The Carlisle School Board approved an increase to district security measures during Monday night’s board meeting.

“I had a couple of concerned teachers come to me,” Carlisle Superintendent Jason Clark said. “We’d already been doing some talking, Mr. Stewart, Mr. Horn, Mrs. Horn and I, to look at some more security for our schools. Obviously that’s a hot button topic right now. We’re pretty good about that [security], for a small rural school. We have to punch a button to open doors and we’ve got some things that are good, that are already in place. What we are looking at doing, is these interior barricade locks where a teacher can actually lock the inside of their door with a mechanism, that then barricades the door.”

According to Clark, there are many options available on the market. Some that mount to the floor, some that are handles that are installed and others that are stand alone.

“We’re still kind of looking at the prototypes,” Clark said. “Most of these are running $40-60 per classroom. But during an active shooter drill or active shooter situation, the teacher would have access to this mechanism. They are not using the lock. This is something that prevents you from pushing against the door or breaking the door to get in.”

“So, 40-60 bucks on a lot of doors,” Clark said. “But you know, it’s just one of those things. In the world we live in, I don’t think you can have to much, well precautions put into place. I was very glad that we have officer Randi as school resource officer during these times. We’ve already made that decision and we’re a step up there. We have our building secure, but this would give our teachers some extra feeling of safety if we were on lock down. So for $40-60 apiece, I think that would be a good investment. We’re going to be hearing a lot about this over the next few months. I think the start for us is to go ahead and get something in that will barricade the doors.”

By unanimous, the board approve the purchase of interior door barricades for all doors on the district campuses, in an effort to strengthen school security.

In other business, the board approved the 2018-19 school calendar. School will begin April 13 and end on May 22, if no show days are taken. There are five snow days built into the calendar, which are President’s day on Feb. 18, April 19, May 23, May 24 and May 28. Holidays will include Labor Day, a school holiday on Oct. 15, Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, MLK day, President’s day, spring break and a second school holiday on April 19. High school graduation will be held on May 12.

During his administrative report, Clark said they had a prebid for the area of food service. He said out of the four invitations sent out, only one company, Opaa Food Management, came out to take measurements, pictures, inventory and ask questions. He said the official bid day will be held in April. Once bids are taken, they will be presented to the board for a decision on if the district will be outsourcing their food services.

As for district flooding, Clark said the district has been running two buses through Lonoke on 31, down to Coy and then over to highway 165 to get kids in the Humnoke and Allport areas. He said the route takes 80 minutes round trip to drive, which does not include stops. He said as of Monday water is still running over the highway in Culler but it is narrowing. Clark said unfortunately, highway 13 south remains underwater in some areas.

“Hamilton Loop is opening up, but the area headed back to 13 and Snake Island is still bad,” Clark said. “At one point I drove through there, all you could see were flags on each side. That was the only way you could drive through it. So we certainly are not prepared to send a bus through there. I’ve checked every other day to see when those waters are going to recede, but it’s been tough down that way. As you know we’ve missed quite a bit of school there with flooding. The principals and I will be talking about how to kind of deal with some of these absentees, for folks who have been stranded in flooded areas. So that has been a challenge for the district. “

Clark said he anticipates one route may open by the end of the week, but is hopeful both routes will be reopened after spring break.

Also during the meeting, the board unanimously approved to:

-Hire BJ Greene as high school principal and athletic director for the 2018-19 school year

- Rehire all certified staff as presented

- Accept the resignations of Missy Hunt as elementary interventionist, Joel Head as band director, Roger Alderson as high school science teacher and Mike King as coach.

- Allow the Carlisle Methodist Church to hold their Easter Egg hunt at the elementary playground on March 31

- Accept the mowing contract from Eddie Cates and Sons

Before close of the meeting, Carlisle School District faculty spoke to the board and presented gifts to them and the administration in a show of support to their hard work and dedication to the school district.

The next regular scheduled board meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. April 9 in the administration building.