School board to talk handbooks, Chromebooks, textbooks

By The Arkadelphian

The Arkadelphia Board of Education will hold its regular meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 21, in the upstairs conference room of Dawson Building #3, 700 Clinton St.

The first action item of business is to consider donating equipment from the Arkadelphia High School’s now-defunct engineering program to Henderson State and Ouachita Baptist universities. The school board tabled this discussion at its agenda setting meeting.

On the agenda is a memorandum of understanding between Arkadelphia Public Schools and OrthoArkansas to pay an athletic trainer $25,000 for the 2022-2023 school year. The Arkadelphian’s archives indicate no change in cost to the school district compared to the previous school year.

Board members are to consider the school district handbook for the upcoming school year. What’s different about this is a single handbook will be distributed district-wide rather than separate handbooks for each campus. The school board discussed this change during its previous meeting.

Also on the agenda is a memorandum of understanding between the school district and the Arkadelphia Police Department to continue its school resource officer program. At its latest meeting, outgoing Superintendent Karla Neathery reported she would discuss the possibility of adding a third SRO with Police Chief Jason “Shorty” Jackson. Administration will meet with the police chief next week to further discuss the matter.

A change Arkadelphia High School students and parents will notice this year is the addition of Dell Chromebooks. The school board voted in January to ditch the MacBooks after the district’s lease with Apple had expired. Tuesday’s consideration is for a quote from White River Services & Solutions for the purchase of 90 Chromebooks at $250 apiece, plus accessories and licenses, for a total of $28,427. Funding for the Chromebooks will come from Title I funds.

The school board will also consider approval of School Improvement Plans for each campus, and will likely hear from each principal regarding their plans for the upcoming school year.

The final topic on the agenda’s action items is the consideration to adopt a new social studies textbook for Peake Elementary School. The recommendation comes from a 15-member committee comprised of teachers, parents and administrators.

Tuesday’s meeting will be the last for Neathery. Nikki Thomas will take the reins of the school district beginning in July.

The meeting is open to the public.

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