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NSB agrees to transfer funds, hire literacy interventionist

By Staff, 04/30/21 10:04 AM

ROSSTON – In a short special called meeting of the Nevada School Board Thursday night, it was decided to move $300,000 from the operating budget to the building fund and accept applications for a literacy interventionist.

Superintendent Rick McAfee told the board the state auditors required the money to be moved before May, which was the primary reason for the meeting. He said the district had paid off a $300,000 loan from building fund money using stimulus money. However, more stimulus money arrived, enough to replace all of the air conditioning units in the facility. However, auditors said the district must put $300,000 back in the building fund so it doesn’t have too much carryover in its operating budget.

The board agreed to the transfer and was informed the district has three years to spend the money.

The panel also approved accepting applications for a literacy interventionist, basically a reading instructor. McAfee said the last 15 months have been hard on students and they need to catch up. Using stimulus money, the district will hire a literacy interventionist to work one-on-one with younger students to get them up to speed in reading. The applicant must have five years experience in teaching at lower levels and be certified. They will be on the salary schedule for 190 days, with no extended days. “I’m not sure one will be enough,” he said, “or if we can afford more.”

McAfee reminded the board graduation will be May 13 in the gym with around 300 people allowed to attend. There will be 32 graduating seniors receiving diplomas. “They’ve gone through terrible junior and senior years,” he said, “and have been asked to do things no one in Arkansas education ever had to do. It’s time to honor and celebrate their graduation from high school.

“It’s been a challenge,” McAfee continued, “but we’ve seen growth in the students. Teachers worked hard.”

He questioned the reason why testing was required this year, expressing interest in what the results will be, but telling the board around 60 percent of the districts in the state could have problems based on the testing because of the problems with COVID. McAfee said virtual education is nowhere near as effective as classroom teaching.