Rector School Board Okays FFA Land Purchase

Thursday, January 18, 2018

In an abbreviated Rector School Board meeting held Monday Jan 15, one of the agenda items receiving attention was approval for Superintendent Johnny Fowler to proceed in signing the lease agreement with the City of Rector. The agreement would be regarding 40 acres near the city shop to be used for FFA programming. School board member, and attorney, Mike Trail examined the lease and found it to be standard. It was noted, one typographical error regarding insurance value will be changed prior to receiving Fowler’s signature.

In addition, the board approved installation of a security system for Rector Elementary School, a system similar to the one implemented at Rector’s Pre-School. At the pre-school building, the only point of entry is monitored by a camera, and admittance is allowed by buzzing in to the office for approval. Board chairman Jody Simmons, stated how pleased he was to be able to secure entrances at the elementary school to give peace of mind to teachers and parents. In addition, the RES main entrance will be locked as students begin the school day, monitored by a camera, with entrance allowed only by the office. The doors in the breezeway and end doors will also have security measures installed. With the new system, teachers will have key cards to access locked doors they use during recess.

The $14,000 system will be installed by ASI Security Systems, Inc. from Paragould.

The superintendent’s financial report was approved. Operating fund balance is $1,836,389.25. The building fund balance is $1,090,000.00. The all fund balance, which includes federal funds and lunchroom funds, is $2,854,223.95.

Anthony Dowdy, elementary principal, informed the board a new level of testing through the Renaissance program included K-2. He commended the teachers and counselor Wyess for their work with these young children. The purpose of the testing is to monitor progress and determine an action plan for students whose progress indicate gaps in learning. He also stated that the Lego Team would attend the State Competition in Little Rock over the weekend, Jan 19 and 20. Many parents and several teachers will accompany the group.

Nate Henderson, high school principal, reminded the board of the Alternate Method of Instruction (AMI) policy which was approved by the State Department of Education. Learning packets are sent home and are to be completed when students return to school from inclement weather days. Teachers are also available through email on these AMI days. These days do not count against the school in the mandatory number of attendance days, but each district is only alloted five.

“Our Rector system is in good shape to maintain the school calendar as approved at the beginning of the school year,” Henderson noted.

Parents, teachers, students and all employees may utilize three methods regarding school closings – social media, mainstream media such as radio stations and KAIT, and the phone notification system called School Reach.

Before the board adjourned, Board president Jody Simmons gave accolades to both Rector Helping Hands Foundation and the Rector High School Sports Hall of Fame organization for additional assistance in meeting needs of teachers and students and in supplying equipment for the multi-purpose room, the indoor physical education room and equipment for multiple sports.

Later in the business meeting, the board voted unanimously to extend Superintendent Johnny Fowler’s contract, as he is slated to serve the district at least the next three school years.

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