Tuesday, March 17, 2015

TOP STORY >> Lonoke extends school hours

Leader staff writer

The Lonoke School Board on Monday approved extending the school day by an hour in the afternoon to make up for eight snow days.

Students will also go to school on March 20 and April 3, which were snow days built into the calendar. The longer school days will be March 30 through May 18. Going an extra hour for six weeks will make up for six snow days.

District coordinator Amanda Rather said June 8, instead of May 29, would have been the last day of school if the missed snow days were added to the end of the year.

Rather said some people asked why not start the school days a few minutes earlier.

“We felt it was best for our parents to not mess up their schedules twice. They would have get up earlier and pick up their kids later,” Rather said.

Rather said class periods for middle school and high school students would be extended, too.

“How will that impact the Primary school kids? Will they have a snack in the afternoon since it is an extended time in the afternoon?,” school board president Karen James asked.

Student services director Nathan Morris said he and food service director Elen Smith are working on providing snacks.

Another concern for James was school dismissal.

Superintendent Suzanne Bailey said, when all the students are safely off the campus on cars and buses, the staff will be dismissed.

In other business, the board approved paying Arkansas State University-Searcy $30,062 for 37 students to take college courses and career and technical training.

The district also recognized Primary and Elementary School students and staff of the month that were voted on by their peers.

Primary students of the month were second graders Tamyah VanBuren and Will Lassiter.

Students and teachers commented that VanBuren was helpful to her classmates and teachers. She shows respect and uses her manners daily. She is bubbly and always has a smile on her face. She has read over 200,000 words this year.

Lassiter is smart and always enjoys a challenge. He strives to do his best while also having fun. He has also read over 200,000 words this year.

Primary staff members of the month were second grade teacher Alisha Inman and secretary Deanie Sherrell.

It was said that Inman is always cheerful. She is a caring teacher. Her main focus is to help each child achieve success. She pushes her students to do their best.

Sherrell always gives an encouraging word to the students. She goes out of her way to help.

 Elementary students of the month were fifth graders Kennedy Williams and Spencer Pepper.

Williams is friendly, smiling, and respectful to all teachers and adults. She is eager to learn, helpful to others and is a great student, according to her peers.

Pepper is humble and a hard worker. He is a leader and helpful to others.

Elementary staff members of the month were fourth grade literacy teacher Lauren Landers and assistant secretary Karon Booe.

Booe was described as a hard worker. She is willing to help out and take on anything.

It was said that Landers is an encouraging, positive and innovative teacher. She is eager to help other staff members with technology and teaching strategies. Landers is giving of her time, resources and classroom. She is a team player.