Watson Chapel School District to receive bond issuance funds

The Watson Chapel School District will on Oct. 24 receive more than $4.1 million raised by the sale of construction bonds on Oct. 1, it was announced Monday at the regular monthly meeting of the district Board of Directors.

The funds were generated through the 2.3 mill increase to the district millage rate approved by voters in a May special election and will go toward construction of a new K-1 elementary school building on the Edgewood Elementary School campus.

Stephens Inc. of Little Rock acted as the district’s fiscal agent in the transaction and Stephens Senior Vice President for Public Finance Jack Truemper told the board that the bonds were offered for public sale on competitive bids Oct. 1 and that the bid from Ross, Sinclaire & Associates LLC was accepted.

“In total, the bond proceeds to the district come to $4,148,180, which includes the good-faith deposit of $85,300 from the winning bidder previously wired to the district,” Truemper said. “These funds should be invested in direct U. S. government obligations or in bank certificates of deposit.”

In other business, the board approved a new social media policy that lays out the guidelines for regulating social media interactions between staff members, students and parents.

“As I said at our last board meeting, these guidlines lay out the rules for how faculty and staff may use social media to communicate with students and parents,” said district Superintendent Danny Hazelwood. “The personnel policy committee submitted the proposed policy to their members and it was approved by 85 teachers in favor to 16 opposed.”

The board approved a classroom supply policy to provide guidance to teachers.

“It sets up a time line for teachers to manage their classroom supply purchases,” Hazelwood said. “We found that some teachers were waiting until May to purchase supplies. In the future, if they haven’t purchased supplies by March then they should wait.”

Hazelwood said that the personnel policy committee passed the measure by 92 in favor to 15 opposed.

The board approved the naming of board member Donnie Hartsfield as school board president for the 2013-2014 school year, replacing Sandra Boone.

The board approved Robin Barker as board vice president and Ronnie Reynolds as board secretary.

Hazelwood reported that for the month of September, the district received $1,695,543 and spent $1,904,298, leaving an ending balance of $5,304,232.

Board member Sandra Boone recognized the work done by the Westside Loop Neighborhood Watch Organization in support of Coleman Intermediate School.

“They have made a huge difference at Coleman,” Boone said. “They also worked hard to help the school district pass the millage increase. They have cleared away a lot of brush around the campus and provided a safer campus for our children. It looks good.”

Hazelwood also expressed his appreciation for the group’s volunteer work on behalf of the school.

“They have been very supportive of Coleman and made a large donation of school uniforms and supplies at the beginning of the school year,” Hazelwood said.

Several members of the group said that they planned to donate winter coats to the school for those who could not afford to buy one of their own.

Hazelwood recognized Watson Chapel High School senior Andrew Fleming for being named a National Merit Semi-Finalist.

The board approved the hiring of Mary Light and Shannon Cummings as substitute cafeteria workers.