The percentage of Paragould High School students doing well in advanced placement classes has far exceeded both national and state averages, and two local teachers were also honored this week for their work as high-impact teachers.
The Paragould School Board met Monday evening and received an update on AP programs from district coordinator Sarah Cooper.
Officials said the percentage of Paragould students scoring a 3 or higher on tests in 2022 was 92 percent in AP Calculus, 91 percent in AP Literature and 80 percent in AP Physics, higher than the 56 percent in AP Calculus, 78 percent in AP Literature and 43 percent in AP Calculus on national scores.
Also, the number was higher than the state average of 43 percent for AP Calculus, 61 percent in AP Literature and 25 percent in AP Physics, officials said.
In discussing the good numbers, school officials said they were proud of the work done by students and staff and that they would continue to strive for excellence.
The district has 13 AP courses for students in grades 10-12 and plan to add two new courses next year. Also, there are 22 honors courses offered to students in grades 6-12.
Officials said the teachers in the program are highly qualified and attend professional development each summer to help students.
The work by teachers also drew support this week from the Arkansas Department of Education.
Deputy Commissioner Ivy Pfeffer presented high-impact teacher awards to teachers Julia Sleeper and Farrah Wilcox May 8 for their work in providing multiple years of high student growth at the school.
Both teachers will be participating in focus groups this summer with the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, officials said.
Board members also received an update on several construction projects set for the district this year.
Scott McDaniel, with Ramsons Construction, told the board that the HVAC project at the junior high school gym will start May 22, while playground projects at the School of the 21st Century, Paragould Primary and Woodrow Wilson Elementary were set to begin May 10.
District officials are also working to create a committee to start planning for a new physical education facility at the high school, as well as a new softball and baseball complex.
The work will involve speaking with the district architect and visiting other school districts around the state to get ideas.
In other business, board members:
Approved an out of state trip request for the junior and senior high volleyball teams to attend a camp in Cape Girardeau on July 20 and July 27-28.
Heard from Special Education Director Stephanie Thomas about the district’s 2023-24 special education application to the school board. Officials said the presentation included a preliminary budget that will be modified once allocations are made available to the district.
Approved the purchase of computer adaptive literacy software from Lexia Learning for $82,800. The purchase will be for the 2023-24 school year.
Approved renewing math resources from Great Minds for $91,985.76. The renewal will be for the 2023-24 school year.
Approved purchasing televisions and wall mounts for Woodrow Wilson Elementary for $27,828.94.
Approved the district’s participation in the Community Eligibility Provision involving school lunches for the 2023-24 school year. School officials said as a result, the district will not send lunch applications home with students this fall and that the provision allows the district to feed students at no cost to parents regardless of whether or not the students qualify for free or reduced lunches.
Appointed Superintendent Dr. Nick Jankoviak as the district’s representative on the Northeast Arkansas Educational Service Cooperative Board of Directors for the 2023-24 school year.
Approved a resolution to implement a purchasing card program that will help employees in purchasing and paying for authorized goods and services on behalf of the district with an individually issued purchasing card. Officials said the system will be more cost effective when buying items for programs and activities for the district.
Approved all school choice applications for the 2023-24 school year.
Accepted the resignations of Jonathan Hughes, special education paraprofessional, Sherry Bateman, special education paraprofessional; Laurie Eubanks, nursing duties as needed; Johna Washington, primary teacher; Caleb Williams, junior high assistant boys basketball coach and senior high assistant baseball coach; Robbie Mosley, senior high head track coach, junior high assistant track coach and bus driver; Tim Henry, special education teacher; Maggie Schreit, Oak Grove Middle School teacher and Middle School Spirit Squad sponsor; David Powell, junior high social studies teacher and .75 FTE bus driver; Pam Cox, junior class sponsor; Roger Hollis, junior class sponsor; Mark Lovins, junior class sponsor; Shannon Lamb, senior class sponsor and Kelly Reddick, senior class sponsor.
Voted to hire Zach Kent, 1.0 FTE bus driver; Laura Henson, junior class sponsor; Amanda Pillow, junior class sponsor; Pam Cox, senior class sponsor; Roger Hollis, senior class sponsor; Mark Lovins, senior class sponsor; Kay Beth Daugherty, Oak Grove Elementary parent facilitator; Rachel Parrish, art teacher and Micah Rogers, primary teacher.
Voted to reassign Jessica Newberry from Baldwin computer lab manager to primary teacher; Elizabeth Ockel from primary/elementary instructional facilitator/interventionist to Baldwin teacher; Sonni Tripod from primary teacher to special education teacher; Farrah Wilcox from Woodrow Wilson elementary teacher to Paragould Junior High/Senior High critical reading teacher; Robbie Mosley from junior high physical education teacher to high school physical education teacher and Ram Academy teacher; Caleb William from high school teacher, junior high assistant boys basketball coach and senior high assistant baseball coach to .6876 FTE preschool director and .3124 FTE high school teacher; Stephanie Elmore from Oak Grove Elementary counselor to primary PreK-1 assistant principal; David Powell from junior high social studies teacher and .75 FTE bus driver to director of maintenance, grounds, custodians and .5 FTE bus driver; and Zach Kent from technology technician to high school broadcasting teacher and technology technician.
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