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OARK — The Jasper School District Board of Education met early this month on Thursday, Oct. 3, to sign documents finalizing a refunding of $3.7 million in bonds dated Oct. 1. There were five bids received with FTN Financial Capital Markets submitting the lowest rate of 2.44%. FTN appointed Merchants & Planters Bank of Newport to serve as trustee.

Superintendent Jeff Cantrell said the school district will save $240,769.09 over the life of the bond issue, which is 4.753% less than payments would have been on the April 1, 2015, issue.

The school board adopted the Resolution Authorizing the Issue and Delivery of the $3,720,000, Jasper School District No. 1 of Newton County, Arkansas, Refunding Bonds dated Oct. 1,2019 and other documents pertaining thereto as prepared by the Friday, Eldredge & Clark Law Firm.

The school board approved a Christmas bonus of $250 across the board for school staff. It is the same amount the board approved last year.

Under personnel items, the board hired Jodi Haggard as a personal care aide at the Oark campus effective Oct. 4. An addendum was approved for a certified staff member. The board reassigned Tresa Yarbrough to 1/2 librarian and 1/2 teacher at the Oark campus. Ben Hare was added to the after-school tutoring program. The position pays $25 per hour. The expense is met by NSLA funds.

Administrative reports were received from principals.

Kingston High School boys and girls golf teams were able to qualify for the state golf tournament. Brooke Villines and Jadyn Head for the girls have already been able to compete this week and Avery Weaver, Levi Villines, Zac Root and Peyton Harness for the boys will compete this week, noted Kingston Principal Seth Villines.

Students were given the packets letting them know the days off they earned last year due to test scores. Many of the students earned these days and worked hard to help the school improve its performance last year, he said.

The annual Christmas in September event took place that raises money to help students in need around Christmas time. The leadership class organized this event. Those students are Willem Browning, Lane Sparks, Harley Hutton, Taylor Harp, Kaylyn Fancer, Zeph Davis, Bailey Mitchell and Lehton Williams. Through their hard work along with others and the generosity of the community, $4,500 were raised.

Bailey Kilgore, Aubry Hill, Calvin Smith and Bethany Long presented at the Office of Innovation for Education's fall conference an did an outstanding job, reported Jasper High School principal Jeff Lewis. Arkansas Education Department Commissioner Johnny Key was in attendance and addressed each student after the presentation. Assistant commissioner Stacey Smith was also present and gave a handwritten note to each student.

Lewis also reported the names of business students earning Microsoft Office Specialist Word 2019 certifications. He also recognized the Senior Robotics Team.

Jasper Elementary Principal Kim Liggett presented a report listing seven things teachers are doing to keep students engaged in their learning activities.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Candra Brasel gave the District Report. He noted that the school district certified staffs worked together and developed the district's vision: One District. One Team. One Mission and its Mission statement: ONE = Opportunities Never End. A logo design was selected. It was submitted by Colin Thomas, a paraprofessional and bus driver.

Student transfers, one student from Jasper to Deer/Mt. Judea and two students from Jasper to Harrison School District were approved.

The board received survey results of medical activities conducted during the 2018-2019 school year. The survey was compiled by Angela Kitchen, Oark RN and school district wellness coordinator.

Screenings performed: Hearing, 736; vision, 769; BMI, 507; Scoliosis, 108, lice, 1,150; total screenings, 3,270.

Prescription medication given: 4,052.

Number of office visits: 4,722.

Diagnosis: Asthma, 31; Diabetes and or seizures, 13; Rx episode-pens (life threatening allergy, 12; Rx for rectal diazepam or glucagon, 3; ADHD, 17; autism, 5; non-life threatening allergies, 85 and other diagnosis, 24.

Students in mental health services: 61.

Students with personal care billing: 5.

Percentage of students overweight or obese: Females 36.8% and males 42.5%.

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