BV board approves refinancing

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

By Haley Schichtl

The Berryville School Board voted Monday night to agreed to sell a bond in order to take advantage of lower interest rates — essentially refinancing the bond in a move that Superintendent Owen Powell says will save the school district $514,000 over the life of the loan.

In other business, the board voted unanimously to give each staff member a Christmas bonus of $500 during the November pay period, which will cost the district a total of $180,000. The board also voted to hire an additional special education paraprofessional and to accept an LED sign for the high school from Equity Bank.

The board approved a resolution to give employees who are switching to a different position within the district a salary increase of at least 5 percent, as required by state law.

Also at the meeting, the board approved several fundraisers: Chili Cook Off and Silent Auction for Shop with a Cop, high school Key Club Trick or Treat for UNICEF and selling surprise kits, high school selling vinyl decals, high school library holding a food drive, High school Science, Technology, Art, Engineering and Math (STEAM) selling valentine grams and reading committee and STEAM selling reading T-shirts printed by STEAM.

The board approved a request for athletic director and boys basketball coach Brent Compton to travel out of state for three basketball games in December and one in January.

Dyslexia therapist and coordinator Kim Ray gave an update on the dyslexia program.

“Our students have to be screened and receive intervention for dyslexia,” Ray said. “As of May…for the district we had 120 total students being served for dyslexia.”

She said dyslexia is the most common learning disorder, and if it is left untreated, up to half of those with dyslexia drop out of high school.

The principals of each school gave an update, starting with the elementary school principal, Kelly Swofford. He said the school will be having a fall festival from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 in the small P.E. building.

Intermediate school principal Lisa Geren said the school will have a children’s book author, Eddie Bowman, also known as Chester Drawers, come talk to the students Wednesday, Oct. 30.

The board agreed to hire Johnny Wallace as a substitute bus driver.

The school board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18 in the Intermediate School Cafetorium.

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