School board to expand to seven members; meal fees to be bumped up slightly

By Jamie Miller

The current five-member Bryant Board of Education will be expanded to a seven-member board, it was[more] announced at the regular monthly meeting of the board on Monday night. The change is a result of the growth of the District's minority population, which now exceeds 10 percent. There will soon be five zone members and two at-large members. School Board elections will take place in September of 2012.

Higher lunch prices were proposed for the coming school year at the meeting. The proposal included breakfast for elementary and secondary raising from $1.25 to $1.35 for students and from $1.50 to $2.25 for adults. For lunch, the elementary and secondary student meals would raise 10 cents from $1.90 to $2 and the adult meals $2.55 to $3.50. The Board approved the motion.

With Common Core implementation continuing throughout the District, the media specialists have revamped their role in the instruction. The specialists will prepare staged sites for a specific grade-level research that the students will use to conduct research projects. This will provide students an opportunity to practice research in the same way that they will be tested on in the future.

The board recognized 13 students from the Bryant High School choir that have been accepted into the All-State Choir. In previous years, there were no more than seven students that received the honor, so this far surpasses the former record.

It was reported that all of the construction around the Bryant District is right on track with all projects running smoothly and timely. All of the architects and contractors submitted reports and updates to the School Board to show the progress of each project.

Dirt work on the revised north parking lot is now complete and the curbs have been poured on the new high school building.

At Hill Farm Elementary, all of the steel is now in place and the structure is up. The exterior brick work is coming along as well.

At Springhill Elementary, the roofs are nearing completion and the exterior brick work is underway.

The renovations at Salem Elementary are moving along. The cafeteria slab has been poured and the walls will begin going up shortly.

After all negotiations and bidding took place on the Salem Elementary project, the Board approved Clark Contractors at a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) of $4,076,362 to complete the project. Clark Contractors has been involved in previous construction projects throughout the district.

Also, the 2012-2013 school calendar was voted on and approved. The only changes included Parent/Teacher conference and Good Friday.

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