December 4, 2014

December 4, 2014

Football season is over.  We had a great year for football.  Congratulations to the coaches and team for a job well done.   I feel it was good for the students as they learned character, responsibility and to never give up.   These are good characteristics for their future in our competitive world.

We had the regular monthly Board meeting on Monday evening.  Items of interest would include the following:

 A new agenda item for the Board is the recognition of students and staff members.  This month was the Elementary School’s turn.  Next month will be Middle School.  The Elementary School awards were presented to the kindergarten teachers for excellence, several kindergarten students for excellent performance and the volunteers of the Mimi Program. 

2      Mr Pipkins presented an update on the latest academic initiatives of the Middle School.   Topics covered  were the activities of the teachers and staff with the math consultant.   Angie Zimmerman’s work with the business and technology program.  Middle School was the recipient of four science grants.   KaBoom is offering the potential of a new playground for the students.   Also, the TLI scores are showing growth.

3    The Board decided to continue the trial of the policy for classified staff on the use of time sheets.   This is subject to the PPC  approval.

4     A bid from Little Rock Tours was accepted for the Middle School field trip to St Louis.  Another bid from CINTAS was approved for facilities supplies.

5    We have a new employee to welcome.  It is Brandi Blackman who will be working in food service at the Elementary School. 

      Winter break is coming up as well as end of semester testing.   Winter break is from December 22 and student return on Tuesday January 6.

      Have a good break.

      John Gray

November 4, 2014

November 4, 2014

Last night was our regular monthly Board Meeting.  The following is a summary of the meeting.

                I.            Call to Order
             II.            Visitors – Jack Truemper for Bond Refinancing
The School District in an effort to lower the interest rate on one of our bonds decided to try and refinance the loan.   This was done on October 20 and we were successful   The Board accepted the offer and moved to lower the interest rate.   The overall saving in the life of the loan will be $87,872.33.

          III.            Consensual Items were approved as presented.
          IV.            Education
        a. Awards Discussion
A discussion was held about the Board recognizing good work of our students and employees.  It was decided that the schools would select achieving individuals each month for recognition.  Next month awards will be given to recipients from the Elementary School.   This will be followed by the Middle School the following month then the High School the month after.  This cycle will be continued while school is in session.
             V.            Business Items
a.   Expenditures > $5,000.00
The following expenses were approved.  The Board had a discussion with Ron Harris and his program as he attended the meeting.
A Level Up Inc (Ron Harris), $5,000.00; Mid South Sales for fuel, $6,688.81;  PCMI for Subs., $8,651.46;  Riggs Cat for bus repair, $7,591.27; Midsouth Sales for Fuel, $7,095.89.

b.   Banquet Discussion
The Board moved to award each contracted employee at one time $300.00 gross bonus.  This will be presented at the banquet to be held on Dec 15 at the High School Cafetorium.

c.    Time Sheet report
The Board reviewed time sheets of all classified employees.  The Board discussed the need for accurately filling out the timesheets by employees.
          VI.            Personnel
a.   Employment/Resignations
A resignation was accepted from  Alana Jones – Food Service
Employment of the following were approved:
1. Pre-School Para Pro to fill vacancy – Sissy Daubenheyer
2.  Custodian for HS to fill vacancy -  Elaine Ealy (Transfer from Food Service)
4. Food Service to fill vacancy – Ricky Solis 

       VII.            Adjournment
The meeting took about 90 minutes.


John Gray


October 8, 2014

October 7, 2014

This Friday night is alumni night for the football game.  There will be a meal and ceremonies in the High School Cafeteria from 4:00 to 6:00.  At 6:00 there will be a dedication ceremony at the entrance to the football field.  Channel 7 will be broadcasting at 5:00 and 6:00.  This will be an enjoyable night.  Come and join us.

Last night I attended the Annual Friendship and Dialogue Dinner at the Clinton Presidential Library.   During the evening the School District was pledged $5,000 for our planned Elementary School Storm Shelter.

The Annual Report To the Public will be conducted on Tuesday, October 21 at 6:00 p.m. in the High School Library.  It is a great time to learn what we have been doing and make suggestions for the future continual improvement of our School District. 

Last Monday night was our regular monthly Board Meeting.  It took about one hour.  The following are the highlights of the meeting.

