The Simpson County Board of Education approved the formation of a School Safety Taskforce at their meeting on Thursday, March 15, with Heidi Estes and Nancy Uhls as board representatives.

Parents, students, community, faculty and staff will also be on the task force, which will meet regularly to move forward with safety initiatives. Meeting times were not determined, but Superintendent Jim Flynn suggested early Thursday evenings on weeks without school board sessions.

"There's nothing more important to us than trying to make schools safer, and these recent terrible events have reminded us of that," Flynn said. "This task force will represent a good cross-section of our stakeholders."

In addition, the board approved a resolution in support of Kentucky public education, which also asks legislators to do the same. The action was prompted by the state government's controversial pension reform effort's potential impact on the school system.

"For whatever reason, politically public education has been a hot topic," Flynn said. "We're promoting this resolution to show we support public education, what's best for our students and recognizing the work [employees] do to support students in a time when people are disrespecting our profession."

The board also approved the 2018-19 school calendar, which sets the first day of classes for Wednesday, Aug. 8 and the last day of classes for Monday, May 20.

"We have a lot of good standards in our calendar year-to-year and the community seems to be happy," Director of Pupil Personnel Joey Kilburn said.

The remaining items on the agenda were approved as well, including emergency certification of several substitute teachers to fill a demand.

Students from FSHS's African-American History Club also presented an overview of their activities throughout Black History Month, and temporary president Sally Maloney of the Kentucky Association for Gifted Education (KAGE) Simpson County spoke about the new organization, which was established in the fall.

The Simpson County Board of Education's next regular meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 19 at 6 p.m.

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