Three elementary parents attended the Buffalo Island Central School Board meeting Nov. 8 in the junior high library in Leachville to ask the board to reconsider a board policy forbidding third grade students from participating in elementary basketball. Parents included Mike Metheny, Janice Wheeler, and Jamie Strickland.
The board entered into a lengthy discussion about the request.
"The board set policy a long time ago that third graders not be allowed to play on fourth grade teams," BIC Superintendent George Edd Holland said. "Both elementary principals (Kima Stewart and Mari Hayden) want to leave it as it is."
"There were only six fourth grade players that came out for the team this year," Metheny said. "It is hard for them to survive as a team with only six players."
"The board has the power to change the existing rule if they want to," Holland said.
Holland reviewed different policies at area schools, to help the board with their decision.
"I had rather see the third graders move up to play with the fourth graders than for the fourth graders move up to the fifth grade team," Wheeler said.
"If we amend this it should only be because of numbers," director Allen Dewitt said. "Six players won't have a chance."
Holland said girl players and cheerleaders should be notified of any changes.
"This should be an athletic director decision," board member Dale Wells said.
"This could mean having tryouts in the future to fill a number quota to make the team," said Dewitt. "If we combine the teams, it could mean the possibility of athird grader being a starter on the team. This year it is just a number thing, not a grade thing."
"I'm against any tryouts for third grade ball players," director Nathan Sanders said. "We need to be encouraging all the players to play ball."
"We don't have to have tryouts, just invite all the third graders to play," director John Field said.
"I don't mind having to deal with this issue every year," Sanders said. "It won't take us over five minutes to make the decision."
"There are five third graders coming out regularly," Metheny said. "We have already practiced this week, but can invite the rest of them for the next practice, if they want to play."
The board voted to allow third grade students to participate on fourth grade squads when there are less than eight members signed up for fourth grade basketball and cheerleading squads and to also allow fourth and fifth grade to move up when there are less than eight members on a squad.
The board voted to renew the district's Errors and Omissions Liability coverage with Gallagher and Company.
Transfers were approved for Marshall Hilliard, 17, to Riverside and Brandi Sipes, 14, to Manila.
Directors voted to adopt a resolution for Pre-Disaster Mitigation Resolution Planning, allowing Holland to serve as school representative to committee meetings.
Bids were reviewed for the purchase of 20 remediation lab computers in the west gymnasium. Bids included Optus for $907, NCA for $975, Computer Terminal for $967, and Millennium 3 for $775. The board voted to purchase the computers from Millennium 3 for $775 each.
Board member Gordon Miller was chosen as a delegate to the Annual Arkansas School Board Association Conference in Little Rock, Nov, 30-Dec. 2.
Bids for banking services for Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2005 were reviewed, and included Liberty Bank at 2.52% and Southern Bank of Commerce at 3.105%. The board voted to continue with service at Southern Bank of Commerce in Leachville.
A discussion was held concerning the placement of boards, plaques, memorabilia, etc. in the new gymnasium.
Holland reported that he had asked a committee of people to look at the gymnasium and make suggestions as to what to do with awards and recognition. Members selected for Holland's Athletic Committee included Bill Taylor, Mike Kinard, Kima Stewart, Homer Craig, Tracey Routon, Renee Uthoff, Alesha Rolland and Diane Golden.
"Committee members have considered the size of a display rack, a possible wall of honor, recipients of memorial awards, and a display flag pole out front," Holland said. "There is damage to the old boards and pictures, and they are two different sizes. They will have to be reframed. Another decision is where to put them. Something more should be done with the state winning teams."
"If the state winning boards are replaced by banners, we need everything on the boards to be on the banners, even names," director Field said.
"The state champs need to be honored in a special way," director Terry Edwards said.
"Let's let Bill Taylor do something on this," director Bill Misner said. "This is what we pay him for. We gave him the job and title to take care of things like this. I think he would do a good job, and he has a lot of good ideas."
"I trust his (Taylor) judgment, but he should bring the ideas back to the board," Field said.
"We have got to give this man (Taylor) the freedom to do his job as athletic director," Misner said.
"If I have a man do a job for me, I want it done the way I want it done," Dewitt said. "I don't think this is asking too much."
"In all fairness we should ask Coach Taylor to come back to us next month with suggestions," Misner said.
"Everyone involved wants this to be nice and something we can be proud of," Holland said. "I think all of them have our best interest at heart."
After the discussion the board authorized Holland, the athletic director, and committee members to make all necessary decisions to complete furnishing the gymnasium.
The board went into executive session at 8:28 to consider the reassignments of school personnel. The board reconvened in open session at 8:58 p.m. and authorized Sup Holland to make all reassignments necessary to meet current accreditation requirements.
At the close of the meeting, the board voted to bar Todd Ashabranner, of Monette, from the BIC school campuses and from all activities held on these campuses for the remainder of the 2004-2005 school year.
In administration reports, Holland reported that funds were being held in the greenhouse fund, awaiting future construction of the proposed structure on the Monette campus.
The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be on Dec. 13, beginning at 7 p.m., in the Superintendent's office on the Monette campus.