BV board approves new snow day policy

Friday, September 1, 2017

Berryville students may not have to make up snow days this year thanks to a new Arkansas law.

Superintendent Owen Powell explained at the Berryville School Board meeting on Monday, Aug. 28, that Act 862 of 2017 allows a public school district to develop a plan for alternate methods of instruction (AMI) to be used on days when the superintendent closes school because of exceptional or emergency circumstances.

“Most of the time, that means snow days for our district,” Powell said.

If the district has an AMI plan in place that is approved by both the school board and the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), he said, then the district can use that plan on emergency days and will not have to make them up later in the school year.

Act 862 allows districts to use AMI plans for up to 10 emergency days, Powell said. If the district uses more than 10 emergency days, then it will have to make some up.

“I think we’ve put together a good plan,” Powell said. “It is possible that once we submit this to ADE they could find some things they want us to add or take away. We would need to do that and resubmit. If there are any changes, then I would bring that back to you to approve again.”

One thing that helps with the AMI plan, he said, is the high school going one-to-one with technology, providing each student with a Chromebook. This will enable students to easily access and work on the AMI plan assignments at home on emergency days, he said.

“I think we’re ahead of the game,” Powell said. “A lot of schools don’t have their plan together yet like we do.”

The board voted to approve the district’s AMI plan and send it on to ADE for further approval.

The board also voted to accept a bid from Dunk Fire and Security for $22,083 to repair the fire monitoring systems in several buildings.

Dr. Paul Hines, facilities, maintenance and transportation director, said the systems were inspected in June, and several buildings had some deficiencies. Since Dunk Fire and Security is a TIPS/TAPS vendor, he said, the district did not need to bid out the project.

The board later voted to approve raising the price of adult staff meals 10 cents for breakfast and 5 cents for lunch.

“This was a recommendation from ADE, so we need to make that change,” Powell said.

Also at the meeting, the board approved the Act 1599 employee disclosures, the student transfer requests, the 2017-18 federal programs budget, the 2017-18 statement of assurances and the 2017-18 special education budget changes.

The board voted to accept the following retirements and resignations: Justin LaHue as bus mechanic and driver and Mark Pepple as driver. The board also voted to approve the hiring of Keisha Aynes as paraprofessional and Harold Hardest as route bus driver. The board voted to add the following to the substitute list for the 2017-18 school year: Stephane Boren, Margarita Harrison and Joan Reishus as nurses and Thomas Rowe as bus driver.

The board moved the next regular meeting to 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25, in the Intermediate Cafetorium.

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