ES board approves bonuses of $1,200

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The staff of the Eureka Springs School District will receive an extra gift for Christmas this year.

The Eureka Springs School Board voted at its Tuesday meeting to approve a one-time $1,200 bonus for all licensed and classified personnel. Treasurer Pam McGarrah said she should be able to send out the bonuses before Thanksgiving.

The board voted to hold annual school elections in May. Superintendent Bryan Pruitt said new state laws require school districts’s annual elections to coincide with the primary or general elections.

“I recommend we go with the May date,” he said. “If someone decides to run for school board, they will have to start on their paperwork in January.”

Board member Gayla Wolfinbarger said holding the elections in May will also help new board members be prepared before starting the new school year.

The board also voted to have Ozarks Unlimited Resources (OUR) Educational Services Cooperative submit a waiver on behalf of Eureka Springs to the Arkansas State Board of Education requesting the district’s start date for the 2018-19 school year to be on Monday, Aug. 13.

According to state law, Pruitt said, school districts can start school the week of Aug. 19. Since Aug. 19 will fall on a Sunday next year, he said the district would not be able to start school until Monday, Aug. 20.

“When you go to line up with Arkansas Virtual Academy, they’re going to start a week early,” he said, “so the director of OUR co-op said he’s going to submit a waiver for all 16 schools in OUR co-op.”

If approved, Pruitt said starting on Monday, Aug. 13, would prevent the district from having semester tests after Christmas Break.

The board also voted to move its monthly board meetings to the second Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in the administration building.

Board president Chris McClung said board member Jason Morris has been unable to attend the meetings as regularly because he works on Tuesday nights.

“He requested that we change it from the second Tuesday to the second Monday,” McClung said.

“Getting maximum participation is desirable,” said board member Al Larson, “so I’m certainly willing to do Mondays.”

The other board members agreed and voted to reschedule the meetings.

McGarrah presented the monthly financial report to the board. At the end of October, she said the district’s bank balance was $8,658,000, its total fund balance was $8,649,000 and its legal balance was $2,051,000.

The board voted to approve the financial report.

McClung announced that Jim Nelson will be providing every employee in the district with a $25 gift certificate to his store, Nelson’s.

“He’s appreciative of what the school district does for the community,” McClung said. “I would like to thank him on behalf of the board for supporting our staff.”

Also at the meeting, the board voted to accept the resignation of custodian Tony Jewell and voted to hire Robert Stoppell to fill the position contingent upon a background check.

The board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11, in the administration building.

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