School board to talk contracts with ALE program, funding for AHS roof repair

By Joel Phelps
The Arkadelphian

The Arkadelphia Board of Education will have plenty to discuss when it meets Tuesday, April 26.

In addition to doling out Badger Pride awards and hearing routine reports, the school board is also set to hear from two individuals, Dan Pipkin and Bruce Bell. The agenda does not specify what topics the two will bring before the board.

Pipkin and Bell will each have five minutes to present to the board, unless the board agrees to grant more time by way of a motion and majority vote. Their comments will be limited to the approved topic. The board will listen to each presenter but may not respond during the meeting. The board has the option to discuss the topic or issue at a later meeting.

Five items on the agenda call for action from the school board.

First, the board will decide whether to approve updated district policies.

Second, the school board will consider a memorandum of understanding between Arkadelphia Public Schools and Arch Ford Education Cooperative, the organization that oversees the district’s Alternative Learning Environment program.

The MOU calls for Arch Ford to serve the ALE students, provide staff that complies with state and federal requirements and other responsibilities. In exchange, the district pays $231,750, provides transportation, facilities, utilities and meals and provides training and therapy in certain areas.

Funding for Arch Ford is provided by a collection of participation fees based on the number of students served.

Third, the board will consider paying $62,194 for an emergency roof repair at Arkadelphia High School. An estimate from the Little Rock-based All Spec Roof Corp. indicates the area in need of repair is above the dressing room area. The proposal includes a 20-year warranty on materials and a 2-year warranty for installation.

Fourth, the school board will consider a contract with Capturing Kids Hearts, a Texas-based organization that vows to decrease discipline referrals, increase attendance among students and teachers, decrease teacher turnover and improve parent and community relationships, among a long list of other goals.

The $42,000 payment would fund two full-day training sessions for up to 60 participants, two “strategy” visits involving group and one-on-one sessions with administrators, and include a campus-specific subscription providing ongoing support to leaders who have completed the Capturing Kids Hearts I course.

Finally, the board is to consider renewing its contract with Chartwells for food services during the 2022-2023 school year.

Following the action items, board members may enter into executive session during Tuesday’s meeting to discuss personnel matters. 

After any personnel issues, the board will hear departmental reports before adjournment. 

The meeting takes place at 6 p.m. in the upstairs conference room of Dawson Building #3, 700 Clinton St. Aside from any executive session, the meeting is open to the public.

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