The Board positions were elected.   The President is Terry Turner, Vice President is Scott Sewell, Secretary is Pat Raney, Primary Disbursing Officer is Sherilee Holland and all Board Members are Disbursing Officers.

Mr. T. J. Slough the High School Principal presented an educational update for the Board Members.

The following expenses over $5,0000 were approved:- Arch Ford Education Co Operative for LEA Program, Appraisal Service, Staff Development, GT Coordinator, ALE, Facilities and Supplies, $75,551.78; Satterfield Oil for fuel, $7,573.51; White River Services for printer and computers, $7,696.31.

The  Special Ed and  ASCIP budgets were approved.

The Board considered and decided to attempt to refinance one of the School District Bonds in an effort to lower the interest rate.  This will save the School District money if we are successful.

There was a discussion on this Friday night's football field naming ceremony.

The annual school building walk through by the Board Members will be held on Friday, November 14.

A resignation from Hailey Cockerham a preschool aide was accepted.

Two new policies were adopted by the School Board to be effective this school year if approved by the PPC committees.   These were for Licensed Personnel and Classified Personal dealing with Special Family leave.

Have a great day.

John Gray

August 5, 2014

August 5, 2014

It is nearly time for school to start (Monday August 18).  

Elementary Open House is on Aug 14 5:00 to 7:00 pm
Middle School Open House is Aug 12 5:00 to 7:00 pm
High School Open House is Aug 11 5:00 to 7:00 pm

Last night was the last regular Board meeting before school starts.  The following is a summary of what was covered.

                I.            Call to Order was at about 6:05 pm.
             II.            Consensual Items or minutes and finances were approved.          
          III.            Education
        a.  Elementary School Update
Mrs. Watts gave a short presentation on the latest educational items of interest they are working on for this upcoming school year including the latest staff achievements.
          IV.            Business Items
a.  Expenditures > $5,000.00 were approved as follows.
Arkansas School Board Association for School Insurance, $47,155,87; Pioneer Food Serv. Equipment and Supplies for Serving Lines, $28,340.00; Riddell for football helmet reconditioning, helmets and pads, $6,060.80. 
b.  Exit Survey and Staff movement
A progress report on doing exit surveys for staff leaving the school district was given.  The administrators are going to meet on this topic.  The Board also discussed ways of retaining teachers including trying to match the salaries of surrounding School Districts.
c.  Playground Update
Mr Cox gave an update on the moving of the Elementary playground.   The working bee for this Saturday is still on starting at 7:00 am.
d.  Pre-School Handbook
Mr Cox presented the proposed changes to the pre-school handbook.  They were approved by the Board.
             V.            Personnel
a.   Employment/Resignations
        Jessica Williams – Elementary teacher 
        Susan Milum for H.S . Sp. Ed. subject to being relased from their current District.
        Johnathan Atkins for H.S.  S.S.
        Kara Colvin for elementary teacher
        Christina Davis for H.S. Para Pro
        Paige Snyder for MS  teacher Aide.
        b.   Staff Lists
The teaching staff lists were approved by the Board.  This list shows the teaching assignments for each teacher.  If there are to be any changes throughout the year the Superintendent was authorized to make the changes.
c.   Employees who earned > 5%
A list of staff was complied of those employees who earned 5% more income than their previous year’s employment.  This list was presented to the Board for awareness and showed why each person earned more than their previous year.  This list was approved by the Board.  A recent law requires the Board to review this list.

The meeting adjourned a little after 7:30 took about 1 1/2 hours.

Welcome back to school everyone and I look forward to another very productive school year.


John Gray

July 29, 2014

July 29, 2014

School starts August 18 and the Board has been busy with two Special Meeting the last two Mondays.  The July 21 meeting covered the following topics.

A long discussion was had involving the location of the a storm shelter for our elementary school.  The final decision was made to place it in the Elementary court yard where the playground equipment is located.  This location places this safety facility closest to our students so they can get to it as quickly as possible.  This means that the playground has to be moved.  This process has been started and it will be located at the back of the Elementary Gym.

The July 28 meeting was mainly about employment.  Mr. Gary Logan's resignation was accepted.  The following three positions were filled.

