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Mount Ida buss fleet among best in state

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Superintendent Hal Landrith informed the Mount Ida School Board members that the district had been selected as one of six schools to be honored for the bus fleets safety record by the Arkansas Association of Pupil Transportation (AAPT).
The AAPT serves the students of Arkansas by assisting districts in staying up to date with the newest and safest equipment and procedures for transporting students to and from school and school related activities.
Each year school bus inspections are conducted by state school bus inspectors according to specific safety criteria. The purpose of the inspections is to ensure that all school buses in operation are maintained at the highest level.
The AAPT recognizes school districts in Arkansas that demonstrate great safety practices regarding maintenance of their school bus fleet. Schools are nominated by the state inspectors based on four criteria:
1. Quality of the school bus inspections
2. Quality of the school bus maintenance records
3. Cleanliness of the school bus fleet
4. Quality of the preventive maintenance programs
Mount Ida was nominated for the award and chosen by the AAPT.
Superintendent Landrith gave all the credit to Marty Mayberry, the bus fleet director.
“This is quite an honor for Marty.” Landrith stated.
Superintendent Landrith, Marty and his wife will attend a banquet in Hot Springs June 30 to receive the award.
The board also heard a year end report from gifted and talented coordinator Melissa Austin.
The Gifted and talented program served 77 students in grades 3-12 with nine new students added to the program this year.
They program purchased 45 Chrome books with charging carts for use by the students. They are able to use Duolingo, a free foreign language program, on the devices, as well as research for projects. They had also used them for online chess practice, logic and strategy exercises.
Students completed a personalized research project and competed in quiz bowls and chess tournaments.
Mount Ida also hosted a county wide quiz bowl tournament this year. They have purchased new buzzer systems to help in future tournaments.
Third and fourth grade competed in Battle of the Books and Lyndsey Crutchfield attended Girls State. Kyleigh Sigman and Cullen Smith received honors from Duke TIP.
Students also enjoyed several field trips this year.
The board voted to increase breakfast and lunch prices to comply with federal regulations.
Superintendent Landreth explained to the board that the federal government reimbursed the school $1.93 for breakfasts and $3 for lunches for free lunch recipients. Mount Ida only charged 85 cents for breakfast and $1.75 for lunch for paying students.
The federal program has guidelines regarding the cost of paid lunches which Mount Ida does not meet. In order for the district to continue to receive free and reduced lunch support they had to increase lunch prices.
The board voted to raise the cost of breakfast to 95 cents and the cost for lunch to $1.90.
The board voted to increase salary schedules for master level certified employees by $99 per year and classified employees by $300 per year to meet new state requirements.
The board voted to renew insurance policies for student/athletic accident insurance and school property.