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Board approves mask requirements

By Staff, 08/13/21 7:55 AM

PRESCOTT – When school starts Monday morning, students will be required to wear masks while indoors, as will all employees.

The only exception will be classroom teachers who have space for social distancing in their classrooms. When outdoors, though, it will be up to the individual whether they wear a mask or not.

This was the decision of the Prescott School Board at its August meeting Thursday night.

The board made short work of the agenda, opening by passing a disclosure resolution to allow the district to do business with Ko-Fields. This was required, and is annually, as Reed Koger, a member of the board, is also one of the owners of the diner.

A policy for requirements for early graduation were also approved. Superintendent Robert Poole said several students have expressed an interest in graduating early, but the district needs to make sure these students are ready to graduate and have all the requirements they need, including 24 credits and meeting a minimum ACT score. Before the policy was approved, the district had nothing in place for early graduation. Poole said some of the new requirements are similar to those of other districts while others are specific to PSD.

A purchase order for $18,329 was approved to purchase IXL learning software for all grade levels. This software has been used before in differentiated learning, and will now be used district-wide for all students in need. The concept is to help students in areas where they have problems, primarily in reading and math, to improve their skills. Federal funds will be used to pay for this program.

The panel approved the annual assurances required by the Arkansas Department of Education. Basically these assurances state the district knows and will comply with all regulations.

Approval was also given for the request for proposal for a new health and physical education building. Poole said the new structure will be between Prescott Junior High School and the old gym. He pointed out there have been problems in winter and during inclement weather when students were packed in the old gym and couldn’t do social distancing. This, he told the board, will help keep students safer as they can maintain the proper distance between one another. The building, he said, won’t cost the district anything and will be built with ESSER 3 funds. The board was informed the district is working with an architect on the plans, which will be let for bid once they’re done.

The board accepted the resignation of a bus driver and hired Karen Steed to teach high school math and Josh Kessler as a full-time bus driver.