High School Assistant Principal:  Mr. Joe Allbritton
Choir Teacher:  Kathy Hoover
Middle School Teacher:  Kara Hollinger

The meeting was finished after a discussion on the progress of moving the elementary playground and a discussion on doing an exit survey of resigning staff.

Have a great day,

John Gray

July 15, 2014

July 15, 2014

The Board conducted its regular monthly meeting for July last night.  The meeting had a lot of information on education and lasted about six hours.  The next regular meeting will be August 4, 2014.  The following is a summary of the meeting.
                I.            Call to Order

             II.            Visitors: 

        a. Ron Harris – Senior Initiative

As a result of the tornado we had many people come to provide help.  Ron Harris is one such person.  He is doing work with the Lifeline Church and has reached out to me to see if he can help the schools.  Ron is the contact that organized the Razorback athletes to come and visit our elementary students.  The administrators met with Ron during our annual administration workshop and he has offered us support to make our schools exceptional.  Ron would like to start with a program for the seniors called Path4Teens.   Ron presented an overview of the program to the meeting.   There was then some time for comments and the Board members were in favor of doing this program with our senior students. 

          III.            Consensual Items of minutes and financial report were approved.          

          IV.            Education

        a. Educational Improvement Plan

The annual educational improvement plan was presented and discussed.  This report was the result of the annual Administrator Workshop held recently.  We took all the test data we had at the time and used this to plan our education goals, resource use and make the ACSIP plan.  This plan will be placed on the district web site.

        b. Schools of Innovation – discussion

Because of the opportunities that Ron Harris has brought us, it opens the door for improvements.  I am hoping that with the influence he has with many companies and other contacts, we may be able to take our education into the next level of 21st Century education.  He is suggesting we start this year to plan on what we would like to see our schools develop into that will generate business support from those companies that are looking at us right now.  These companies are not interested in supporting a traditional school system but would like to see what initiatives we would like to be involved with.  For example, after the Joplin tornado, the school system went with the 21st Century model and was very successful in gaining support for technology.  Another option is the STEM model or one of the variations.  We could just simply make up a plan that suits us and call it Schools of Innovation.  I did some research on what are the best high schools in the country.  From what I could see they all have one common thread, a high level of academic rigor through AP programs, concurrent credit and international baccalaureate classes. Some have used project-based learning and technology to support these programs.  I thought this would be a good time to start some of these discussions with our Board to see what the interest is in heading in this direction and what ideas each board member may have at this time.  The Board was very interested in taking the next step in this direction.

             V.            Business Items

a. Expenditures > $5,000.00

These expenses were approved.  Giles Service Co Inc for condensing unit replacement in the middle school freezer, $6,016.80; Scholastic Inc for PreK English books, $7,127.42.

b. Food Bids were called and the Board approved US Foods to be our food supplier for the cafeteria programs. 

c. Student Handbooks

Updates to the District student handbook were reviewed and approved.

          VI.            Personnel

a.   Employment/Resignations

Resignations:  Josh Knight, HS Math

Employment:  LaDonna Robbins, Middle School Social Studies

                    Jennifer Dunn,  Elem. Sp. Ed.

                    Rachel Trusty,  High School Art

                    Georgia Ross,  Sp Ed Para Pro, Elementary

                    Vonda Carter and Dale Jones, Bus drivers

b.   PPC Presentation – Pay increase

The Board moved to place this topic on the September agenda as more data will be available at that time.

c.   Superintendent mid-year evaluation

The Board moved to executive session to do the mid-year evaluation

       VII.            Adjournment

School starts back August 18 and teachers will start back the week of August 11.

Have a great day.

 John Gray


June 20, 2014

June 20, 2014 Special Board Meeting

There will be a special board meeting this Monday, June 23 at 6:00 in the High School Library.   The agenda is as follows:
  I.     Call to Order
  II.  Visitors

                              a. Attorney Bill Brazil - update on Cagle Case

  III.       Business Items

a.       Proposed Budget for Election Publication

  IV.       Personnel

a.         Resignations/Employment

b.      PPC Licensed Policy update Time Sheet Policy

c.       PPC Classified Policy update TESS/LEADS Policy

  V.   Adjournment


John Gray

June 3, 2014

June 3, 2014

The Board met for its regular monthly meeting last night.  The main items covered are below.

