BIC school board receives reports

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Buffalo Island Central School Board met last week to hear a report from Marshall Hughes concerning a parameters resolution for the board. They also heard a building report for both new facilities and a report from high school principal Randy Rose.

Hughes told the board they had discussed doing a lease purchase financing for the energy management parts of the new buildings and a new school bus. For this process to occur the school must hold a bidding process.

This bidding process was put out earlier this month, however, no bids were made. Hughes contacted the banks this process was sent to and stated the general response was that interest rates are starting to go up and no one wanted to get locked in on a project that big.

Hughes brought a parameters resolution to the board, which stated the district has decided it would like to do the financing and the board will do the financing as long as it meets certain parameters including it will be no more than $726,000 and the interest rate will not exceed 4.9 percent.

“If we do it this way the board has already taken action. You’ve already approved the resolution to do it, once we get someone in place we can just email Mr. Taylor (superintendent) and get him to sign everything and email them back to us,” Hughes said.

Superintendent Gaylon Taylor inquired about reaching out to local banks to which Hughes said that wouldn’t be a problem and they could certainly try. He did add he believed Bear State Bank had already been contacted. The board adopted the parameters resolution presented by Hughes.

The board also received a construction report for both buildings. The building came in on time at Monette so construction remains on schedule. Steel and block work are currently being done. Currently the board is looking into how to allow students to walk through the site.

Randy Rose, high school principal, and other administrative staff have been working on a new master schedule for the high school and junior high. Currently the school has an eight period day, which was brought into affect whenever online Spanish classes became available through Distance Learning Center. When these courses were added the school had to accommodate for DLC to fit into the schedule. Now the Spanish classes no longer require a set time so the school is trying to change the day back to seven periods.

This new schedule has the potential to allow students to make vastly different choices in how they take their courses and what order they take them in, as well as allowing seniors the possibility of taking college courses.

Rose also discussed his belief that homework should be phased out of the high school and junior high levels. Rose told the board he believes homework is unnecessary and students can learn in a better way. Rose said the school has a higher percentage of students that work than any point and surely the district is smart enough to teach without the use of homework.

“Most of my staff has bought into that," Rose said. "We’ve got a few that at some point, and I try to wear them down, its my math folks that still think you’ve got to have math homework and I say ‘you know they are cheating on that math homework,’ and they will say ‘but it keeps their grade up,’ and I’ll say ‘but it is an inflated grade if they are cheating'."

In other business the board:

*voted to hold school elections in the month of May.

*decided to go with the state's change that any projects over $20,000 would receive bids, previously the state mandated the limit to be $10,000. The board did say they would still take bids on anything above $10,000 because they believe it would be a safer process.

*decided they would look into having senior high graduation on a Saturday, unless the students elected to have a baccalaureate service, in which the graduation would be held on the following Monday.

*approved the bid of $18,083.25 to paint the exterior of the MAC. The price includes power washing, sand blasting and painting blocks and exterior steps.

*agreed to apply for a second EAST Program for the junior high and elementary students.

*voted to approve a resolution to amend the Ark. Code 6-10-106 to allow the district to start school at an earlier date than stated by the department of education.

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