Sherry Evans, coordinator for the district’s Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program, spoke to the Lonoke School Board on Monday night about new changes in the program’s curriculum.

HIPPY offers a free in home 30 week school readiness-parent involvement program for parents of three, four and five year old children. The program is funded through the Arkansas Better Chance Program.

According to Evans, the program will launch a new 3-year-old curriculum this fall, followed by new 4-year-old curriculum next year.

"We are excited about the new curriculum," Evans said.

Evans said the new 3-year-old curriculum will have more 4-year-old skills in it that the previous one.

HIPPY curriculum consist of nine storybooks, 30 age and developmentally appropriate curriculum packets and a set of colored shapes. The program also provides other teaching supplies such as glue scissors, pencils and crayons for the students and parent to successfully complete the lessons.

This past school year, the Lonoke HIPPY program served 83 children in 77 families. This number included 31 three year—olds, 34 four year-olds and 18 five year-olds. The district has three home based educators for the program. Each home based educator conducted 25-26 home visits each week, entered children’s progress on the Work Sampling System on-line, updated child and family information on the Child Outcome Planning and Assessment on-line program in addition to recording weekly attendance. The home based educators also planned and executed a minimum of six parent group meetings.

For more information on the HIPPY program, contact Sherry Evans at 501-676-0121.

In other business, the district will offer new CORE classes and high school electives for students this fall. The board unanimously voted to purchase the Edmentum [Plato] on-line courseware to replace the Odysseyware and Nova Net, which the district is currently using in the Alternative Learning Environment (ALE) and at the high school for course recovery. With this purchase, each teacher in the district will receive a log-in to use in their classroom, as well as each student at the high school will have access if needed. Cost of the program is $10,000.

In addition, the board approved the purchase of an electives package as well as a beyond high school package for an additional $8,730.00. These additional purchases will allow a virtual classroom at the high school to be established and help give students more opportunities. By offering the additional course, scheduling problems should be reduced to a minimum, as a lab class will be available to take the courses available, offering more classes and choices to high school students. The district plans to circulate 28 students through the lab each period. Five students per period each day will also have the opportunity to work on ACT prep and SAT prep courses. The district will also be able to use these programs in its CORE program.

The district will continue to pay five year standard renewal fees for licensed staff, following a unanimous vote by the board. Over the past four years, an average of $2,400 per year has been spent on standard renewal fees for licensed staff members. Cost is $100 per person. Board members agreed it is an extra incentive for employees working in the district.

By unanimous vote, the board approved a school choice resolution. According to the resolution, any student applying through school choice, must apply by June 1. The district is responsible for accepting or denying the application by August 1. Superintendent Suzanne Bailey there are currently four students wanting to choice into the district; three from Cabot and one from Clarendon. Bailey said there are three students wanting to leave the district by school choice, two wish to attend Cabot and one wants to attend Beebe.

Following executive session, the board accept the resignations of: Ramona Holloway as part-time Adult Education teacher; Julie Prado as high school math teacher; Sarah Higgins as Middle School Art teacher; Garbrielle Lilly as part-time enrichment teacher at the primary school; and Sherri Welch as primary school kindergarten teacher.

The board unanimously hired Nancy Lively as ALE teacher; Courtney Swiney as Middle School Counselor; and Tana Miller as Middle School Family and Consumer Science teacher.

Also during the meeting, the board unanimously approved to:

• Purcahse property insurance through the Arkansas School Board Association for $84,854.80.

• Extend the contract of Middle School Secretary, Tracy Cole from nine to 12 months.

• Accept the 2013-2014 proposed budget with a five percent increase from last year.

• Stay with Lonoke Banking Center for banking services.

• Accept Performance Foodservice Group for groceries

• Adopt the Arkansas School Board Association revisions to the board policy

Chris James and Rick Pennington was absent from the Monday night meeting.

During a special meeting on June 20, the board voted unanimously voted to uphold the recommendation of the superintendent for non-renewal of contract for Sue Roedel, director of food services, and to dispose of the retired assets as presented, in a manor deemed most appropriate for the district as determined by the superintendent. James and Pennington were also absent from the special meeting June 20.

The next regularly scheduled meeting will be a 6 p.m. on July 15 at the administration building.