The Lonoke School Board approved the 2018-19 district calendar during its Monday night meeting.

School is set to begin at Lonoke on Aug. 13, for the 2018-19 school year. In addition to holiday breaks, the calendar has three built in holidays Sept. 3, Jan. 21 and May 27 and four no school days, Oct. 19, Feb. 15, Feb. 18 and April 19. Feb. 18 and April 19 will also be used as make up snow days, in the event the Arkansas Department of Education chooses to no longer allow the substitution of snow days with Alternative Methods of Instruction (AMI) days. Thanksgiving break will be Nov. 19-23, followed by Christmas break on Dec. 24-Jan 4 and Spring break on March 18-22.

One major change to the district calendar will be parent teacher conferences. With a majority vote by staff, the district will now hold conferences for two days district wide, rather than the current rotation of two schools per day, for two days. District wide parent teacher conferences will be held from 2-6:30 p.m. Oct. 15- 16, and Feb. 11- 12.

The last day of school will be on May 24.

In other business, the board discussed three policy changes concerning classified jury duty or court appearances, bus driver sick and personal days and dress code.

For the classified personnel jury duty or court policy change, the proposed policy will reflect the recent certified policy change. The new change was made to include that employees “are not subject to discharge, loss of sick leave, loss of vacation time or any other penalty due to absence of work”. By unanimous vote, the board approved the change to the classified personnel jury duty or court appearances policy.

As for the bus driver policy change, the amount of sick leave days per year will be increased from five to seven days per year. The board unanimously approved the change to the bus driver sick and personal day policy.

The final police change proposed to the board, was the dress of licensed employees. While the current policy clearly defines what is considered professional dress in multiple bullet points, the new policy change would be more relaxed. With a unanimous vote, the board approved the change of the current policy of dress for licensed employees to read “All employees should dress neatly and in good taste for all work assignments”.

Also during the meeting, the board unanimously approved to:

- Spend $13,500 for summer professional development services through Ron Clark Academy

- Spend $15,860 for early childhood special education services and $16,400 on professional development services for certified personal from the Wilbur D. Mills Co-op

- Authorize a wavier to Nikeisha Ramey to continue employment as Middle School Nurse

- Accept the resignation of Toya Beeler as high school English teacher effective May 28, Rebecca Bunts as district migrant paraprofessional and Kore Smith as bus driver

- Hire Cheri Watts as part-time paraprofessional for the adult education program and Maria Ramirez as district migrant paraprofessional

- Move the March board meeting from March 19 to March 26 due to spring break

Mike Brown was absent from the meeting. The next regular scheduled meeting will be at 6 p.m. March 26 in the administration building.