Officials with the Vilonia School District will spell out the consequences in the student handbook concerning the use or possession of drugs or alcohol on the campus.
The Board of Education approved the student handbooks Monday night with the stipulation that a statement be added to each, at all grade levels, regarding the consequences should a student be found to have drugs or alcohol while on the campus as well as pills.
Board member Mike West broached the subject after principals apprised the board regarding the "minor changes" that were made to the current handbook including a couple of state-mandated changes regarding retesting requirements on the junior high level. West said he would also like to see the upper classman handbooks "spell out" the drug and alcohol policy mirroring the district’s policy.
"I really think we should emphasize up front the consequences so both the student and parents will know what is going to happen," West said. He made reference to marijuana use as well as "a pill problem" that he said was happening at the end of last year.
Board member Scott Newell said that he would like to see the addendum added to all handbooks including those handed out in the lower grades.
"We had some young students doing the pills," Sanders said.
While he said he agreed with placing a condensed statement in the handbooks, Dr. Frank Mitchell, superintendent, said placing the lengthy district policy regarding the subject in the handbook would result in too much paper. The discussion ended with the principals being instructed to add a clear and precise statement to all handbooks "clearly spelling out" the consequences of disobeying the policy which could include suspension, expulsion and being turned over to authorities as well as resulting in the student being subject to school substance screening.
In other business, the board approved the following:
• Six school choice requests to include students transferring from Beebe, Greenbrier and Mt. Vernon.
• The purchase of a low-mileage bus for $91,000 from American Bus Sales with a three-year factory warranty to be used for activities and special need students. It was said purchasing the used bus will save the district about $25,000.
• The renewal of student accident insurance at $22,948 per year for the next two years from the Dwight Jones Agency. It was said the insurance may not be the "less expensive" but the service is excellent.
• The purchase of a commercial dishwasher at a cost of $8,084 from Supreme Fixture Co. of Little Rock for the elementary cafeteria.
• The purchase of football equipment from North Arkansas Athletics amounting to $4,033.20 for the 7th-grade, $6,251.05 for the junior high and $11,893.45 for the senior high.
• Installing some fencing at the football field as well as remodeling the entryway including placing two smaller ticket booths on the sides of the main booth. While the amount of the project was not set in stone, there was a projected cost of $15,000. The fencing would help with security for buses, Mitchell said. As well, he said, the entryway project will help with congestion.
• Asphalt work at the elementary at a cost of $17,287.
• Purchasing rubber mulch from Davis Rubber Co. for $6,772.50 for the elementary school.
• Adoption of agriculture textbooks.
• There was also discussion concerning algebra test scores for 2009/2010. Gary Lambert, assistant superintendent, said Vilonia students fared very well. All but two students in the district, he said, passed. And, he added, those two students were very close to passing. One of which, he said, enrolled in the school the day before the testing. The two students, he added, will be provided remediation and be tested in the fall.
• The board authorized Mitchell to explore seeking funding from FEMA to place a tornado shelter/P.E. facility on the south end of the gymnasium. He was also given the nod of approval to apply for funding from the state as well.