The Carlisle school board Monday approved several changes in personnel policy regarding incentives, absenteeism and sick days.

It approved modifications in the certified salary schedule for the 2012-13 school year. Superintendent Jason Clark said very few teachers at Carlisle have become National Board Certified. He said he believes the certification is a great opportunity to offer an incentive for teachers and certification also makes for better teachers.

As an incentive, National Board Certified teachers will receive $1,000 annually for the life of the certificate. Another change to the salary schedule is that $5,000 will be paid for speech language pathology in instances where funds are not appropriated by the Department of Education. Clark said certified teachers approved these changes before the meeting with a 27-0 vote.

The board also unanimously approved other changes to the certified salary schedule. According to Clark, the district is having trouble with absenteeism and finding substitute bus drivers during the course of the school year. He said he has created a plan, which will offer incentives for those drivers who are not frequently absent or encourage better attendance for those who are. He said the first change will be paying drivers $8.25 per hour, not to exceed $125 for field trips.

Clark said although these drivers may not be working the entire time, their day still is consumed by the job. The second change is to take away sick days, by paying sick days up front and deducting from the drivers check during those days absent. As an incentive, the district will offer a $500 incentive for those who miss no trips during the first semester, $400 for those who miss one trip and decreasing for each trip missed up to four per semester. Additional incentives also will be offered during the second semester at the same rate.

“Hopefully this will cut down on some of this absenteeism,” Clark said.

In addition to the changes, the classified hourly wage for substitute or additional work not covered under salary will be increased to $8.25. Clark said the changes passed by classified staff with a 15-2 vote.

Changes have been made to the certified personnel policy, redefining sick leave. Clark said there have been issues with teachers attending games or other school events without taking any personal or sick leave. He said it is not fair for some teachers to do this while other teachers are docking their time for attending space camp with their children. Clark said the change in the definition includes absence from work due to a conflicting Carlisle School District activity.

“You may attend these events, but no longer on the house,” he said.

Clark said the certified employees approved the changes with a 39-0 vote. The board voted unanimously to approve the certified personnel policy changes.

Changes to the classified personnel policy also will reflect the changes in definition of sick leave as well as offer sick leave transfered to other classified employees due to prolonged illness or absence. According to the new policy, classified personnel may donate two days each to another classified employee who has exhausted all of their sick leave. Those on maternity leave or out for elective cosmetic surgery are exempt. Classified employees docked five of more days in salary due to absenteeism will be subject to termination or nonrenewal.

Classified employees approved the changes with a 25-0 vote. The board unanimously approved the policy changes.

Four School of Choice students were accepted into the district during the meeting. The board voted unanimously to accept them into the Carlise School District where applicable.

The board also gave its OK to a new district zoning resolution and map during its Monday night meeting.

In an effort to equalize the population in the current district, a new board member zone plan, which includes a map showing the boundaries of the seven single-member district zones, was created along documentation showing the population by race in each zone. Each zone now contains an average of 600 students per board member. The plan and map with be subject to approval by the Lonoke County Board of Election Commissioners.

The district will open bids at noon June 20 for copy machine maintenance and professional building cleaning services for the school district. Clark said these services have not been revisited in some time.

He said he believes there will be specifications for the jobs, so the bid comparisons will be very similar. He said many times companies will bid low on a job without specifications, but as more is needed from these companies, the extra costs are added onto the original bid.

Clark said if he does not get lower bids on these jobs, he will be pleased to know he is at least keeping these companies competitive. If a significant reduction in cost of cleaning services is not made, the district might begin to look into hiring out these services to individuals. He could hire lots of employees for the price he is currently paying for cleaning services, he said. All were in favor of taking new bids on the copy machine maintenance and cleaning services.

In a unanimous vote, the board voted to purchase a used Kubota tractor with a front-end loader for $9,750 from Heritage Ag. Clark said there has been a need for a tractor with a front-end loader in the past, and there is currently a need for one. He said although they have been fortunate enough to borrow one when these needs arise, he feels that it is time to make the purchase.

“There are several things we can use it for,” he said.

According to Clark, the tractor has 28 horsepower, new tires and 800 hours of use. He said it has been well taken care of.

“It’s a good tractor,” Board President Terry McCallie said.

During his administrative report, Clark said the high school campus now has 14 newly planted trees. He said the Lonoke County Conservation District installed the trees and donated 12 of the 14. Clark said Bob Hillman donated two trees and installed a watering system on campus for the trees.

“I am pleased with the work done over there,” Clark said.

He also informed the board of the 21st Century Summer school program beginning on Tuesday. He said classes would run from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for four weeks. Clark said because the funding for the program has been reduced, the program would be offered for a shorter period this summer. The program is funded through the 21st Century grant program.

Also during the meeting, the board voted to:

• Adopt the proposed budget of expenditures for the 2013-2014 as presented

• Accept the resignation of Ben Manatt as high school teacher

• Hire the summer school employees as presented

• Hire Adam Leatherwood as teacher and coach

• Hire Mary Poppelreiter as high school teacher and band director

• Hire Brea Bennett as speech therapist for the 2012-2013 school year.

Board member Eddy Kelly was absent from the meeting. The next meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. July 9 in the administration building.