Riverside school district receives substantial grant for new transportation

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

During the April 3 monthly meeting the Riverside District School Board recognized the efforts of Megan Priest in the application for the GO RED! grant recently awarded to the district.

"Everyone worked together and I'm so glad to hear that we got it," Priest said.

The grant, offered through the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, will provide $22,410 toward the purchase of a new bus. The district will submit quarterly reports for a few years in order to accumulate data and replace a less environmentally friendly vehicle from district routes.

Leanne Harrell, West Elementary principal, was happy to share news of recognition through the Beating the Odds Award acknowledging the school's achievement in English Language Arts and Science. The award, presented by The University of Arkansas, celebrates the top 20 schools in the state based on test scores.

Brandi Wallace, East Elementary principal, shared family reading night held in March was successful. Over 200 people attended for the Doctor Seuss themed event.

Wallace also shared student excitement surrounding the hatching of chickens through the genius hour program. The experiment provides a tool in teaching the children about life cycle.

High school principal Matt Zeigler presented a video created by students of the East Side Initiative based on the recent edition of wi-fi to Riverside school buses. The video emphasized the benefit of student access to wi-fi. Students will be able complete assignments and contact teachers after school on the way home as well as extended trips and other school related activities.

During the review of the financial report a rise in the water bill was brought to the Board's attention. Superintendent Jeff Priest shared a leak was found and resolved. The bill is expected to return to normal.

Three options for the school year calendar were distributed among staff for vote. The 2017-2018 calendar will remain the same as the 2016-2017 school calendar.

The proposed 2017-2018 special education budget was accepted. Adjustments may be made as needed and will be presented in detail for approval.

The transfer of a student from Riverside to Rivercrest was approved.

A contract with Kid Spot for physical therapy services was renewed.

The Board approved Riverside School District to utilize LEA and speech therapy services through the Crowleys Ridge Co-op. The decision will save a substantial amount of money while providing the same services. In the past the district paid $79,000 for the services. The new plan will cost an estimated $31,000.

The following letters of resignation were heard and accepted by the Board: Leona Curtis, cafeteria worker; and Mitchell Boatman, maintenance/bus driver.

Superintendent Priest informed the Board of arrangements following the retirement of Lisa Black:

*Kim Hurst - from pre-first to sixth grade social studies;

*Spencer Hoffman - from high school AD to elementary AD;

*Danielle Fires - from fourth grade to kindergarten.

The Board hired the following effective the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year:

*Jason Durham - high school assistant principal and athletic director.

*Brandi Wallace - district wide curriculum coordinator, dyslexia specialist and grant writer. The position will be paid from the NSLA fund.

*Erica Rose - gifted and talented instructor on all three campuses.

*Katie Evans - kindergarten through sixth grade special education.

A date has been set for the auction of the old elementary campus in Caraway. The sale will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 27. Like the auction held for the high school, bids will be made by room, rather than individual item. Winning bids will be given one week to clean out the room. The auction will be open to the public for viewing 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, May 26. All proceeds of the auction will go toward relocating the playground area.

The Board was informed of plans for the Troy Case Dinner and Athletic Auction to be held April 24. Ribs and pork steak will be served from 5-6:30 p.m. followed by the auction.

The next Riverside School Board meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 1, on Caraway campus.

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