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Hope School Board

By Staff, 01/18/21 6:10 PM
The Hope School Board held their regular monthly meeting on Monday.  Following the approval of the minutes and the approval of the expenditures, the board moved into their regular first agenda item, the Superintendent’s Report from Dr. Bobby Hart.
Dr. Hart noted the district’s attorney, Allen Roberts, passed away recently following a stroke.  He noted the district offers its condolences.  Dr. Hart also noted the 8th Circuit had upheld the district’s appeals.  He noted the state has 45 days from the date (which was last month) to appeal.  Dr. Hart noted the district will not participate in school choice but will deal with such requests on a case by case basis.  Board member Bubba Powers offered a tribute to Allen Roberts whom Powers called an “outstanding and great man”.  Dr. Hart noted the city of Hope offered a proclamation honoring the board during school board month.  Dr. Hart thanked the board as well.  Dr. Hart gave updates on COVID and how the district had dealt with “pivots” last week.  He noted the state is saying there are 20 active cases in the district but Gretchen Carlton could only trace down 14.  He noted sometimes it is just difficult to chase it down.  School is supposed to return to “in-person” instruction on Tuesdays January 19th.  Dr. Hart noted school district staff and educators will be able to get their first COVID shots on January 29th.  He noted this event will be offered for the school personnel at the college campus.  Dr. Hart says they hope to get at least 70% of personnel vaccinated and the sign-up shows closer to 80% registered.  The board asked further questions concerning the event.  Dr. Hart noted the district has received some more CARES Act distribution and noted this is about 4 times the amount the district received in the first round.  Dr. Hart noted the state has mandated the ACT Aspire test and noted the district is givng the “STAR” assessment.  Board member Bubba Powers asked about students who have immune issues and it was noted these can often be tested one on one unless there is a doctor’s excuse.  That discussion ended the Superintendent’s Report.
The board discussed the legal liability employment insurance proposal for approximately $11,000 and some travel insurance for approximately $500.  The board approved the insurance proposals.
COVID Leave Policy Updates were discussed.  Dr. Hart noted the Arkansas School Board Association has submitted policies to allow staff to deal with COVID leave in light of the federal policies expiring.  Dr. Hart said the reasoning is to make sure an employee with COVID or who has to quarantine does not have to use their sick days.  These policy updates were approved by the board.
The board looked at lawn-care renewal from Pro-Care Lawn Service for $59,612 per year for two years.  This was approved by the board.
The board approved the personnel packet as submitted.  This will give the district three other people to work with Gretchen Carlton on COVID tracing.
The board then adjourned in regular session.  The board then went into the annual Superintendent’s Evaluation.  Action on this is expected at a future meeting.