Board discusses re-entry options, sets new start date, and hears updates on construction projects

Knox County Board of Education

The Knox County Board of Education met on Monday evening, August 17, 2020 at the Board of Education Annex in Barbourville. The meeting was be limited to a maximum of ten (10) people, including school board members and staff, pursuant to the Coronavirus Guidelines of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control; the 03/12/2020 Meeting Protocols for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) issued by the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet, KRS 61.810(1)(k), KRS 61.826, OAG 20-05 and SB 150. Also, this meeting is archived online and available for viewing at and in this news post below.

Communication Items

Scott Noel with Summitt Engineering provided an update on the tennis court project for Knox Central High School on Lay Elementary property. Noel reported that concerns regarding equipment on Lay blacktop were causing problems was resolved. He commended the work that has been made on the project so far.

Highlights of Action Items

Kevin Parsons, Chief Information Officer, provided an update on the district’s cybersecurity health. Required by KDE, the annual report is to share that the district is in compliance with all requirements for the network including filtering of Internet browsing. He also shared that the Chromebooks that will be deployed will be able to be controlled from the district with filters in place, even with them using it at home.

In the area of facilities, a pay application (number two) for the tennis court project. Noel and Superintendent Sprinkles also discussed issuing BG-1 for a new gym floor and bleacher replacement at Lay Elementary. The floor has become damaged and in bad condition in the past year, requiring maintenance or replacement. It was also discussed that the bleacher system in the gymnasium was past its lifespan and was in need of replacement. Noel and Sprinkles said that the best time to replace would be while the floor was being installed. The Board approved the initial BG-1 applications for both and hired Summitt Engineering to assist with the project.

The district after discussion amended the school district calendar with students reporting on the Tuesday after Labor Day, September 8, 2020. Since teachers and other 185/186 day contract staff have been working with the August 24 date previously set, their work is now on pause until August 31. During the week of August 31, each school will conduct an open house, enrollment type event where students will meet teachers and learn about the Google Classroom. For those who need a device, a Chromebook will be issued and guidelines for use will be shared.

The employee dress code was amended for one year only due to COVID-19 and the amount of cleaning that will be required in classrooms. In addition to the appropriate dress code listed in the employee handbook, the following attire will be permissible for the year: medical quality scrubs; jeans without holes, tears, or other distressed elements; t-shirts and casual tops that represent the school, the district, the education profession, a college, or a university; masks that covers the lower face including nose and mouth to the chin; and protective shields in addition to a mask.

The Board issued a resolution to adopt 702 KAR 1:190 for emergency leave due to COVID-19. The leave suspends the requirements of KRS 161.152(2) and local Board policy for 2020-2021 on the number of emergency days and their use.

Memorandum of agreements with Corbin Independent and Bell County Schools for hearing impaired services. Due to the low numbers of all three districts, Knox, Corbin, and Bell share services of that employee.

The Board also approved a renewal of the Talent Ed software for job postings, applications, and contracts.

The motor vehicle and watercraft property tax rate for 2021 was set at 50.2 cents per $100 of assessed value. This is the same rate that was for 2020.

Minutes of all action at the August 17 meeting will be available after approval at the September 28 meeting.


A copy of the agenda is available as a PDF download.