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Unit 10 board approves smart phone application
BRIDGEPORT - New technology will soon be streamlining communication between the Red Hill Unit 10 School District staff, students and public. During the Thursday night meeting of the school board, Technology Coordinator Tammy Parker showed the advantages of a smart phone app program linking the district website, Facebook and more for easy informative mobility. The board voted to enter into a five-year contract with Apptegy at a set-up cost of $4,200 with an additional $5,500 to be paid out of the technology budget and Title 4 Grant funds. The annual fee, thereafter, will be $8,000. It is expected that the app will be available and in operation before the start of the new 2020-21 school year.

The need for accountability of school funds was questioned by Mike and Colin Ray who addressed the board concerning yearbook sales. Over the course of about 15 years, a sum of $25,000 had been paid out of school accounts to make up for a lack of sales of the yearbooks. The Rays insisted that a better paper trail should have been in place for the sales of the annual yearbooks. Superintendent Jakie Walker explained that a certain number of yearbooks were required to be ordered. Although the district had cut down on the number of yearbooks ordered, the printing contracts still had to be honored for that cost. Now, Walker said, the yearbooks will only be available through the printer website.

Junior high school student Paige Hill also spoke to the board with a request for support of a junior high volleyball team. For further consideration, she was encouraged to rally more support to show promised participation in the sport.

For spring sports, the district is in need of substitute bus drivers. Driving for the events away from the home track and diamonds is "a huge responsibility," board member John Phipps said.

The board approved the purchase of new high school baseball uniforms which will be paid for out of booster club funds. J.C. Davis was approved as the high school baseball dollar coach. Also, J.D. Robinson was employed as the high school softball dollar coach. John Christy and Joel Mills were employed as high school track dollar coaches, while Haylie Fisher was hired as the junior high school girls' track dollar coach.

The board approved the purchase of two 2021 Bluebird gasoline-engine buses at a purchase cost of $179,122 to Central States. Two older buses are being traded in.

Whether or not to teach cursive writing in the schools is still in its discussion stages. It is expected that a final decision will be presented at the March meeting of the board.

In other business, the board:

• Approved Red Hill High School senior graduation as Saturday, May 16 at 2 p.m.

• Approved Red Hill Eighth Grade promotion exercises for Tuesday, May 19 at 6 p.m.

• Amended the school calendar to set May 22 as the last attendance day of the 2019-20 school year for students.

• Heard that the state currently owes $172,931 to the district.

• Approved the resignation of Tambara Tewell for retirement purposes. The resignation of Julia Parish, high school English teacher; Alec Moeller, Jr./Sr. High School Band/Chorus teacher; and Brian Taylor, high school physical education/health teacher, were also accepted.



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