Dawson Springs Elementary Principal Jennifer Ward (left) delivers her report for November at Monday’s meeting of the Dawson Springs Board of Education as board member Jenny Bruce listens. Ward was chosen by the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative to serve in its Leadership Program which is in its pilot year.

Traditionally, the Dawson Springs Board of Education starts each monthly update with reports from the district’s two principals. Monday evening’s meeting was no exception.

In her report, Elementary Principal Jennifer Ward detailed the professional development sessions math teachers in her building are currently taking part in.

“Christa Lemily, with WKEC, came and worked with Misty Gilbert last week,” she said. “She met with Barbara P’Poole and Michelle Abbott during their planning times and will return again in December.”

Lemily, the daughter of Joe and Brenda Gamblin and a 1996 graduate of Dawson Springs High School, is a Math Learning Acceleration Specialist with the Western Kentucky Educational Cooperative.

The district’s schools are also members of the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative, or GRREC. Ward was selected to participate in the GRREC Leadership Program, which is in its pilot phase.

“We meet once monthly,” said Ward. “The Leadership Pilot Program is moving forward.”

Ward also announced that the Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) will be hosting a glow dance on Friday for students in grades 5-8.

“This dance is replacing Fun Night for those students this year,” she said. “This is what they voted for, and they are very excited.” The dance will be held in the multi-purpose room from 6 to 9 p.m.

In his address, Todd Marshall, principal of the Jr./Sr. High School, spoke of recent extra-curricular activities.

“The fall festival was a huge success, window painting was a huge success, and the Junior Beta Induction went very well,” said Marshall. “We inducted our seventh and eighth grade students, with the (Senior) Beta Induction to be held on the 17th.”

Chief Academic Officer Larry Cavanah gave Board members a glimpse of what achievement testing may be like in the Commonwealth at the end of the current school year.

“As things stand now, there will not be any flexibility from the federal level for the spring testing,” he said. “The Kentucky Department of Education is working for a shorter test than what we have previously experienced.”

“It is hoped that the individual areas will incorporate a 90-minute test compared to the previous 120-minute test,” said Cavanah.

Superintendent Leonard Whalen informed the Board on the latest from the Hopkins County Health Department in its battle against COVID-19.

“Information from the Health Department will be distributed in the next few days regarding COVID-19 vaccination now being available to students ages 5-11,” he said. “The vaccinations will be available to students in the school health clinic. A parental consent or authorization form must be completed before a student would be able to be vaccinated.”

In other news, the Board voted unanimously to use Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to add a full-time elementary teacher for the remainder of the school year. The additional teacher will be employed as a learning recovery specialist. The position was posted on Tuesday, and the educator hired will begin to fulfill duties Jan. 4. The contract will end upon completion of the 2021-22 school year.