Piggott School Board Meets

Thursday, March 28, 2019

After several delays due to illness, members of the Piggott School Board gathered for their regular meeting Thursday, March 21.

The board had previously discussed adding bereavement days for the classified employees as well as some of the certified faculty. After sending it to the personnel policy committee to be looked over and voted on, the committee unanimously voted to seek board approval. The bereavement days policy states that an employee will receive two bereavement days per death of an immediate family member, including parents and grandparents on any side. The board unanimously approved the policy, and to sent it back to the committee for a final vote.

Furthermore, the board again discussed additional pay for National Board Certified teachers. Previously, they discussed a one-time payment of $500, and then sent the proposal to the personnel policy committee. After review, the committee approved the premise, but requested it be a one-time payment of $1,000. This item was then tabled until after the discussion of salary schedules which was held during an executive session. Afterward, Superintendent Barry DeHart recommended the additional pay stay at a one-time $500 payment, and all members approved.

Board members also discussed bids on chrome books and charging carts to replace those used in the fifth grade. Though the chrome books still function, they are only good for a certain number of years and after that, there is no guarantee the school will be able to run their testing software. In seeking their replacements, the low bid came from CDWG at $27,078 for three charging cards and 84 chrome books. DeHart noted these will be good until about 2025.

The board unanimously approved of the bid, with the money coming from the NSLA account.

In discussing items for the FFA auction, the board reviewed the items to be sold, which included a 17-year-old bus, a 20-year-old bus, a Ford truck and the band truck. After some discussion, the board agreed to keep the Ford truck, but to sell both buses and the band truck. It was also noted, the proceeds from the sale of the band truck will go to the band boosters, as they funded the purchase.

After almost two hours in executive session, the board reconvened and unanimously approved to rehire all certified elementary and high school teachers, though no assignments were made. Moreover, the board accepted the resignation of Matthew Click from the maintenance staff. They also unanimously agreed to hire Josh Moore as a cafeteria worker for the 2019-2020 school year.

Members also discussed a contract for a therapy provider for the 2019-2020 school year. They unanimously agreed to continue using NEA out of Jonesboro, with the price not changing from last year.

Also, the board unanimously accepted Health Special Risk, Inc. as their student insurance for the 2019-2020 school year at the same price as the previous year.

The board also briefly discussed the licensed and classified salary schedules for the 2019-2020 school year, and unanimously voted to send it to the committee to review and put to a vote.

In his superintendent's updates, DeHart explained a few items the legislature is considering. One of which is that the excess food from the cafeteria may be served throughout the day, free, and sent home with kids. Another is using 40 minutes of instructional time for recess. One item that was passed by lawmakers stipulated that if 15 students requested a history of the Bible class, the school as required to provide it. DeHart also reported the junior senior prom will be held April 12. It was also reported there will be a guest speaker at the schools on two different days. The first day will be May 7, held at night for the parents. On May 8, there will be two different times covering grades K-8 and 9-12. The guest speaker will talk about dangers of being online and sharing your personal information online, as well other pressing topics.

The board also unanimously agreed for the annual school board election polling site to be at the Piggott Community Center on May 21.

Additionally, the board unanimously approved the reading of minutes from the previous meeting, the financial reports and the APEX learning system license renewal.

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