Police & Fire

AHS assistant band director resigns

By Joel Phelps | The Arkadelphian

An assistant band director two months into his one-year contract has resigned from his post at Arkadelphia High School. The Arkadelphia Board of Education accepted the resignation of Carlos Udave during a school board meeting Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Carlos Udave joined APSD late this summer after serving as an adjunct in the Siloam Springs band program. His resignation from Arkadelphia was officially tenured Tuesday.  | APS photo

The school board held a light meeting that included planning for the next meeting agenda, a brief executive session and a student expulsion.

Enrollment at Arkadelphia Public Schools

Superintendent Nikki Thomas reported a final enrollment number of 1,824 students at Arkadelphia Public Schools, a number she said was “higher than [previously] projected.”

“That’s a low number,” board member Kenneth Harris said in response to the 2022 enrollment.

Last week Thomas supplied The Arkadelphian with enrollment figures for the district dating back 15 years. There were 2,054 students enrolled in 2007; 1,978 students in 2012; 1,776 students in 2017; and 1,824 students enrolled in 2022. Compared to the 1,821 students enrolled in 2021, enrollment at Arkadelphia is up this year by three students.

A bar graph shows enrollment numbers at Arkadelphia Public Schools for five-year periods. | Graphic by The Arkadelphian

Agenda planning

In planning for the upcoming school board meeting, Thomas said a parent wishes to speak to the school board regarding the district’s school bus transportation policy regarding pickup and drop-off from places providing services before and after school, such as daycares or gyms.

The current policy states the district will not provide transportation services to a location with the purpose of providing care of students prior to or immediately following the instructional day.

“Basically, if it’s not a bus stop [or where] kids are getting on and off, we’re not making a special trip to different daycares in town or a gymnastics building,” Thomas said. “Most of those buses are crowded, and our bus drivers are shorthanded anyway. A lot of districts” have the same policy.

Also on the next agenda will be approval of Act 1120; consideration of the school district budget; fixed asset deletions list; ESEA statement of assurance; teacher and administrator recruitment and retention plan; a[nother] roof repair at AHS; and a technology purchase for student access points and switches.

Personnel report

The school board met in executive session although there was no specific purpose announced before going into the executive session. Following the 20-minute executive session, the board approved the following recommendations:

Carlos Udave, assistant band director, AHS

Amory Hitt, paraprofessional, Goza

Beverly Meeks, paraprofessional, from Peake to Goza

Student expelled for assault

The school board approved the expulsion of a pupil identified as “Student 2223-A” for assault on another student. The school district by law must provide that student with educational services, although the student will not be allowed on campus or at any school function, Thomas said.

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