Carlisle Elementary School students will get a taste of technology thanks to principal Susie Ward.

Superintendent Jason Clark told Carlisle School Board members at their meeting Monday that Ward wrote a grant, worth $13,615, that got the school 25 iPads, a router, a rolling cart to keep the iPads locked up and $500 to purchase educational apps. Ward said the iPads, which have protective cases, would be used in the after-school program and in classrooms during the school day. She said examples of application topics include: math, science, English, social studies, the periodic table, stories and animals. Ward said the iPads would even be used in pre-kindergarten classes, using an app that reads out loud stories to the children.

Board member C.J. Parker said we take things for granted, but some children don’t get to be around that type of technology at home.

Clark spoke to the board about several topics during the meeting.

Clark said he attended a meeting with the Lonoke and Hazen superintendents and the state department of education director of the alternative learning environment about expanding the ALE program for sixth through 12th graders. He said the England superintendent is also interested in the program, but was unable to attend the meeting.

Clark said the Lonoke School District has a desire to create a better ALE program then they already have and they want to invite neighboring districts to participate.

"A lot of folks misconceive ALE as trouble makers, [but] ALE is broader than that," Clark said.

Clark gave examples of students that might need an ALE program; a pregnant teenager, a 17-year-old with only six credits that struggles academically, a student that doesn’t adjust well socially or a student that needs a second chance instead of expulsion.

"The national data is that two to three percent of the high school population should be in an ALE program," Clark said.

Clark said the program is called CORE, which stands for "Commit to other routes of education."

"This doesn’t look like our high school, it doesn’t look like Lonoke’s or Hazen’s high school, if it looked just like that it wouldn’t be considered an alternate learning center," Clark said.

Clark said Carlisle School District would transport the students to and from the Lonoke center, so ALE would no longer be offered in Carlisle. Currently, he said, Carlisle’s program is only one classroom in the rest of the high school, so if he tells the board he wants to give an at risk child a second chance by placing them in ALE, the child still has the same lockers and is still rubbing shoulders with the regular students, so board members might say the child is still in the same environment he was in before.

Also, he said, Carlisle rotates teachers as the ALE instructor, but Lonoke has a trained teacher, who has a heart for at-risk students and is in the ALE classroom everyday, all day. He said the students would also get services small school districts can’t provide such as counselors and probation officers.

He said progress is being started for the new program beginning the next school year and the cost of the program is still being worked out.

Clark also told the board he wants to bid to host the regional and state basketball tournaments in Carlisle. Clark said he would speak with basketball coaches William Rountree and Jonathan Buffalo, but he wants to propose 100 percent of the gate money to the Arkansas Activities Association in hopes of hosting the regional tournament. If the district doesn’t host the regional tournament, Clark said he wants to bid to host the state tournament. For the state tournament, Clark said, he wants to propose 90 percent of the gate money to the association, so the district would be a profit. The bid deadline is Jan. 3 and the bids will be opened Jan. 10.

Clark said he thinks it would benefit both teams to play on their home court in hopes of making it to the state tournament.

School board members received a superintendent evaluation. Clark said they needed to fill out the evaluation individually at home and then bring it to the January board meeting, where they will count it together.

Clark invited board members and their families to the school district faculty and staff dinner today, Dec. 13, at 6 p.m. at the Methodist Church Family Life Center. He said it’s a good time to see all the people that make up the work and those that support them.

Clark announced semester tests would be Dec. 17, 18 and 19. He said second, fifth and seventh periods would have semester tests on Monday, Dec. 17; first, fourth and eighth periods would have semester tests on Tuesday, Dec. 18 and third and sixth periods would have semester tests on Wednesday, Dec. 19.

The board approved:

•Resignation of part-time bus driver Brandon Barbaree. Clark said Barbaree would bus driver until the end of the semester and would remain as assistant football and track coach.

•Hiring of assistant football and track coach Michael Smith to replace Barbaree as bus driver.

• Jean Raborn as pre-kindergarten aide.

The next board meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 14.