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By Brittany Williams

Staff Writer

STRONG — The Strong-Huttig School Board approved a resolution allowing the district to apply for an earlier 2018-2019 start date.

State law (Ark. Code Annotated 6-10-106) requires school districts to start school “on or after the Monday of the week in which Aug. 19 falls, not earlier than Aug. 14 and not later than Aug. 26.”

The Strong-Huttig School District, along with other public districts in the county and region, are part of the South Central Service Cooperative based in Camden. A northwest Arkansas co-op got its waiver approved by the State Board of Education last week, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

District Superintendent Jeff Alphin said, “This is just a resolution to allow our co-op area … to ask for the waiver before the state board so that we don’t have to go up there as 15 individual districts. If we don’t ask for a waiver, we would be starting on Aug. 20, which would put us short of grading period the first and second-nine weeks. If you did have any snow days, it could be possibly pushing you into the second week of June. The waiver would allow us to start on the 13th, which would be a week (before).”

The Strong-Huttig School Board approved a resolution to hold its 2018 school board election in May. Act 910 gives districts leeway to hold board elections prior to the “first Tuesday following the first Monday in November of each year.”

Alphin said the Arkansas School Boards Association recommends that districts hold board elections in May rather than in November. El Dorado and Junction City school districts approved resolutions to hold board elections in May.

School improvement specialists Shirley Kyle and Becky Bolding are working with teachers to expand their “depth of knowledge” and growth during interim testing.

Principal Wendell Colen said elementary students are doing homework before concentrating on reading comprehension and math facts during after-school tutoring in preparation for the ACT Aspire test. Average attendance for the program is about 50 students and parents are still applying for the program.

Board members approved to accept $800 in sealed bids for a 2007 Dodge Caravan, 50-gallon aquarium and Bose speakers; a student transfer to Parkers Chapel; the resignation of second grade teacher Malinda Butler and the employment contract of Angula Davis. Bids for two Singer sewing machines were declined.

The Strong-Huttig School District will hold parent-teacher conferences from 3-6 p.m. Thursday. The board will have a special meeting “for student discipline issues” at 6 p.m. Nov. 20 in the Strong High School library. The Strong-Huttig School Board’s next regular meeting is scheduled at 6 p.m. Dec. 11.

Brittany Williams may be reached at 870-862-6611 or Follow her on Twitter and like her on Facebook @BWilliamsEDNT for updates on Union County school news.

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