The meeting started just after 6:00 pm in the High School library. 

The meeting opened with a prayer and the first item was a Q and A with attorney Keith Billingsley.   The topic was the laws associated with the Fair Labor Act and the use of a time clock.   The Board wanted to make sure the School District is protecting itself from law suits and treating the staff correctly by not taking advantage of anyone.

Our next visitor was Jack Truemper who is the school district’s financial advisor.  He started his presentation with his research so far on what effect the tornado will have on tax collections.  The good news is he has found that past tornados that have affected other   Districts did not show a fall in tax collections.   Jack then gave a financial update on the School District.  This showed that the School District is financially healthy.  The last part of his presentation was on the ability of the District to borrow money to fund an elementary storm shelter and upgrading the athletic fields.   Several options were presented and it was found that it is possible to borrow money for such projects.  The Board took no action and is reflecting on the presentation.
The last visitor was Officer Bledsoe who is the School Resource Officer.  His presentation was Active Killer training for the Board and those present at the meeting.  This presentation was very informative and well received.  The Board is now better trained in what to do if they have an Active Killer situation.

The consensual items were approved.

For the education section of the meeting Mrs. Watts discussed the new Atlas software that is being introduced to the teachers.  This software assists the teachers in writing their curriculum documents.

The following expenses over $5,000 were approved.

       Conway Public Schools,  tuition fees for our students attending the Career Center,           $17,333.33;  Arkansas Department of Education, Medicad State Match for Special Ed         Services, $9,037.87; Green and Chapman, fuel, $6,894.23; Plasmacam, Inc, plasma cutter          for Agriculture program (grant money), $10.363.10.

The milk bid, which included juice, was approved from Hiland Dairy Products.

Resignations were accepted from Chris Hartle and Loren Brookes.

The following new employees were approved.

        High School Special Education – Jessica Cantrell
                        High School Math – Blake Tinsley
                       High School Science – Kaitlin Smith
                      High School English – Jami Reed
                     Custodian I (240 days) – Andrea Gibson

The Board moved to approve the staff to be included in the 5 waiver days that were approved by the State due to the tornado.

The time clock issue was discussed in length.  It was finally decided to give a detailed paper system a trial instead of the existing finger print time clock.  This trial will commence July 1 and last for 6 months.

An administrative procedure was presented and discussed about the employment process for new employees.

The pay increase/bonus issue was tabled at the last meeting.  It was decided to table it again as there has been no changes on this issue since the last meeting.

The meeting closed at 9:00 pm.   The next regular meeting will be July 14 at 6:00 pm in the High School Library.   There is a chance we may have a short special meeting for the purpose of employment before the next regular meeting.

Have a great day,

John Gray

May 21, 2014

May 21, 2014

Last night the Board held its regular monthly meeting.  It started at 7:30 and finished just before 9:00.  The following is a summary of the meeting.

The Board's Acting President started the meeting with a thank you to all the school staff including administrators that helped the community during the tornado. He then thanked Mrs. Hogue for helping out the School District and being a team player by working as a Special Education teacher when requested.

The Consensual items of the Board minutes and financial report were approved.

Expenditures over $5,000 were approved.

The Board moved after hearing from the PPC committees to change the calendar to accept the 5 waiver days granted by the State Board.

The following bids were approved.
      Bread - Bimbo Bakery
      Occupational Therapy  -  Progressive Therapy
      Physical Therapy  -  Progressive Therapy
      Psychological Testing  -  Susan Belew
      Serving lines for MS and HS Cafeterias  - Pioneer Food Service and Equipment

The Board reviewed the Attendance Policy and moved to trial it for another year.

The annual inventory items to be removed from the District inventory were approved.  This list consisted of 16 items of old technology.

Resignations from the following were approved.  Jessica Mashburn, Judy Wheetley, Debra Craig, Lynn Failla and Chad Floyd.   There was one employment for a new Speech Therapist.  The new therapist is Caroline Carmack.  Our need for this service has increased over the years and it is now cheaper to employ an extra therapist then contract this service.

