Despite a mild winter, students in the Whitley County school district won’t be finishing classes this school year until late May.
Whitley County Deputy Superintendent Paula Trickett told the Whitley County Board of Education during its monthly meeting Thursday that the district has missed a total of 14 instructional days this school year.
The district missed one day early in the school year due to the state high school volleyball tournament. In addition, the district missed three days due to weather and 11 due to illness.
“Hopefully we are finished with having to miss school,” Trickett said.
The last day for students is now slated to be Tuesday, May 30.
Whitley County High School graduation is scheduled for Saturday, May 27.
“The seniors will have come back on the 30th to pick up their diplomas. Barring some unforeseen occurrence, that is how we will close out the year,” she added.
In other business, Thursday, the board:
• Approved a bid from Robert’s Insurance Agency to provide student athlete accident insurance for the 2017-2018 school year at a rate of $42,000. Trickett noted that next year’s rate went down about $12,000 compared to the current school year.
• Approved a bid from Cornell and Hignite for fleet, property and liability insurance at a rate of $558,453 for the 2017-2018 school year. Trickett noted this is a decrease of about $16,000 compared to the current school year.
• Met in executive session for 31 minutes to discuss pending litigation but took no formal action.
Currently there is only one lawsuit pending against the school district.
On March 22, 2016, the parents of a 10-year-old boy, who was run over by a school bus when he got off the bus in 2015, filed suit against the school district, the bus driver, the school board, and numerous school district administrators and employees.
On March 23, 2015, Jonathan Austin Chatham was riding Whitley County school bus #993 home from school when he got off the 1999 International school bus with three other children on Highway 779.
“The victim, Jonathan Chatham, age 10, had just exited the bus, but had not cleared the bus when it began to pull out,” Kentucky State Police Trooper Craig Reed, who is an accident reconstructionist, wrote in the narrative for the traffic collision report. “The juvenile went under the bus tires on the right side of the bus.”
The collision report lists “none detected” under vehicular factors, but notes two human factors, “failed to yield right of way” and “inattention.”