El Dorado News

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May 27, 2017
El Dorado News Times

Parkers Chapel board accepts bid for cafeteria

By Brittany Williams
This article was published May 18, 2017 at 5:00 a.m.

By Brittany Williams

Staff Writer

PARKERS CHAPEL — The Parkers Chapel School Board accepted a bid to renovate the district’s cafeteria at its meeting Tuesday.

The winning bid was from Dayco Construction, a Damascus-based company that’s already on site completing a portion of the district’s ongoing construction. The renovation includes replacing plywood paneling, pressure washing the exterior, installing under slab plumbing for a drain, windows and a custom steam table for a second serving line, district superintendent Michael White said.

Dayco’s $465,000 bid was lower than the projection, he said. Blake Dunn of CADM Architecture said the company has incentive for taking on the cafeteria renovation.

“We thought that the number was good for the scope of the work,” Dunn said. “I think we got the benefit of having a contractor on site that wanted to make sure they didn’t have anyone else around. They wanted the project so I think their bid reflects that.”

Adding the second serving line should boost school lunch participation, the superintendent said. The board approved White’s recommendation to renew the district’s culinary consultation contract with K-12 Culinary Connections. Parkers Chapel School District became the company’s first client three years ago, according to the company’s Facebook page.

High school principal Seth Williams said that cafeteria food quality has improved while maintaining nutritional requirements.

“I think if they do have a complaint it’s the portions, but that’s not set by us. If you ask them about taste, I believe that they would say that it’s much better as far as the flavor and choices that they have because there’s a much more diverse type of menu that we have now versus what we had. It was very bland,” Williams said.

Elementary school principal Carrie Burson said, “The menu used to be very predictable.”

The Parkers Chapel School Board approved a change in classified salary schedule, specifically the LPN salary. White said that he negotiated with registered nurse Diana Adams, keeping her on contract for 90 days and delegating more tasks to the district’s LPN.

“I did some comparison notes and we were well behind most of the schools,” the superintendent said. “So I found Smackover’s, which was probably the next one that we’re closest to, and then brought the scale up to match Smackover and to also include the one percent pay raise like we did on all the rest of the things … I just feel like it’s necessary since we’re going to be kind of adding a burden to her situation because for most of the days, for 90 days, she’ll be the only nurse in the district.”

According the district’s 2016-2017 classified salary schedule, an LPN’s base salary was $11.94 an hour, about 18 percent less than the Smackover-Norphlet School District’s base pay of $14.50. Prior to this adjustment, the district’s recent salary and stipend increases account for a little over $16,000, White said.

After an executive session, board members approved the resignations of eighth grade science teacher Trey Lynch and high school counselor Sonya Feemster. Joshua Langley was hired to replace Lynch, who also coached the senior boys basketball team.

Pending required drug testing and background checks, the school board also hired transportation director Sean Mitchell, replacing Mike Greer during a special called meeting May 4. Mitchell is set to work on an hourly basis for the remainder of the school year before taking the reins, White said.

Former Gurdon High School head baseball coach Elliot Jacobs was also hired as the district’s athletic director and head softball coach during that meeting. Howard Skinner was appointed to the school board during a special called meeting on April 17.

Tuesday night, the board approved two student transfers and denied one. Board members also gave the district permission to apply for Part B Funds for Special Education.

The Parkers Chapel School Board’s next meeting is scheduled at 6 p.m. Monday, June 12 in the high school technology building.

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