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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Fort Thomas Independent Opens Up Enrollment for Out-Of-District Students

FTM file. 
In the fall of 2012, the Fort Thomas Independent School District announced it had to stop taking out-of-district students because it was full, but FTIS Superintendent Dr. Gene Kirchner said the district will started taking out-of-district students, although that deadline is now passed for 2015-2016. Assistant Superintendent for Student Services, Jon Stratton, told FTM that parents are welcome to apple for 2016-2017 or add their child to the waiting list.

The district has a few spots open spread throughout the 13 grade levels depending on the space. The district recently accepted some Kindergarten students to fulfill the demand for a fifth all-day Kindergarten class next year.

The district has a waiting list for out-of-district students who want to attend FTIS. Kirschner said that list includes students of FTIS teachers who live outside the district. Sons and daughters of teachers do receive priority on the waiting lists. The teachers only have to pay half the regular out-of-district $5,400 tuition to attend FTIS.

Previously they the district have been accepting applications for tuition the past few years in grades where they have openings, including this past year and have placed students who were accepted.

Policy updates for next year:

The policy presented at the board meeting Monday night regarding  taking pictures of students by staff was a recommended policy change sent to the district by the policy writing team of the Kentucky School Board Association (KSBA). FTM had previously reported this change was imminent. The Board will have the option to discuss, accept or reject the recommended policy change completely. FTM regrets this error. 

Assistant Superintendent Jon Stratton announced a recommend change to the policy of teachers and staff using personal devices such as cell phones and I-Pads to take pictures of students without prior permission at the school. The only exception is public events like football games.

Stratton said the reason for the change is pictures on personal devices often violate a student's privacy and confidentiality. Some people take pictures and post them on social media such as Twitter and Facebook within a matter of minutes.

 FTIS Board President Karen Allen asked Stratton if there would be a student policy on this as well. But Stratton said there will not be one for students.

Lunch fee increases:

Stratton also announced there will be a 25 cent increase in student lunches next year to make sure the district reaches a break-even budget-wise. Lunches will cost $3 for students at elementary schools and $3.25 at the secondary schools. Adult lunches will be $3.75.

FTM will do a recap of the school lunch program next week.

Project updates:

The school board also approved the next renovation payments for the Highlands High School Phase 4 projects including the gym and field turf in addition to the Moyer Elementary Renovation.

Moyer will not have a flat roof because board member Brad Fennell pointed out that once flat roofs leak, school districts spend a lot of money repairing them.

Other items:

The school board also approved the textbook/instructional resource purchasing plans, salary schedules, payroll dates and a MacBook Service. The textbooks, which will mostly be digital, will cost the district $354,505.50.

Championship Recognition:

The school board recognized the Highlands boys and girls track team individual state champions including Rosemanie Long in the Triple Jump and the titles of runners like Alex Veneman and Ethan Shuley. Three other students in David Ketcham, Noah Moore and Katie Wilson received recognition for Journalism, Spanish and Letters about Literature crowns.

Later in the meeting, the board announced that Stratton will be inducted into the Pikeville High Hall of Fame. He served as head softball coach there.

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