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— The Hall Pass system is approved.

The Pea Ridge School Board met Monday night and approved a one-year contract with CompuData for the safety of the students.

"We can walk away in a year if it's not doing what it needs to do," Mike Van Dyke, superintendent, said.

Upon entrance to the school, visitors will be required to scan identification. An initial scan through the National Sex Offender Registry will be made, and, if passed, a badge will be printed with a time stamp, photo and destination of the visitor. After the allotted period of time, an ink stop sign will appear on the badge to prohibit further use.

Under suspicious circumstances, employees also have the option to run a full background check on visitors. This scan runs as far as the DEA database.

Using radio frequency identification, frequent school visitors will have the option to purchase a key fob for $1 to be scanned upon entry for access.

The program will cost $1,500 per building, plus an additional $200 for the RFID technology and $40 per month to keep data up to date.

The board also gave an update on the status of the new primary school. The school will be completed by Friday, needing only touch ups.

"It's looking very nice," Jenny Wood, board president, said. "Ifyou haven't had a chance to walk through, they are there all the time."

In addition, the board approved the new pass pricing for athletic games. The price increased this year, from $125 for a family of four to $175. The big money makers are expected to be football and basketball.

"You're not going to find a school in the state that's going to make a thing off baseball and softball. It never was and never will be, so we might as well get used to it," Rick Webb, board member, said.

School employee Stephanie Stamps said athletic director Larry Walker compared pricing to Gentry and Gravette and found those schools don't offer as much variety as Pea Ridge.

"It would cost $588 dollars to pay for every game at the gate. It is a very big savings," Wood said.

In other business, the board:

◊Approved the proposed drug testing policy;

◊Approved five members to the new Naming/Renaming committee;

◊Approved the hazard mitigation plan for a storm shelter;

◊Adopted policies 1.7-8.36 as presented;

◊Approved a contract with Coca Cola, allowing them to have exclusive rights on campus;

◊Authorized Patty Curtis, the district treasurer, the make budget adjustments throughout the year as needed; and

◊Accepted the resignation of Kelly Newton, K-2 media specialist, effective Aug. 8.

News, Pages 1 on 08/12/2009

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