May 13, 2021

School Board changes elementary start time, approves playground funding

At Tuesday’s Clarke Community School Board meeting the spotlight presentation was Don May and the Clarke Speech Team. The board learned how well the speech team has done this year during virtual speech contests.

Mayor Thomas Kedley spoke to the board regarding citizens being a part of the new superintendent selection process.

“It was an amazing process to have a lot of people, stake holders in the game, to come in and give advisory as to what we’re looking for in our next superintendent. We believe that it would be important for us to be a part of the interview process as well,” said Kedley.

Construction change orders were tabled to the next meeting to give more time for the board to be better informed on what they are.

The board approved additional new cameras at the elementary campus and upgrading the video security system.

More new things for the elementary include the start time change. Elementary Principal Jody Kerchal spoke to the board for the second time about beginning the elementary school days earlier. The board approved the earlier start time at the elementary. The Clarke Elementary School start time will be 8 a.m. beginning for the 2021-22 school year.

The lower elementary playground was also discussed. With the addition of pre school to the elementary building, the playground for the youngest students needs updated. The current equipment is 25 years old and does not meet pre school standards and is not inclusive. $220,000 is a rough estimate for the playground. Fundraising, donations and grants are being used to pay for it. The challenge is that many grants aren’t being received because they are wanting matching grants. PTCO has contributed $25,000. The portion that Elementary Vice Principal Becca Kedley asked the school for was $153,750 in order to receive matching grants and be able to have a phase two playground project to replace the upper elementary playground equipment as well.

The board approved funding up to $220,000 for the playground with monthly updates on grant funding.

The board was updated on the middle school principal candidate. Arizona, there the candidate earned her degree, requires individuals to have an active fingerprint clearance card prior to applying for licensure. Upon being offered the principal position, the candidate contacted the state of Arizona to request a fingerprint clearance card. She did receive the needed paperwork and have completed the fingerprints. The prints have now been sent back to Arizona. She will receive a confirmation once the fingerprints are received and another confirmation once the fingerprints have been processed. Once the fingerprints are processed, the candidate will then be able to apply for her license. The lead time for processing the fingerprints is roughly two weeks once all documents have been returned to Arizona’s Department of Public Safety. The candidate will continue to keep the board updated throughout this process.