The last item on the agenda was a presentation by the licensed PPC.  The request was for a bonus of $1,500 or what the District can afford.  The Board discussed this and expressed that they understood the need for helping the staff in this way.  It was also expressed that the projected carry over budget does not support it at this time but will be monitored.  The item was tabled for another meeting.

Have a great day,

John Gray

May 20, 2014

Board meeting

A reminder that the next regular Board Meeting is Tuesday, May 20 in the High School Library.

John Gray

April 22, 2014

April 21, 2014

On Monday evening the Board had a special meeting to discuss two student discipline issues and the employment of a new head football coach. 

The Board did decide to expel two students for issues relating to drugs. 

The new football coach recommended and approved was Coach Todd Langrell.  He lives in Damascus and comes to us from Greenbrier School District where he was an assistant football coach.  He graduated from Mayflower and was a past employee.  We welcome him back and  are excited about him continuing to develop our football program.  He started visiting with our students today and he will be attending practices in the afternoons effective immediately.

Have a great day,

John Gray


April 11, 2014

April 4, 2014

Last Tuesday evening the Board had its regular monthly meeting.  A summary  of the meeting is as follows.

The meeting started with a discipline hearing in closed session.  The final decision was to expel the student for the remainder of the school year.

We had the pleasure of a presentation by our new police chief.  This gave the opportunity for the Board to meet him.  There was also a discussion about the City being willing to work with the School District in getting a full time School Resource Officer.

The consensual items of the minutes and financial report were approved.

The following expenditure over $5,000.00 was approved:  Green and Chapman Inc for fuel, $8242.5.

The school calendar was discussed as we have four days to make up.  The Board decided we would make up these days on April 18, May 26, May 29 and May 30.  This means the last day of school will be May 30.

Time Clocks were discussed and the different options we had were considered.  It was decided to table this topic and seek further information.

There was a long discussion on our handbook bully policy and what the Board’s expectations are.

Resignations of the following were accepted:  Misty Nix, Blake Tinsley, Jed Davis and Larry Pitts.

The meeting adjourned at approximately 9.55.

Have a great day,

John Gray

April 2, 2014

April 2, 2014

Recently the School District has received some attention from the media.  I know there may be some people that may be concerned or have questions.  I would like to make the following statement in the hope that it will put many of you at rest and ensure you that the students of the Mayflower School District are being well taken care of.
"In light of recent events, Mayflower School District would like to assure you that the number one priority in our district is the safety and well being of our students. While we are not at liberty to discuss student discipline or personnel matters, our local school board has adopted anti-bullying and discipline policies that can be referenced in our 2013-2014 handbook (pg 64, SB Policy 4.43).  Each administrator and staff member are held accountable for adhering to these policies. We will continue to be proactive in ensuring the safety of each student."
The school faculty are making every effort to run as normally as possible and support our students in the educational process.  Our students have State testing and end of year activities to focus this time.  I would like to thank you for any support you can provide our students.  
If you have any questions please contact your school administrator or myself for further assistance.  
John Gray

March 10, 2014

March 10, 2014

The Board held its regular monthly meeting last Tuesday night.
  The following is a summary of the decisions.

                I.            Business Items

a.       The following expenditures > $5,000.00 were approved. Satterfield Oil for fuel, $7,937.98; Green and Chapman for fuel, $6,644.92; Will Sub for substitutes, $8173.43 and 7,850.60;  Bancorpsouth Insurance for Liability Insurance, $5,916.00;

b.      School Calendar

The school calendar as circulated was approved with an addition on the bottom that says we will use the 5 snow days at the end of the calendar first before the Board considers making other calendar changes.

c.       Special Education Handbook update that we have been circulating was approved.

d.      The Active Killer (Shooter) Policy that we have been circulating was approved by the board.  This will become part of the School District Crisis Plan.

e.       Annual Audit was presented and discussed.  We had another good audit this year.

f.       ALE potential programs were present and the Board approved some additional alternative school options for our high need students.  Next year we will be adding an additional K-6 and 7-12 programs in Conway.  These programs will run by the Arch Ford Educational Co-Operative and will have several school district participating.

             II.            Personnel

a.   Employment/Resignation

      A resignation from Connie Smith was approved.  Mr. T J Slough was employed as the new High School Principal effective immediately.


John Gray