Saturday, January 31, 2015

TOP STORY >> Update on apps for Cabot board

Leader staff writer

Cabot School Board members were updated on the district’s new mobile app for smartphones and afterschool programs during last week’s meeting.

Communications director Liz Massey spoke about this month’s launch of the Cabot School District app for smartphones.

The app allows parents, students and staff immediate access to school news, notifications and student information. Parents can view their children’s grades, homework and absences or tardies. They can see their child’s bus route, which school they will attend and if school will be canceled due to winter weather.

She said more than 8,000 people have downloaded the free app so far. “Everywhere I’ve gone, people say they enjoy it. They like the look. It was very easy to download.”

Massey added that the app is being tweaked and is an ongoing project.

In other business, elementary education coordinator Michelle French spoke about the after-school programs in the district. The programs are at every elementary school and at the two middle schools for students needing extra help in math, literacy and test taking skills. The students meet with teachers for one hour from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. twice a week.

Parents provide the transportation. Snacks are offered. Each school has four teachers working from third- and fourth-grade curriculums.

“We’ll serve 225 children. The after-school program is 16 sessions starting at the end of the month,” French said.

“We have a lot of parents who want their children to have that extra help. It targets children that are preforming a little below. It’s another way we can provide interventions,” she noted.

The school district also recognized 11 new National Board Certified teachers.

They are Kim Griffin and Amanda Midkiff of Eastside Elementary; Rhonda Frey of Magness Creek Elementary, Stacey Bean, Jill Geran and Brandy Gwantney of Mountain Springs Elementary; Deana Davis of Junior High North, Erica Hann of Junior High North and Freshman Academy, Kasey Hill of Freshman Academy and Christi Waller of Cabot High School.

The district then recognized the top six Cabot Spelling Bee winners. They are Andrew Bristow of Junior High North, Kate Judy, Emme Huey, Hanna Reynolds and Austin Coombe, all of Middle School North, and Grace McEwen of Junior High South.

They competed at the Lonoke County Spelling Bee contest on Monday in Carlisle.

Deputy superintendent Harold Jeffcoat also gave the board a buildings and grounds update. Bids will soon go out for a new heating and air conditioning system at Northside Elementary and new vinyl flooring at Middle School South.