Lonoke School Board member Matt Boyles was appointed to position of board president Monday night during the regular monthly board meeting.
Boyles will be replacing Darrell Park, who has served two years as board president. According to Boyles, he believes it is the best interest of the district to rotate board members into the president position so that the district does not get "stuck in a rut".
Other newly-appointed officers are vice president Karen James and secretary Tony Kellybrew. All position nominations were approved by a unanimous vote of the board.
The board was presented with two options to appoint a new board member for the position of Zone 3, Position 2 in the Lonoke School District. Johnie Watson and Stephen Hearon have both shown interest in the position, according to board members. Karen James, Tony Kellybrew, Karl Pennington, Mike Brown and Darrell Park voted to appoint Watson to the position. Matt Boyles was opposed. The vote passed by 5-1. Watson will be appointed to the position until the upcoming 2014 school board elections. He will be replacing Rick Pennington, who served on the board for 21 years.
Building principals presented their report to the public during the meeting. Primary school principal Rebecca Reed presented her report. She said there are currently 391 students enrolled in kindergarten through second grade and 58 preschool students. The primary school is currently working toward removing its status of needs improvement in the subjects of literacy and math in conjunction with the school improvement goal requirements set by the state.
Lonoke Elementary principal Jennifer Barbaree gave her report on her campus.
She said there are currently 394 students enrolled in grades third through fifth. Barbaree said while fourth and fifth grade students exceeded state expectations in literacy, third grade students were six percent lower than state expectations, according to the Literacy Benchmark Exam. In math, third grade students scored four percent lower than state expectations, fourth grade scored 14 percent lower and fifth grade scored 30 percent lower that state expectations according to the Mathematics Benchmark Exam. Barbaree said because the elementary school did not meet state expectations in every grade for each subject, Lonoke Elementary School was identified as a needs improvement school for both literacy and mathematics.
Middle School principal Jeannie Holt gave the report for the middle school. Holt said there are currently 406 middle school students enrolled in sixth through eighth grade. She said the middle school did not meet the annual measurable objective set by the state, so the campus is on the needs improvement status in the areas of literacy and math and will be working toward removal of that status. Holt added that additional safety measures are being taken at the facility. She said the school is only accessible through the main entrance after contacting office personnel by intercom. All doors will remain locked and visitors must report to the main office to authorize access to the school and issuance of a pass. .
Principal Marc Sherrell presented the high school report. He said there are currently nine new staff members and approximately 611 students enrolled. Sherrell said a school-wide effort is being made to address deficit areas in literacy. To address those issues, remediation is being done by literacy teachers during advisory periods. Data driven instruction, staff professional development and The Learning Institute (TLI) interim assessments all contribute to the school remediation process.
Superintendent Suzanne Bailey gave her report on behalf of the district. She said the mission of the Lonoke School District is to create an environment that provides all students with the academic skills and responsible citizenship need. The district vision is for students to become responsible and effective leaders. Bailey also commented on the success of district team performances, district finances and district goals. The district goals are address in the district strategic plan, which will be on the district website by the middle of November, according to Bailey.
For the month of October, the elementary school students and staff members of the month were recognized during the meeting. For the male student of the month, fourth grade student Wylliam Coffey was chosen. Coffey was said to "go above and beyond to help classmates". Fifth grade student Say’Ee Brown was selected as the female student of the month. Brown is said to be "polite and kind" and also "meeting and exceeding reading goals".
Licensed employee of the month is reading interventionist Kathy Johnston. Johnston is said to "treat all students and her own" and recognized as having a "very big heart." Paraprofessional Cheryl Smith was recognized as classified employee of the month. Smith is said to be "willing and ready to help out when needed" and "always has a smile on her face".
Lonoke Middle School staff and students of the month will be recognized in the upcoming November board meeting.
In other business, the board unanimously voted to:
•Accept the resignation of Corrie Wood as first grade teacher
•Employ Terena Lovston on a one year contract
•Accept contract revisions of ROTC instructor Paul Brown with some additional due diligence from the superintendent; if that due diligence is favorable then the district will move forward with the revisions.
•Accept the facility usage agreement with revisions requiring school custodial requirements.
•Purchase additional smart response XE systems for $10,171.46. These systems are used by math and science teacher and allow classrooms to gain immediate feedback from students as they work on their assignments.
•Approve the legal transfer of a Lonoke student from the Cabot School District.
The next regularly scheduled school board meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Nov. 18 in the school administration building.