor Webb said, would house up to 72 children with six classrooms, and would include after school child care, as well as utilizing Fulton High School students, within walking distance, who could develop educational skills through working after school at the child care center.

In a Kingdom Kidz business plan prepared and provided to board members, the annual projected budget income sources included Kentucky Childcare payments $116,650, Promethean Childcare payments, $83,840, Tennessee Childcare payments, $139,270 and Karamu Food Program, $15,370 for a total of $355,130.

Budget expenses included childcare providers, $146,535, KKLC Secretary, $4,490, AT&T Phone, $2,240, Insurance, $7,300, Food and supplies, $33,360, payroll taxes, $48,650, water and gas, $5,700, Electric, $7,350, J.D. Cleaning supplies, $2,355, building mortgate, $12,000, total actual expenses $269,980, with information sourced from the Profit/Loss report from QuickBooks over two years from Kingdom Kids Learning Center in South Fulton.

Jason Howell, who serves as Board Attorney for the FIS BOE, explained to the board that it would be “cleaner” to sell the property, pending approval from the Kentucky Department of Education, however leasing the property could also be an option, however Howell said he would want to confirm lease requirements. He also explained if purchased, the purchaser would not be the Kingdom Harvest Church, but a 501(c)(3).

No action was taken at the time of Pastor Webb’s presentation, however closed executive session was provided on the night’s agenda, with action taken regarding the request, following a re-convening to open session, from the closed session.

The Board adjourned from open public session into closed executive session for Expulsion Hearing, Kentucky Revised Statute 61.810(k) and Deliberations on the future acquisition or sale of property, per Kentucky Revised Statute 61.810(1)(b).

Upon return into open public session the board’s action included the expulsion of a student for one calendar year; and to convey property rights of 1.3 acres of land through direct sale to Kingdom Learning Center, pending approval from the Kentucky Department of Education.

In the absence of Fulton Independent School District Principal Jeff Rogers, Assistant Principal Dr. Jean Little updated FIS Board of Education members Bill Robertson, Debbie Vaughn, Rea Jones and Chair Carol Bransford on recent achievements reached by the district overall as well as students specifically.

Dr. Little shared the district’s goal for attendance was 97% and students who achieved perfect attendance status were recognized and presented certificates. She also reported the honor roll for the first nine weeks had been released and would be published in The Current newspaper as well as the school district website to make sure the students received recognition for their accomplishments.

She reported the Li’l Pups cheer team had grown from 13 participants last year to now having 43 students participate, and flag football would be offered to students in grades 2-5.

Betty Bartimus was honored for her award for October 2022 Employee of the Month for the district and Teacher of the Month for October was presented to Melissa Trice-Martin.

The Board considered and approved a Memorandum of Agreement between the Four Rivers Foundation Board and Fulton Independent School. The Four Rivers Foundation Program, an independent foundation program solely funded by founders Robbie and Lisa Rudolph and now also supported by their children, Grant Rudolph and Mallory Howard Rudolph, works with multi-institutional partners now including Ballard County Schools, Carlisle County Schools, Fulton County Schools, Fulton Independent Schools, Hickman County Schools, Livingston County Schools, the Four Rivers Career Academy, the Mayfield/Graves County ATC, Murray State University and West Kentucky Community Technicial College.

Board support was provided for Superintendent Dr. DeAnna Miller’s recommendation to approve the use of an Emergency Attendance Day Oct. 25, when Fulton High School/Fulton MIddle School experienced a single water line break between the evening of Oct. 24 and the morning of Oct. 25, resulting in the water first shut off in the entire building, and then a line flushing performed by the Fulton Public Works Department.

Due to the finding of “one significant deficiency in internal control over major federal awards programs” disclosed during the 2021 audit, FIS Finance Officer Becky Fisette created a Federal Programs Procedure Manual, set in order to address the finding.

The Board was provided copies of the manual for their review.

In the report from Tracy Pulley, Coordinator for the FIS FRYSC, The Family Connection, she shared her monthly activities including the Baby Bulldogs event held Oct. 10; Red Ribbon Week Oct. 24-28 for grades K-12; Family Reading Nights for preschool through fifth grade Oct. 17; her participation in WellCare Community Impact Council meeting; continuation of work with dental care for FHS student; connection of homeless student to transportation to school; transporting two students shopping for winter clothing and toiletries through utilizing the homeless fund; nine home visits made, and seven parent contacts by text or phone.

The board approved fundraisers for FHS Baseball, to sell dippin’ dots at home games; and Middle School Cheer to sponsor a middle school dance.

In the personnel report, a resignation was listed for Tonya Sponseller, Substitute Food Service Assistant and appointments were listed for Kinuko Swift, Special Education Instructional Assistant; Bridgette Ferrell, Special Education Instructional Assistant; Billy Joe James, Substitute Teacher with Emergency Certificate; and Krista James, Classified Instructional Assistant.

Dr. Miller reported she had received three requests from employees to use the Family Medical Leave Act, FMLA days, two employees fo maternity leave and one employee for surgery. Her recommendation to grant the employees FMLA privileges as unpaid FMLA leave after sick days are expended, was approved by the board.

Board member Christy Pettigrew was absent.