Rezoning to reduce the the Hill Farm Elementary and Parkway Elementary zones passed during the Bryant School Board meeting on Thursday.
Superintendent Dr. Karen Walters told the board this zoning is what was discussed at a previous work session. The district held meetings for those being affected at the two schools so families could ask questions and share concerns.
"We understand not wanting to change," Walters said, explaining most of the comments were about not wanting to have a child move to a different school.
At the meetings, two people showed up at Hill Farm and 30 attended at Parkway.
Students being rezoned from Hill Farm will go to Davis Elementary. Those being rezoned from Parkway will go to Collegeville Elementary.
The zoning changes go into affect in the next school year.
The board approved an HVAC bid for Collegeville Elementary. Deputy Superintendent Todd Sellers told the board this project was held over from last year because the bids were too high. This year, the district received bids that were more in line with what they expected.
They chose to approve the bid from Roberson Heat & Ari for $1,480,000. The district plans to use the remaining ESSR funds for the project.
Walters said the project will not be finished during the summer due to long lead times for materials. She assured the council the school will have air conditioning, but other work will have to be completed on nights and weekends.
Sellers told the board the district was awarded $434,975.00 in DESE School Safety Grant Funds. The district has to apply for what they plan to use the funds for.
Sellers said the high school campus is open and needs fencing to control access. They do not believe these funds will cover all the wrought iron fencing, but it will get the district started. Fencing will be done in phases. Walters said they will not fence areas they plan to have construction underway soon.
Sellars said if for some reason there are left over funds, they have other items they will seek to use the money for.
The council heard updates on Professional Learning Communities at Salem Elementary and Bryant High School. They talked about using data more effectively by working as a team and sharing what approaches have worked for different teachers.
"It holds us accountable," said first grade teacher Jaclyn Geddings.
During the superintendent's report, Walters said Springhill Elementary will be recognized on Monday as one of only two National Blue Ribbon Schools in Arkansas. The school will take 13 students from its leadership team to be recognized.
The district will be sending out a graduation survey to make plans in case bad weather prevents the district holding graduation at War Memorial Stadium. If it moves to the arena, the district is asking if seniors and their families prefer less sessions, which means less tickets per student or more sessions so each student can get more tickets.
She said they have also considered using the Fine Arts Building for overflow and streaming graduation to it.
The administration is planning to move into its new offices before spring break if Big Red headquarters is out by then so the district can start remodeling the old offices for a health center.
Walters discussed SB 294, also known as Arkansas Learns. Administration met with staff to discuss questions and concerns.
While the bill would put teacher pay starting at $50,000, Walters let them know that does not mean all pay would go up accordingly. Currently, the district has 11 columns for its salary schedule and it would have to be reevaluated after the district sees how the legislature plans to fund it and what the district can afford. She does not expect the new schedule until next year. The district would have to use the basic schedule to get teacher contracts out in time.
Walters had concerns about several parts of the legislation, especially the community service requirement for graduation. While she is in favor of community service, she is afraid lower income students who do not have transportation to do volunteer work would be prevented from graduating.
She is working with local legislators to try to get the bill amended.
One person spoke during public comments about concerns related to racial issues in the district. More about her comments will be in an upcoming issue of the Saline Courier.
The board gave recognitions.
Lyndsey Abbott, Mili Berry, Bianca Euler, Bee Golleher, Maegan Hall, Pedro Hernandez, Tyler Phillips, Dierra Williams, Ria Colvert and Lizzy Porter were recognized for earning All State Choir honors.
The board also recognized the winners of Rep. French Hill's Congressional App Challenge.
Sabian Murray is the firs place winner with an app that provides a list of common objected seniors need to complete as they go through their last year.
Lydia Payne and Kiya Britt took second place for an app that helps students in areas required for graduation.
The board passed personnel items after an executive session, including extending the contracts for Sellers and Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Pam Kenney and Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Dr. Angie Dischinger.
Meetings are open to the public and attendance is encouraged.