After reviewing the changes requested during the June work session, the Benton School Board approved the 2019-20 student handbook during its regular meeting Monday.
Assistant Superintendent Eric Saunders presented the updated changes to the board. He highlighted three specific areas the board had been concerned with.
The first concern was the policy regarding pickups after 3:30 p.m. resulting in a call to the Department of Human Services. The term "excessive pickups" was changed to three or more pickups per semester.
Saunders said after discussion with teachers, the policy regarding plagiarism has been changed to say a student must redo the work and it will be up to each school facility principal and staff to determine how much, if any, credit will be given for the redone work.
Saunders said each building will have to establish a consistent policy.
The third change clarifies that the cellphone policy for Saturday school will be the same as a regular school day.
Due to the fact the next board meeting is only two days before the start of the 2019-20 school year, the board voted to suspend the 30-day read and passed the changes.
Saunders also presented school policy changes, some the board had already reviewed at the previous meeting and some new. He has been trying to get them all prepared after the end of the Arkansas legislative session. He said most of the changes involve updates that came out of the session or come from the Arkansas School Board Association. Many of the changes are either cleaning up language or updating to reflect the name change of the Department of Education to the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education.
All the changes were approved.
Plant Manager Kevin Chastain presented a proposal to reroof the Benton Development Center, which is where the board meets, for a total of $158,909. He said the building has leaks they have not been able to repair. The cost includes having to lift the roof-mounted air conditioning units, replace piping and redo electrical work.
Chastain said the company, Nabholz Construction Services, is the same that completed work on Cook Field House, and he was pleased with it.
The board approved to go forward with the work.
In other business, the board took the following actions:
•Approved the purchase of 220 iPads and 60 iPad minis to replace older versions that are no longer supported.
•Approved the purchase of band equipment.
The board also approved personnel recommendations.
•Resignations of Sadeidre Lawrence, English teacher, Benton Junior High School; LaDonna Anderson, custodian, Benton High School.
•Employment for Dr. Larry Smith, assistant superintendent; Haley Hunt, English teacher, Benton Junior High School; Candis Sunday, music and band teacher, Benton Middle School; Charlena Williams, bus driver, transportation.
•Cassie Bell will be assigned as Benton Middle School annual sponsor for Benton Middle School.
•Brian West will be assigned as Gifted and Talented coach for Benton High School.
•Temporary contracts were given to Michaela Biehslich, Debbie Blend, Molly Brannon, Heidi Cox, Kylie Garcia-Buttram, Tina Goddard, Jordan Herbner, April Lawson, Taylor Lindberg, Madi Mehlin, Caitlin Murdock, Tosha Rook and Michelle Shoppach for BJHS team camp; Olivia Nolley, SPED bus paraprofessional; Zach Richard and Chance Tilley for technology.
Superintendent Dr. Mike Skelton said the district staff meeting will be held Aug. 8 at the River Center. He thanked Benton Mayor Tom Farmer for the use of the facility.
The next school board meeting will be held Aug. 12 and school restarts Aug. 14.
All meetings are open and the public is encouraged to attend.