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Nashville school board fills vacancies; consider the construction of agri building at high school

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By John R. Schirmer
News-Leader staff

The Nashville School Board filled four more staff positions during a special meeting Thursday, July 13.

Hirings include Jared Jones, seventh grade science; Linda Stiver, junior high math; Stephanie Hendry, junior high nurse; Elizabeth Green, senior high nurse.

Board members accepted the resignation of coach and junior high teacher Wade Matlock.

Superintendent Doug Graham said the district is considering the possibility of utilizing current faculty members as literacy and math coaches and paying them stipends in lieu of hiring an overall curriculum coordinator. With school set to begin Aug. 14, finding a full-time curriculum coordinator is “something we’re not ready to do.”

Board members voted to purchase school supplies for grades K-6 as the district did the previous academic year. The district set aside $25,000 for primary school and $15,000 for elementary. “Feedback from parents has been a major plus,” Graham said.

Graham discussed several possible construction projects for the district and said that by the board’s regular meeting July 24, “It will be time to take some sense of direction for the projects.”

Starting June 30, 2018, a new state law will require a district’s operating balance to be no more than 20 percent of its revenue. Nashville’s operating balance of about $5.1 million from last year will be reduced to $2.8 million when the law takes effect, Graham said.

“We will have some money for our building fund. I suggest we strongly consider getting off high center with an agri building,” Graham said. The projected cost would be $800,000.

Graham said a new bus barn “has been on our 10-year plan. The current one is outdated and needs to be updated.” The cost would be about $720,000 for a 60×80-foot building with a 20-foot overhang, Graham said. The current barn is 50×50.

The Scrapper Stadium parking lot needs to be sealed and re-striped, Graham said. The lot is also used for Scrapper Arena parking and student parking at Nashville High.

Other sealing projects include the lot at the old Scrapper Gym and the circular drive at NHS. Graham said he will make a recommendation at the July 24 meeting. “Now is the time to take care of things that are on the back burner because of other projects.”

The board adopted a school election resolution. Incumbent David Hilliard is the only candidate to file a petition, Graham said.

Board members approved the district’s proposed budget for 2018-19. The budget may be found in today’s News-Leader.

The board accepted a bid of $2,739 from the Dwight Jones Agency for catastrophic accident insurance. The Arkansas Activities Association provides coverage for athletes, and the district’s policy will cover students not included in the AAA plan.