Board appreciated at meeting

By Staff, 01/25/17 11:16 AM

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PRESCOTT – It was recognition night at the Prescott School Board Tuesday night.

January is board appreciation month, and the board was shown appreciation in the form of books donated to the school libraries by students in Prescott Elementary and Prescott High schools. They also received cards made by the students, and were given their favorite desserts by the district.

Superintendent Robert Poole said most people don’t realize what it takes to serve on the board, and it’s a thankless job done for no pay. “There’s not a job more difficult than being on the school board,” he said. Board members, he continued, must earn six-hours every year to remain on the board and invest a lot of time, often having to make unpopular decisions, but decisions that are right for the students and district.

Students were also recognized at the meeting. Jay Marks and Chris Cowling were honored for being picked to play in the All Star football game this summer, while Coach Tommy Poole was recognized for being picked to coach in the game. In addition, Poole said a PHS student has earned a full academic scholarship to Columbia University and the Prescott School District is one of 30 to be picked to go to Little Rock for the model school program.

“There’s a lot of great things going on,” he said. “The board puts students first and we want to continue promoting good things.”

Getting down to business, the board approved a proposed calendar for the 2017-2018 school year. The calendar will be presented to the district’s Personnel Policy Committee for any modifications before being returned to the board for final approval.

The panel also approved a resolution for disbursements to be made electronically. Judy Clampit, district treasurer, said as the district is using the new E-finance software the signatures of the superintendent and disbursing officer were uploaded and are on all checks written by the district. Plans are to add accounts payable to the system as well. This, she said, prevents lost and outstanding checks.

Enrollment in the district is down slightly from December. The district has a total of 984 students, with 535 in PES and 449 in PHS.

Poole told the board Prescott will be hosting the regional basketball tournament in late February and the district wants to put on a good tourney so it can get future tournaments. These events, he said, are good for the district and the community as they bring people in from across the state.

In addition, he said, Prescott will be hosting the state track meet on May 2. He told the board this is good as well, because people will be coming from all over the state and spending money in the community. PHS, he added, will be vying for its ninth state title.

Clampit said the district is doing well financially and is more than $640,000 to the good at this time. The goal, she told the board, is for the ending balance to at least equal the beginning balance.

Conscious Discipline, with D.J. Batiste and Donna Porter, will be returning to PHS on Feb. 2 in the PHS auditorium. This program will be held in the auditorium and be in conjunction with the parent-teacher conferences.

An extended executive session was held, lasting more than two-and-a-half hours. When the session ended the board accepted the resignation of school nurse Lori Arnett, and agreed to hire Jessica Bennett to teach at PES, and Nicole Moody as a bus driver.

What took so much time was the superintendent’s evaluation. In the end Poole was offered a one-year extension to his contract. Poole was also placed on the salary schedule so when the certified staff gets a pay increase, he will as well.

The meeting ended with the board agreeing to get bids from the local banks for the district’s business.


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