Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette Grayson County Schools Superintendent Doug Robinson, right, addresses the Board of Education regarding an initiative to further emphasize reading among elementary school students, as School Board Chair Carolyn Thomason listens to the proposal.

Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette

Grayson County Schools Superintendent Doug Robinson, right, addresses the Board of Education regarding an initiative to further emphasize reading among elementary school students, as School Board Chair Carolyn Thomason listens to the proposal.

Grayson County Schools this year will implement a reading block for students in kindergarten through second grade.

Monica Heavrin, director of special education for Grayson County Schools, presented the plan for a primary reading block during Thursday's Grayson County School Board meeting, and said the goal is to have all students in the district reading at their instructional level by third grade.

The block will be a protected, 45-minute portion of the day that, even if interrupted, will continue at another time in the day. They will focus on foundational reading skills, such as phonics and comprehension. Schools will be given the option of deciding what part of the day the blocks will be held.

According to Heavrin, studies have shown that children who struggle at reading in the third grade will continue to struggle throughout their lives. Students will work in groups, and each child will be given a prescribed unit suited to his or her needs. The schools will also develop bench mark tests to evaluate students' progress.

Grayson County Schools Superintendent Doug Robinson said the district began working on the program around Christmas, when he challenged officials to create a districtwide, unified reading program.

"I wanted to get a block devoted solely to reading," Robinson said.

In other business:

•The board voted to place a school resource officer at Grayson County Middle School. Robinson thanked the city of Leitchfield and Leitchfield Police Chief Bryan Langdon for their partnership in this endeavor. The announcement regarding who will be GCMS SRO has not yet been made.

•The board voted to make teachers eligible to teach during their designated planning period for critical shortage positions and to compensate them for their after-hours planning period based on the per-hour salary as calculated by their rank and experience level.

•Thomason reminded attendees of the meeting that Aug. 8 will be the first day of the 2018-2019 school year for students.

•The board approved the following items with one motion:

A. Changing the number of extended days for assistant principals at Grayson County High School;

B. The mission and vision statement for Profile of a Graduate;

C. The contract with Physical Therapy Solutions, PCS for the 2018-19 school year;

D. The revised contract with Rough River Physical Therapy, PLLC for two years;

E. The Student Discipline Code for the 2018-2019 school year. Grayson County Schools Attorney David Vickery said the code is good and will be set for two years, but he is concerned that the length, 21 pages, will prevent people from reading it. Due to various requirements, however, school district officials say they have been unable to shorten it;

F. Declaring a Vulcan double-stack oven and old lockers at GCMS, as well as five vehicles previously used in the Automotive Technology class, surplus to be sold;

G. A $49,409.86 bid from Scotty's Contracting & Stone, LLC for blacktopping at the GCMS bus loop, walking track, and access road;

H. Papa John's bid for commercial pizza;

I. Creating a full-time bus monitor position for special needs for the 2018-19 school year;

J. Three Clarkson Elementary School fundraisers;

K. Four employee requests for leaves of absence.