BIC Board talks technology upgrades

Tuesday, March 25, 2014
The Buffalo Island Central School recognized student Greydon Williams (left) and teacher Tracey Yates.

Buffalo Island Central School Board approved a proposal to update its phone systems to eliminate long distance calls between the district's two campuses.

During its regular meeting Tuesday, March 18, the BIC board heard from technology director, Brandon Jones, who told the board before filling out erate grants this year he would like to see the district switch its phone service. Jones said right now the district pays about $1,100 to $1,200 a month for its phone system mainly because of all the long distance calls between Leachville and Monette. He said the district has to follow the guidelines set by the erate grant and to do that the district needs to update its phone system.

"I would like to see us go to voice over ip phones, which will eliminate long distance," Jones said. "It will also allow us to have a fax line at each campus, the nurses will have a phone and we will save money. I recommend we go with Ritter."

The switch from Centurylink to Ritter with the upgraded system will drop the district's bill down to about $749. Jones will also have its server hub at the Monette campus and will be able to go from eight servers down to two. The board unanimously approved the switch.

Laura McFarlin, with the district, reviewed with the board the 2012-2013 school audit. She said over all the audit went well with just one reportable finding. She explained there was a name left off a time sheet in food service and that has been corrected. She went through the other minor findings and assured the board the district is taking every measure to correct those.

Teacher Tracey Yates was at the board meeting to recognize student Greydon Williams for his second national journalism award this year for his photography. The board applauded Williams and thanked Yates for her work for the district.

During the financial reports BIC Superintendent Gaylon Taylor explained that gate receipts for this year's basketball games broke even. He explained the account started with $1,000 and ended with $1,000. He said out of that fund supplies such as uniforms and gate keepers pay were taken out. Taylor said there was $15,000 in supplies purchased out of the fund. The concession stand fund started with $16,744 and ended with $38,000. The cost of concession supplies and workers pay was also taken out of that fund as well.

"We have the best concession stand of any where I've been," Todd Edwards, board president, said. "It is hands down the best."

In other business the board accepted the proposed 2014-2015 school calendar with one addendum. The calendar included five snow days but to avoid losing spring break or adding several days at the end of the school year, Taylor asked the calendar be approved with the addendum that any snow days past the five built in would be made up on Saturdays. He said this would allow parents, churches and other organizations to make spring break plans and will help assure that school ends on the set date.

The board also accepted the resignation of testing coordinator Lynn Smith before going into executive session to discuss personnel. Upon returning to open session the board unanimously approved renewing the contracts of certified personnel as listed.

Superintendent Taylor told the board that he along with the district's engineers and construction manager met with the mayors of Leachville and Monette to see if either or both cities could handle the sewer flow from the proposed new school, which would be located on the new four lane Highway 18. He said Leachville's system could handle the flow and Monette is looking into the matter further.

The board also approved raising the lunchroom supervisor's pay by $700 to make it a competitive salary. Taylor also told the board that the BIC Cheerleaders will be a competitive squad next year instead of just spirit leaders. He said through competition the cheerleaders gain leadership skills and pride in their sport. The board also passed a motion to allow Taylor to get bids on possibly outsourcing the district's janitorial services. Taylor said the district would keep two of its six custodians on staff while the others if the service is outsourced would be offered jobs with company that gets the contract. The board will review bids for the service at its next meeting and discuss if it is feasible to outsource. Before adjourning the board passed a motion to allow the BIC district to drop out of the special education cooperative it is in and go to the Crowley's Ridge Cooperative.

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