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BSD employees to get bonus

By John Miller, 12/5/17 11:01 AM

Blevins-Schools

BLEVINS – Employees with the Blevins School District will be getting a $500 Christmas bonus this year.

The full timers will receive $500 while part time help will get $250, according to a vote by the Blevins School Board at its December meeting Monday night. This will be the same amount they received last year.

Superintendent Billy Lee told the board the district’s finances are more than $2 million this month, with almost $800,000 in the building fund. Questions were raised by the board about using building fund money. Lee said in the past these funds could be used for about anything, but now can only be used for building projects, such as those in the district’s master plan. For Blevins, a major project is a tornado shelter.

Board President Laura Clark spoke to the audience saying comments from the public having nothing to do with the business at hand will be ignored. Any comments should contribute to what the board is discussing.

That said, the board approved the district’s master plan resolution as required by the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), with Lee again pointing out a tornado shelter for the district is the next major project on tap.

The board was informed the newest bus still isn’t running right and needs to be put back in the shop for repair. Apparently, the bus loses engine power and isn’t reliable for running routes. The problem, Lee said, is this puts the district back on a short schedule, but routes can’t be shortened or ignored.

Clark suggested hiring a permanent substitute driver who would be paid a salary and be on call do drive as needed. However, they would have to have their commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Lee said the district needs someone to drive the handicap bus from now until the end of semester, and the board can look at possibly increasing drivers’ pay when it addresses the district’s salary schedule next year. He reminded the panel the district offered $500 for drivers not missing work, saying it worked but not all the drivers took advantage of it.

Currently, Lee said, being short a bus and driver students are being kept in the gym after school with the route being ran late.

Clark brought up the topic of a timeclock for employees, saying there have been complaints. According to the discussion, the complaints arise around some clocking others in when the others aren’t there.

Lee said everyone punches the time clock, but it’s done via computer in their classrooms. In the past, he continued, employees were required to come to the office to punch the clock, or sign in and out. The problem, he added, is the scope of the situation isn’t known, but there was an instance when a person was clocked in at the district, but found to be in Little Rock.

“The clock isn’t helping with those kind of things,” he said. Blevins, he added, isn’t the only district with this kind of problem. In some larger districts, he told the board, facial recognition is used to clock employees in and out. He said Blevins looked at using key cards, but this wasn’t financially feasible.

It was pointed out another district required teachers and staff to use the intercom to check in with the office when they were going in and out.

In the end, the issue was set aside to be discussed at the January meeting.

Pat Loe, interim principal for Blevins Elementary School, said BES has one more classroom assessment to be done on the ACT Aspire before the semester ends, and it will be accomplished. Next semester, she added, interim tests will be given in preparation for the actual tests later in the year.

The board accepted the resignation of a kindergarten ABC program teacher effective Dec. 19, and voted to hire Janell Poindexter as an ABC aide.

The board went into executive session, as Clark said, to discuss Lee’s contract.