The Newport Special School District held its regularly scheduled board meeting Tuesday, April 20, in the Board Room of the Administration Building.

Board members in attendance were Jeff Rutledge, Jeff Sampson, Todd Norris, Kathy Green, Heath George, Loftin Kent, and Bryson Elston.

In new business, Superintendent Brett Bunch presented information about renewal of the NEA Therapy Contract. Bunch explained that the contract is for OT/PT/Speech services that are a purchased service for the district. The contract was approved 7-0.

The second item on the agenda was the new curriculum for the district which follows the state department and the Science of Reading. NES Principal Amy Thaxton and NHS Principal Terri Kane presented the new curriculum to the board.The Board asked multiple questions about the elementary level and Thaxton, Asst. Principal Henderson and Iris Clark answered them. Terri Kane presented the curriculum for the 6-12 campus and pointed out the blended opportunities for the students having textbooks and technology. The new curriculum and books will be utilized for a six-year period at a cost to the district of $797,958.79. The Board approved the cost 7-0.

Superintendent Bunch presented the need for a fire alarm system in the Science building and old gym to be brought to code and replaced at a cost of $36,592.18. The board approved the cost 7-0. Next, Bunch presented information on the purchase of the District Special Education and CCEIS curriculum for the next year. The cost is $54,039.94 to provide the necessary curriculum. The Board approved the purchase 7-0.

Mrs. Mayo of the Certified PPC Committee presented a change to a board policy. The PPC wanted the policy for personal days to be rescinded from a previous meeting and install a new policy that would allow the remittance of carryover of five personal days from year to year once the personal days are accumulated and any others to be moved to sick leave. She made a strong presentation for the change and shared the committee’s views on the change. Jeff Sampson agreed with the PPC and made a motion to approve the 5-day carryover and to change from a half day requirement to a quarter day. Mr. Rutledge acknowledged the motion and asked for a second. There was not a second, so the motion died due to a lack of a second. Jeff Rutledge asked if there were any other motions and Kathy Green made the motion for approval of changing from a half day to a quarter day leaving out the five personal day carryover, and it was seconded by Loftin Kent. The board passed it 6-0. Heath George had to leave the meeting for work reasons.

Superintendent Bunch presented the training for elementary and 6-12 teachers this summer in phonics and Connections which will cost the district $29,100. The board approved the purchase 6-0.

Bunch presented the SPED (Special Education) Statement of Intent and Assurances for board approval. The board approved the intent and assurances 6-0 in favor.

The Board went into executive session to discuss resignations and employment at 8 p.m. and returned to open session at 8:59 p.m. Superintendent recommendations included the acceptance of the resignation for Iris Clark as elementary assistant principal effective at the end of the current school year, acceptance of the resignation of Jennie Graham as elementary office secretary effective June 1, and acceptance of the resignation of Paige Hale as 11th and 12th grade English teacher effective at the end of this school year.

The Board approved:

The hiring of the following candidates for Newport Elementary for the 2021-2022 school year: Hannah Sanders, Leticia Caballero, Jadyn Brown, Garrett Montgomery, Brooke Grimes, and Audreona Ferren.

The hiring of the following candidates for Newport High School for the 2021-2022 school year: Stephanie Thomas, Caleb Spears, Tyler Emery, Jason Thomas, Acklyn Overfield, and Leticia Patterson.

Recommendations moving Bobby Pankey to special education teacher at the elementary for the 2021-2022 school year, moving of Ginger Willis as the District GT Coordinator for the 2021-2022 school year, moving Lisa May to elementary reading specialist for the elementary for the 2021-2022 school year, and moving Tammy Runyon to high school reading specialist for the 2021-2022 school year.

The renewal of classified staff contracts for the 2021-2022 school year for those employees identified on the list provided to the Board.

Changes to the extra duties schedule including Tennis changes to Tennis Boys/Girls $800 or $400 per team, Golf changes to Golf Boys/Girls $800 or $400 per team, Cheer changes to SR/JR Cheer $2,500 or $1,250 per team, Whippets changes to SR/JR Whippets $2,500 or $1,250 per team, High School Dean of Students multiplier will be .26, and Elementary Dean of Students multiplier will be .20.

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