Harrisburg School Board address H1N1 threat

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Harrisburg School Board met Monday night in their regular session with all but Frankie Lindsey present. Following approval of the minutes and other reports, Superintendent Danny Sample brought up the information he had received regarding the H1N1 virus, commonly known as the swine flu.

"We need an approval to put this in the Crisis Plan," said Sample.

Sample the listed the three phases of what a school is required to do regarding the disease.

In brief, the first phase has to do with educating the public regarding the virus. The second phase outlines steps to take with regard to specific cases once the virus is found to be in the school. The third phase was school closing.

When asked about the current sicknesses which are at the school, Sample admitted that the school is experiencing more sickness than normal.

"There is a virus out there," he explained. "But it's not the swine flu. It mimics it, but it runs about four or five days."

Sample went on to say that letters would be sent out explaining the issue.

Adequate Yearly Progress reports

Principals for the high school, middle school and elementary presented their AYP reports and overall, each of the schools showed improvement.

Cathy Spiegal, elementary principal, said her third and fourth graders met their standards in literacy and math.

"Our scores were above both the state and regional averages," she said.

Middle school principal, Karli Saracini said while here group of fifth through eighth graders showed improvement overall since 2006 when their testing started, the fifth grade was struggling.

"This is why we do testing," said board member Bud Johns. "That way we can know where improvement can be made."

Steven Rorex, principal of the high school opened his presentation by saying he had been waiting to talk.

"We are no longer in school improvement," he said. "And I want to say it was the teachers and the kids who have done it. We are at or above state averages on everything."

Bus bids opened

Two bus bids had been received and were opened Monday night as specified in the bid notices.

Diamond State Bus, formerly Ward Bus, of Conway won the bid over Central Bus Sales of North Little Rock. Diamond State's bid was $66,998 compared to $69,395 for Central.

The board took the Diamond bid under advisement.

In other business:

* Resignations were accepted from custodian Lauri Bogard and Instructional Assitant Tina Adams.

* The board voted to hire James Meredith as custodian and Allison Mills as instructional assistant to replace Bogard and Adams.

* Sample said a letter had been sent to parents regarding the Special Education Due Process records. The letter asked the parents to pick up the records by a specified date or they would be destroyed as mandated by federal law.

* Sample asked, for the record, for a restatement on matters regarding payment or reimbursement to school personnel moneys spent for educational improvement. The decision these sorts of matters, he said, had already been made clear in school policy as an administrative decision. The board verified same.

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