PB board approves upgrade of audio-visual system


The Pine Bluff School District Board of Directors voted Tuesday evening to accept a bid of $23,906 from Video Reality of Conway, Ark. to provide a new audio visual system for the administration building board room.

District superintendent Linda Watson said that her administration solicited bids from several vendors in response to board member requests including a $35,792 bid from Online Technologies Inc. in North Little Rock.

“Our director of technology, Mr. Rodney Riles, recommended the low bid from Video Reality and that is my recommendation to the board,” Watson said before the board vote.

The equipment will include a 36-inch multimedia lectern, smart boards and LED flat-screen displays as well as all required cables, connectors and brackets.

“We need to have this installed before we can install Board Docs, which will allow us to communicate information to the board electronically that can also be viewed by board members on their monitors in the board room,” Watson said.

Board vice president Kenneth Dickson said the technology is needed in the district.

“This will eliminate the need to print up and assemble binders for each board member prior to each monthly board meeting,” Dickson said. “These binders cost a lot of money and the new technology will eliminate the need for them.”

Riles confirmed to Watson that the cost for the Board Docs program will be $9,000.

“That will be approved at a later time,” Watson said.

SubTeach

In other business the board approved signing a one-year contract with SubTeach.

“We will see how things go for a year and if we like what we see then we can consider signing a multiyear contract,” Watson said of the company that provides substitute teachers for school districts around Arkansas.

Watson recommended SubTeach because the district in the past has had a difficult time finding substitute teachers to cover classes when teachers are absent. Watson said that the PBSD currently pays $80.63 per substitute per day and SubTeach costs $84.38 per substitute per day, with SubTeach responsible for workers compensation claims and unemployment benefits. Watson said that because of this SubTeach will create little to no extra cost to the school district.

The board approved several policies on second reading including those pertaining to meeting agendas, tort immunity, nepotism, and board member training.

The board approved classified employee policies on second reading having to do with sick leave and the reduction in force agreement with the school district.

The board approved the revised student handbook on second reading.

Summer meals

Watson announced that the PBSD is providing a free breakfast and lunch to students through the Seamless Summer program.

Food services director Pearl Matlock said that the meals are served to students ages 2 to 18 Monday through Friday at Greenville Elementary in the cafeteria at the front of the building.

“Breakfast is served from 7 a.m. until 8 a.m. and lunch is served from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m.,” Matlock said. “Adults bringing the children who wish to eat will have to pay for their meal. The price for adults is $1.75 for breakfast and $3.50 for lunch.”

Grants received

Watson announced that federal programs director Bernice Martin-Russell has secured two federal grants.

“Ms. Martin-Russell has secured two 21st Century grants,” Watson said. “One for Oak Park Elementary and one for Belair Middle at $500,000 each over five years. They will be administered through the Boys and Girls Club and will provide after school tutoring and a summer program in 2014.”

Personnel action

The board approved a series of personnel actions recommended by Watson including the hiring of certified personnel David Bryce Albertson as an English teacher at Jack Robey Junior High School effective Aug. 8; Dorothy Armstrong as a special education consultant with Student Health and Special Services effective Aug. 19; Abena Asantewaa as a districtwide psychological examiner effective July 1; Monica Bones as a counselor at Belair Middle School effective July 29; Angela Collins as an English teacher at Pine Bluff High School effective Aug. 8; Sheena Earl as a math teacher at Belair effective Aug. 8; and Rachel Scott as lead math teacher at PBHS effective Aug. 8.

The board approved the hiring of classified personnel Cynthia Givens as a security officer at PBHS effective Aug. 19; Ronnie Reynolds as a security officer at PBHS effective Aug. 19; and Bennie Lee Shelton as a security officer at PBHS effective Aug. 19.

The board approved the transfer of certified personnel Sylvia Grady as a math teacher at Southeast Middle School to a math teacher at Belair Middle School effective July 30; and Leondra Williams-Savage as a fourth grade teacher at 34th Elementary to a literacy coach at a location to be determined effective July 30.

The board approved the resignations of classified personnel Linda Ballinger as a custodian with Auxiliary Services effective April 11; Tasha Bass as an instructional aide at Belair effective May 30; Valerie Evans as a media at 34th Elementary effective May 31; Earnest Harris as a security officer at PBHS effective April 12; Sara James as a paraprofessional at Oak Park Elementary effective June 11; and Leslie Johnson as a custodian with auxiliary services effective June 7.

The board approved the resignations of certified personnel Jerry Bayliss as a civics/economics teacher at Jack Robey Junior High effective June 7; Sondra Bray as a fifth grade teacher at Greenville Elementary effective May 31; Emalee Clark as a third grade teacher at Oak Park Elementary effective June 11; Elizabeth Cloninger-Lanehart as a kindergarten teacher at Oak Park Elementary effective May 31; Kimberly Dawson as a second grade teacher at Oak Park Elementary effective May 31; Dona Glaze as a fourth grade teacher at W.T. Cheney Elementary effective June 10; Nathaniel Jackson as a math teacher at Jack Robey effective June 6; Kristy Payne as a kindergarten teacher at Greenville Elementary effective June 10; Taylor Pinckard as a fourth grade teacher at Broadmoor Elementary effective May 31; Irene Rainey as a kindergarten teacher at Oak Park effective May 31; Candace Stark-Wilson as a math coach at Belair effective June 12; Stephen Tomlin as a social studies teacher at Jack Robey effective May 31; Mekenzie Trammel as a math teacher at Belair effective May 31; and Melissa Walsh as an algebra teacher at Jack Robey effective May 31.

The board approved the retirement of classified personnel Dorothy McFadden as a food service assistant effective June 5; and the non-renewal of certified personnel Mandi Foltz as a math teacher at PBHS effective May 31.