The Buffalo Island School Board met on March 19 in the superintendent's office to renew employee contracts, secure summer program staffing, accept six retirements, and approve student transfers.
After an hour-long executive session to consider hiring and personnel matters, the board approved contracts and summer program staffing.
All certified and classified contracts were renewed, of employees requesting renewal, with two exceptions. These exceptions included all Special Needs Assistants (to be used as needed), and bus route drivers (administration is looking at combining routes).
East campus summer program staff will include Johnnye Wallace, kindergarten; Faith Rolland, first grade; Amber Crabtree, second grade; Debbie King, third grade; Lisa Turner, fourth grade; Rose Mary Clester, fifth grade; and Jamie Ibanez, migrant class.
West campus staff included Tina Fowler, kindergarten; Patricia Duffel, first grade; Terri Cobb, second grade; Regina Welch, third grade; Terrie Selby, fourth grade; Stacey Qualls, fifth grade; and Phyllis Moxley, migrant class. Erin Clay will teach Speech a half day each at the East and West campuses. Karen McClelland will teach literacy a half day at both campuses.
Six resignations were accepted by the board. They were Shirley Cato, East Elementary principal; Jewel Rolland, food service director; Rickey Copeland, West Elementary science; Ann Wells, West Elementary; Gary Holliman, P.E., health and assistant boys basketball coach; and Kima Stewart, cheerleading sponsor.
Two student transfers were approved. They were Troy Matthews, from Manila to BIC, and Blake Miller from BIC to Manila.
Superintendent George Edd Holland asked the board to consider the possibility of his taking advantage of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement plan allowing full retirement, with a 30-day separation period from the job, and rehiring at full pay. After July 1, 2009, Arkansas Senate Bill 165 will extend the separation period to six months.
"April would be a good month for me to do this," Holland said. "This would enable me to draw full retirement and full salary at the same time. Teacher Lynn Smith did this some time back. The school will not lose anything on the deal. I have several recommendations for people who can serve as superintendent in my absence, but the choice is up to you."
"I think we need to also check and see if any other teachers can benefit by this plan," said board member Todd Edwards.
No decision was made on Holland's request.
The board discussed potential installation of a canopy in front of the junior high school and renovation of the main bathrooms using building funds of $27,536. Plans have not been finalized.
"The students need coat racks at the junior high also," said board member Nathan Sanders. "They currently have to toss their coats in piles."
"This has been a problem for some time, as nothing seems to hold to the wall surface," Holland said. "We can look again at any possibilities."
Benches for the softball park were discussed, and whether to construct them in-house or purchase them from a dealer. No decision was made.
Thirty-six bulbs have been ordered for the softball field for a discounted rate of under $7,000.
A new paragraph was added to the student handbook concerning substitutions/alternatives for non-disabled students menu substitutions for students with disabilities only. The paragraph requires a certification form of disability for special dietary needs signed by a licensed physician. The school does not prepare special menus based on any family's religious or personal health beliefs. If the family's preferences are not met by the school menu then the parents should assume the responsibility of preparing the child's meals.
The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be 7 p.m. Monday, April 13, in the superintendent's office on the Monette campus.