Lawrence school board to consider absorbing early childhood program

Lawrence Public Schools district offices, 110 McDonald Drive.

The Lawrence school board will consider Monday taking control of a countywide early childhood program.

On the agenda for its meeting is a request from the board of Tiny-k Early Intervention Services that the school district assume control of the program. Tiny-k provides in-home programming for children with disabilities from birth to 3 years of age.

When presented with the request earlier this month, the board asked for a detailed breakdown of Tiny-k’s expenses. A report provided to the board on current year expenses and revenues shows that state funding, federal grants and Medicaid payments offset the program’s $591,000 in expenses.

In a report to the board, Kevin Harrell, district executive director of student support and special education, wrote that absorbing the program at its current level of staffing of eight full-time employees and one quarter-time employee would require no additional district taxpayer support. Harrell recommends the board approve absorbing the program, which serves more than 100 children in the Lawrence school district and about 10 in the rest of the county.

Harrell will also present the board a report on the postgraduate transitional services the district continues to provide special education students to the age of 21. Transitional services help students with academic and vocational education needs, independent living skills, acquiring community-based services or other special needs based on the student’s individualized education program.

As part of that report, the board will consider Harrell’s recommendation that it approve a $402,945 bid from Benchmark Construction for upgrades for East Heights Elementary School to accommodate the Community Transition Program.

The board also will receive a list of high school course additions and deletions from Assistant Superintendent Jerri Kemble; Rick Henry, director of high school support; Free State High School Principal Myron Graber; Lawrence High School Principal Matthew Brungardt; and Lawrence College and Career Center Principal Patrick Kelly.

The board will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at district offices, 110 McDonald Drive.