School Board Meetings Approve Steps Toward New Projects

By JESSIE SMITH
LR News City Editor

Ashdown Public Schools

The Ashdown Public Schools Board of Education met on Sept. 9 for its regular meeting at the Administrative Office Building. Superintendent Casey Nichols relayed an overview of school district activities, including a successful Grandparents Day and Homecoming bonfire.

He said the current school district enrollment is 1,414 students, compared to 1,375 students last year. The school board carried motions to pay $53,708.95 to CR Crawford and $11,543.16 to Architecture Plus for the Ashdown Junior High project.

The school board also paid $18,292 to Health Special Risk Inc. for TPA fees, $25,674 to Cossatot Community College for a career coach and $58,913.32 to White River for Chromebooks. The board approved the purchase of a SpEd bus for $63,307.

Nichols asked the board to approve the Classified Employee Background Check Plan, changes to board policies 3.1 Licensed Personnel Salary and 8.1 Classified Personnel Salary, updates to the Minority Teacher and Administrator Recruitment Plan, the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Statement of Assurances and the ADE ESEA Superintendent Certification Form, the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Prevent Youth Coalition, the Extracurricular Code of Conduct, Financial Disclosures and the Conflict of Interest Resolution.

To all of these recommendations, the board made a motion to accept and then carried the motion. Nichols also asked the board to approve the financial reports for the 2018-19 school year, the budget for the 2019-20 school year and the list of salary increases above 5 percent, and the board approved.

Two personnel changes were made before the meeting was adjourned at 6:35 p.m. Four teachers will receive SpEd Critical Shortage stipends, and Ed Williams is retroactively moving to the role of assistant principal at Ashdown Junior High as of July 1, 2019.

Foreman Public Schools

The Foreman Public Schools Board of Education met on Sept. 24 for its regular meeting. Jake Stone, high school teacher, issued Gator Success certificates to Colton Broomfield, Kaden Segraves and Carley Klitz for their performance at the Little River County Fair.

Pam Smiley, elementary principal, followed with her report on Constitution Week and the Parent Engagement Plan. Chris Scarborough, high school principal, reported on the success of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s visit and upcoming ASVAB and PSAT exams.

Superintendent Pat Tankersley reported the current enrollment at 497 students, 261 at the elementary and 236 at the high school. Tankersley recommended to the board that the school open a bank account at Diamond State Bank for the construction of the new high school.

Board President Shane Mears and Tankersley will be the signers of the checking account, and Tankersley will be the ex-officio financial officer of the account. Since the board did not receive any bids on the buses 58-2-5 and 58-2-6, one will be donated to Domtar and the other scrapped.

The board approved moving $752,463 from the building fund to the general operating fund in order to purchase a $250,000 loan for three new buses. The amount also accounts for $82,463.83 from Ash Grove Cement Plant PILT paid early and $419,999.17 from Ash Grove Cement Plant current taxes paid early.

Tankersley asked the board for approval on the following items: the Minority Teacher and Administrator Recruitment Plan for the 2019-2020 school year, the amended salary schedule, the School District Wellness Policy, the Statement of Assurance, the Assurance for Programs Under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, the Related Party Resolution, and the August minutes and financial reports.

The board unanimously passed all the motions. Tankersley presented the 2018-19 Annual Financial Report and the 2019-20 Budget, and the board approved both. The school board hired Richard Keaton and Calvin Compton for maintenance during the 2019-20 school year.

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