The Lonoke School Board met in a special meeting on Aug. 3, to approve handbook changes and new hires.

While most of the Primary school handbook changes included updated administration, school board and personnel information, it also included dress code changes, good behavior incentive, academic recognition, grading and reading expectations. On big change, was the restriction on fidget spinners, which are considered toys and not allowed except at recess, without a doctors note. Students will also not be administered medication or essential oils not approved by the FDA. By unanimous vote, the board approved the primary school handbook changes.

At Lonoke primary school, Saturday school will be added as a consequence for students. Students will not engage in treats to either students or adults. Jeans or pants may not have holes above the knee unless clothing is worn under the jeans or pants. Inappropriate emails to staff or students will be considered cyberbulling. By unanimous vote, the board approved the elementary school handbook changes.

At middle school, new infractions were added that include three to five days of in school suspension for many infractions. Students in eighth grade Algebra I, will also be scheduled for one period of eighth grade math. Make-up homework not turned in within the make-up schedule for that assignment, will be completed in Lunch Study Hall. By unanimous vote, the board approved the middle school handbook changes.

For the high school handbook changes include many new state required policy changes and laws, including the attendance requirements, parking areas or student vehicles, and excused absences. The high school handbook had many changes to areas such as dress code, electronic device, schedule changes and semester exam exemptions. In addition, coaches or sponsors of extracurricular activity will now be notified if a student test positive on a drug test. Students who are in any form of suspension or expulsion will not participate in any school function during that period, including prom. If a student misses 15 minutes or more of a class, they will be considered absent. By unanimous vote, the board approved the high school handbook changes.

Following executive session, the board unanimously approved to hire Brannon Kotch as long term sub for high school social studies and coach, Katie Haynes as fourth grade teacher and Maggie Polk as first grade teacher.

The next regular scheduled meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 21 in the administration building.