EPC School Board discusses band uniforms

Friday, December 13, 2002

In its meeting Monday night, the East Poinsett County Board of Education heard from Band Director Tommy Duffel about purchasing band uniforms for the school's band. At the meeting, held on the Lepanto campus, Duffel spoke to the board about a plan to purchase 70 band uniforms, for children in grades 7-12 that participate in the school's band. Duffel said that the large number of uniforms was needed because the number of students in band fluctuates from year to year and the size of the students make it possible for the school to purchase uniforms in all shapes and sizes. Duffel added that uniforms are purchased every 10-12 years and that the current uniforms are 11 years old. Duffel speculated that the cost of the uniform would be about $300 per uniform. Currently, the band uses the uniforms at about 10-12 events a year, including football games, Christmas parades in Lepanto and Tyronza, competitions and the Lepanto Terrapin Derby. Supt. Gerald Jennings and board president Harold Tyler asked about other schools and their uniforms, and some commented that they had seen the DeWitt Marching Band and their uniform earlier this year and they liked them. Supt. Jennings agreed to talk to the DeWitt school system about their uniforms and get back to the parties involved. A possible solution to the issue could be found at the January 2003 meeting, held Jan. 6 in Lepanto.

In other action, the board:

* discussed a bus bid that was received late last week. The bus, a 71-passenger transit bus has a 210 horsepower Caterpillar engine, hydraulic brakes, Allison transmission, block heater and two escape hatches. The estimated cost of the bus was $57,637. Bus bids are expected to be finalized either during the January or February meeting.

* Heard a discussion on the sick leave change made during last month's meeting. Supt. Jennings announced that the school employees were in favor of the change, but heard some complaints about no change dealing with non-certified employees. Board president Harold Tyler expressed concern that in the future, there could be legal action taken over a perceived inequality in the system. But, Jennings countered that the pay for non-certified personnel is commiserate with the substitute pay for certified employees. Jennings agreed to check with the state Education Department and attorneys in Little Rock to see if non-certified employees are covered on the sick leave policy.

* Voted 5-0 to approve the minutes and financial statement for the month of Nov. 2002.

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