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BSD in good shape financially

By Staff, 01/9/18 1:21 PM

Blevins-Schools

BLEVINS – Financially, the Blevins School District is in good shape.

This is what the Blevins School Board was told at its January meeting Monday night.

The board also agreed to write a policy which would allow students at Blevins to take college algebra essentially at no cost.

The class will be taught concurrently between the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope and Blevins High School. The district has employees credentialed as college employees who can teach the course. Students get discounts and are charged $50 per college hour taken, with the average class costing $150. Blevins Superintendent Billy Lee said the district buys the books.

Recently UACCH was approved for Pell grants for all high school students applying for financial aid. The Arkansas Legislature passed a law allowing students taking six college hours to do so at no cost. Lee said a policy is required to give money back to students, unless they qualify for a grant. At this time, nine students are taking college algebra from UACCH. Any money left over, he added, will be used to purchase textbooks, which is the most expensive part.

Board President Laura Clark told the board UACCH has a rental program for books, where students pay $20 per college hour, but the books must be returned at the end of the semester. Clark added she’d like to see more college classes offered at Blevins.

The board also discussed the timeclock issue, but tabled the issue until the March meeting. In the interim suggestions will be collected from the staff with the top five to be discussed and voted on.

Pat Loe, principal at Blevins Elementary School, said interim assessments will begin on Jan. 29. She said testing is going well for the little ones, and where technology is concerned, all is also going well. However, she asked to be allowed to purchase touch screen laptops for BES as some of the students have problems controlling a mouse.

From there discussion veered away from the agenda as the board began talking about new playground equipment. Cindy Parks said new equipment is needed and asked what the previous board had decided about it. Lee said the former board looked into the possibility of purchasing new playground equipment but found it too expensive. She asked about having the agriculture class build equipment and was informed this can’t be done as the equipment wouldn’t be OSHA approved as required.

Lee said there are grants for playground equipment, but these usually go to churches and other entities, but added the district can look into it. “Someone would have to write the grant or we’d have to pay a grant service to do it.” He pointed out the current equipment was grandfathered in before the current requirements.

The board voted to hire Vance Williamson as a full-time substitute bus driver.

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