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Hope School Board

By Staff, 03/15/21 8:47 PM

The Hope School Board met Monday for their regular March meeting.  The meeting was a combination live and zoom meeting with many of the board gathered in the school administration building meeting room.  Following the approval of the minutes and financial expenditures, the board moved to the Superintendent’s Report.

Dr. Bobby Hart noted enrollment is at 2,252 for the district and he says that is steady.  He noted the Hall of Fame video will be made available on Tuesday.  Dr. Hart noted Food Service Supervisor Deanna Gilbert had been recognized by the USDA for her efforts at feeding students during the COVID crisis.  It was also noted there were no active COVID cases in the district as of Monday.  Dr. Hart also noted there has been a faculty and staff vaccination clinic with about 300 staff and faculty vaccinated.  About 82% of the faculty have at least one shot.

Dr. Hart noted that there will be not contested races on the school board.  As such, school elections will only be via early and absentee ballots.  Dr. Hart noted Margaret Moss has indicated she will not run for reelection.  She shared that after being appointed to replace Mr. Willie Buck for Zone 3, her doctor has advised her not to run again.  She thanked everyone for their help and indicated that she considered it an honor to serve.

The board heard an update from the district’s Dyslexia Coordinator Karen Ivers.  She started at 2016 when the program began and detailed what has happened in the program in the past five years.  She noted also the development of the curriculum of the program.

A discussion was held on possibly holding a prom and graduation ceremonies.  The graduation planning was detailed by Hope High principal Bill Hoglund.  Plans are calling for the graduation ceremony to be held at Hammons Stadium on May 14th.  In case of rain plans are to reschedule for the next night.  In case of multiple days of bad weather, Mr. Hoglund said they would plan for the next night until they get good enough weather to hold the ceremony.  He said the Student Council had come up with a plan for prom.

The board discussed plans for the “ESSER II” funds.  $1.2 million off the top will go towards HVAC systems for the district.  Also, the board accepted bids for 4 school buses that will be paid for out of the funds.

The board approved a school calendar for 2020-2021.

A raise for teachers was discussed.  Currently the minimum teaching salary the district pays is $34,275.  The state wants the minimum salary to go up $2,000 per year and will fund this for 2 years;  however, after that the district will have to fund that.  Raising the minimum salary was possible said Dr. Hart.  After a discussion about football coaches and a twelve month contract, a policy board member Viney Johnson said she was against, it was decided to discuss the matter in executive session.

The board heard from Jason Holzclaw of Stephens, Inc.  He noted the district has received a bid of 1.48% to refinances some bonds.  The payoff would be $1,550,000 with the district paying about $90,000 per year on the debt retirement.

Personnel matters closed out the meeting.