School district receives more grant money

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By Jesse Osbourne

Washington County Schools is part of another grant that will help students aim for career and college readiness.

The school board voted to accept $140,000 from the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) Continuous Assessment and Algebraic Thinking: Keys for Career and College Readiness (CAAT) grant during the regular-scheduled meeting on Nov. 21 at Washington County High School.
The grant, which focuses on math professional development throughout the district, begins on Jan. 1.
The grant is a collaboration with the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville, according to information obtained from Robin Cochran, superintendent of Washington County Schools. It will provide teachers with “the content and strategies necessary for them to engineer effective classroom experiences for their students.”
According to Cochran, the grant is renewable for a second year, based on progress in the first year.

Fresh air units
The board voted to pay half of the $13,330 for the additional cost of installing fresh air units at North Washington.
Charlie Wade, with the Davis and Polman, the company that installed the units,  spoke to board members.
Wade said the goal of the units was to get fresh air in the building and to control the humidity.
He said a recent spot test indicated that the units were working well.
North Washington principal Amanda Mattingly said the units have made a huge difference in the feel and smell of the building.
Wade said the project wasn’t without problems, however.
Improper installation by a previous contractor left Wade with an electrical job that was not done by code.
“It shouldn’t have been done that way and it shouldn’t have passed electrical inspection,” he said. “We didn’t catch that. We assumed that it was done correctly, which was wrong.”
Wade said in order for the job to be completed on time, safely and legally, he authorized electrical work to be done properly.
“I authorized that. I do not speak for you, for the board,” he said. “So, this is up to you. If it’s something that you wouldn’t have done, or you don’t feel was fair for you to pay for, you don’t have to. I’m on the hook for it.”
He emphasized that the work done was required to finish the project correctly, legally and safely.
“You’ve got to decide whether it was worth it to you to do that work that way, and whether it’s fair for you to pay it,” he said.
Board member Pat Clements said Wade’s story checked out.
“I want to give you credit for one thing. You came in here and stood up like a man,” he said. “You’re either telling the truth or everybody is telling the same lie. I did research into this and your story is very consistent.”
Clements did want to know why the board hadn’t been notified of the change sooner.
“That’s the real issue here,” Clements said.
“I honestly don’t remember the exact chain of events. Our main concern was to get the job completed,” Wade said. “We did that (communicate) poorly. All I can do is apologize for that.”
When it came time to pay the bills, Clements said he thought the board should pay half of the bill.
“I can’t let him hang the whole bill, but he doesn’t deserve it all because he didn’t get here in time with the change orders,” Clements said.
“He was up front. He was honest and straight forward. He did tell us it was a mistake and he did tell us he was responsible for it,” Patsy Lester, board chair, said.
“He was as good as he could be, other than he’s about 60 days to 90 days late,” Clements said. “I certainly don’t want to set a precedent of anyone thinking that they can do that and expect to be rewarded in total.”
Clements made the motion that the board pay half of the bill, while Curtis Hamilton seconded the motion. The board voted unanimously to pay half of the bill.