The Bryant School Board met during a regular meeting on Thursday, September 24, 2015. The following highlights some of the major items discussed and decided. For additional information about the board, visit the district’s website at bryantschools.org.
Reorganization of Board
In the fall of each school year, the Bryant School Board elects new officers. The Board voted unanimously to elect Michael Daly as the 2015-2016 Board President.
The seven member Board also elected Sandra Porter to serve as Vice President; Joe Wishard to serve again as Secretary; and Mr. David Moore to serve another year as Disbursement Officer.
National Merit Semifinalist
Bryant High School senior Alexis Lorio was recently announced as a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Semifinalists are the highest-scoring PSAT program entrants in each state and represent the top one percent of the state’s senior students. This academically talented high school senior will have the opportunity to compete for a National Merit Scholarship offered next spring. Board President Michael Daly congratulated Alexis on her award.
Salt Bowl Peanut Butter Drive
In association with the 2015 Salt Bowl, Bryant partnered with the Arkansas Rice Depot to collect peanut butter for hungry kids in Saline County. Jill Middlebrooks, a second grade teacher at Bryant Elementary, led the school’s peanut butter drive, collecting a record-setting 4,431 pounds. Fifth grade student Jayden Everett donated 1,000 pounds for the drive, the most ever collected by a single student.
John McMorran with Lewis Architects and Tony Curtis with Baldwin Shell gave a facilities update. The projects at Davis Elementary and Collegeville Elementary will most likely come in under budget, saving the district approximately $200,000.
Athletic Director Mike Lee introduced Jim Wyatt with ASL (Amateur Sports Licensing) who provided information on a school district trademark licensing program. ASL partners with school districts to provide trademark filing, vendor licensing/royalty revenue, brand protection, and brand promotion.
The Bryant School District would seek trademarks for the Hornet logo, the “B”, “Bryant Hornets”, and the school district seal. ASL works with vendors who have a vested interest in protecting and promoting the brand and creates a fair business environment for local and national vendors, providing a revenue stream for the District.
The Board gave approval to move forward in contracting with ASL for a license agreement program. The ASL proposal is available here.
Out of State Travel Requests
Karen Scarlett, Bryant High School Cheer Team sponsor presented an out of state travel request for board approval. Mrs. Scarlett requested permission for the high school cheer team to travel to Orlando, Florida February 4-8, 2016 to participate in the National High School Cheer Championship.
Laura Wooten, Bryant High School Dance Team sponsor, presented an out of state travel request for board approval. Mrs. Wooten requested permission for the high school dance team to travel to Orlando, Florida January 29-31, 2016 to participate in the National Dance Team Championship.
Both requests were approved.
Rate of Pay Increase for Tutors
Allen Scott, representing the Certified Personnel Policies Committee, brought a recommendation to the Board to increase the rate of pay for tutors and home bound teachers.
Qualified tutors are needed for the renewed initiative to provide after school programming for students struggling with achievement. Each school is devising a unique plan to help its struggling learners. The pay increase is intended to help recruit qualified applicants for tutoring services beginning September 28.
The Board voted to change the hourly rate for tutors and home bound teachers from $33.85 per hour to $40.00 per hour. For this to be in effect, a vote by licensed and certified personnel must be conducted.
District Budget Reflects Savings
The Board approved as presented the 2015-16 annual budgets: Federal, Special Education and District budgets.
As promised last spring, this year’s District budget reflects the $3 million set aside for the building fund. The summary of revenue and expenditures leave a variance of $472,692, “the leanest budget I have ever presented to a school board,” according to Superintendent Tom Kimbrell. “This budget leaves little to no cushion. We budgeted what we had to spend,” he continued.
Dr. Kimbrell commended Angie Drummond, business manager, on the format and presentation. “We want to be transparent with our patrons. This budget is clear and easy to read even with the complexity of school finance.” The budget is posted online for those interested in how the District will spend taxpayer investment in the coming year.
Mrs. Drummond also reported a 2014-15 budget overage of $4,962,759.97. “This is a direct result of our staff carefully managing the District’s resources and begin on board with saving for facilities,” said Dr. Kimbrell. The Board will determine how to spend the overage at the October 22 meeting after considering building needs, capital expenditures and one time bonuses for staff.
Superintendent Tom Kimbrell updated the board on the following:
- As of September 24, 9,146 students (not including PreK) are enrolled in the District.
- The Facilities Master Plan Public Meeting is Tuesday, September 29 at 6pm in the BHS MultiPurpose Room.
- After the contract has been signed, Fidelity Cable/Local 6 will rebroadcast Hornet football games.