School Board to Compensate Employees Who Worked in Person to Prepare, Prevent, and Respond to Covid-19 – UPDATED

(Left to Right: Superintendent William Wysinger, Dr. Larry Knotts, Freddie Blow, Sharolyn Boston, and Mickey Hampton)

NOTE:  There was a numerical error in this article which has been corrected.  The Bienville Parish Journal and Bienville Parish School Board apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused.

The School Board held its regular meeting on May 6th in Arcadia.  Download official agenda and minutes for this meeting at the end of this article.

  • The board unanimously passed a resolution designating May 10-14, 2021 as “Employee Appreciation Week.”
  • The board recognized several board members with Certificates of Merit for completing more than twenty CLU hours in the 2020 Calendar year.  State law only required them to complete 6 CLU hours.  The following members went beyond the six-hour requirement:
    • Sharolyn Boston (District 1) – 20 hours
    • Mickey Hampton (District 2) – 21 ½ hours
    • Freddie Blow (District 3) – 21 ½ hours
    • Bonita Reliford (District 4) – 21 ½ hours
    • Dr. Larry Knots (District 6) – 20 Hours
  • The board unanimously passed a resolution on behalf of the Louisiana State Mineral and Energy Board for underground storage of natural gases, or other gases or vapors, located on the 16th Section Land on Lake Bistineau in Bienville and Bossier Parishes.

    Superintendent William Wysinger said, “We’re authorizing the Louisiana State Mineral and Energy Board to accept nominations to advertise and award bids, and execute mineral leases, and accept the terms and conditions of the storage. Back in October, the school board passed a resolution for McGinty-Durham to do the oil, gas and mineral lease. They couldn’t do that until the state gives the underground storage for the gas. That’s what this resolution will accomplish.”

  • The board unanimously passed a resolution providing for the issuance and sale of One Million Six Hundred Eighty-Seven Thousand Dollars ($1,687,000) of General Obligation School Refunding Bonds, Series 2021, of Consolidated School District No. 33 of Bienville Parish, Louisiana and providing for other matters in connection therewith.

    The rate Superintendent Wysinger had previously obtained for the refunding was 1.4%.  He got a lower rate from Louisiana National Bank which was 0.9%.  Superintendent Wysinger said, “That will be a lot of savings on that interest that we’re going to have to pay.”

  • The board unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the issuance of a one-time additional compensation for staff that worked in person to prepare, prevent, and respond to the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic.  The amount will be $1,200.  It will be the same for all employees, certificated and non-certificated.  There are some guidelines which will have to be met for an employee to be eligible;
    • Employee must have been an employee of the district from August 3, 2020, until May 20, 2021,
    • Employee must not have missed more than 50% of workdays during the 2020-2021 school year,
    • Employee must be on active status on the date of distribution, which will be May 19th, 2021,
    • Part time employees will be prorated based on their daily work schedule,
    • For employees hired during the 2020-2021 school year who are on currently active status, the stipend will be prorated by the number of contract days employed as long as 10% of the contract days were worked.
  • The board considered and unanimously passed two requests for use of school facilities, both of which were for the Arcadia High School Gymnasium.  Two AAU basketball teams requested to use the gym in Arcadia to practice two nights a week, on different days so they won’t be in the gym at the same time.  The teams agreed to follow all of the safety guidelines and protocols set by the school board.
  • The board had no requests for out of state educational trips.
  • As a stipulation for renewal or continuation of one of an ad valorem tax, Superintendent Wysinger read an announcement for a public meeting. 

    Notice is hereby given that at a meeting to be held Thursday, June 3rd, 2021, at 6 pm, at its regular meeting place, the Bienville Parish School Board Annex, 1956 first Street, Arcadia, Louisiana, the Parish School Board of the Parish of Bienville, State of Louisiana, plans to consider adopting a resolution ordering and calling an election to be held in parish-wide school district of the Parish of Bienville, State of Louisiana, to authorize the renewal continuation of an ad valorem tax therein.

    The board will consider the resolution at the June, 2021 school board meeting.

  • Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the school district was unable to have the academic banquet.  Superintendent Wysinger reported to the board that the total dual enrollment hours for the parish was 1,559.  Of the graduating seniors, 16 received general studies certificates and 4 received associates degrees.

  • Superintendent Wysinger also announced that sales tax distribution for certificated personnel is $1,063, and support personnel is $759.