School board opts for new voluntary benefit provider

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By Jesse Osbourne


The Washington County Schools school board voted to go with the Ash Group voluntary benefit provider for the upcoming year over previous-carrier American Fidelity.

Finance Director Judy Spalding told board members on Sept. 17 in the regular scheduled meeting that four companies were solicited for bids, but the most comparable companies were American Fidelity and Ash Group.
In her presentation, Spalding showed that Ash Group could provide the same or better health insurance for less money than American Fidelity.
Spalding said on Monday via phone that school employees would receive a brochure during the last payroll in October with information on plan costs.
Employees will have the opportunity to remain with American Fidelity, but they would be billed directly. Spalding also said a representative with the previous carrier could be available at the school for employees if necessary.
Spalding said she talked to school officials in the Oldham County school system about Ash Group.
She was told that there were few problems with the company and that any issue that occurred was resolved quickly. Oldham County has used Ash Group for three years, she said.
Open enrollment, Spalding said, will occur in mid November.
The board voted unanimously to go with Ash Group. Board member Nora Hatton was absent.

Chad Willis, director of pupil personnel for Washington County Schools, discussed enrollment and attendance for the first month of school at the meeting.
Willis said the district is down 12 students from the beginning of last school year, but up eight students from the end of last year.
He said he was very pleased with the first-month attendance.
Washington County Elementary School had the highest attendance at 97.59 percent. Washington County Middle School was second at 97.38 percent and North Washington was at 97.27 percent. Washington County High School attendance for the first month was 94.75 percent. Overall attendance in the district was 96.48 percent.
Willis said the grade with the highest attendance in the district was the sixth grade at North Washington, which was 98.68 percent for the month.
The fourth grade at Washington County Elementary School was in second with 98.38 percent.
Willis added that the freshman at Washington County High School had good attendance, as well.
The next regular scheduled meeting is Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. at Washington County Elementary School.