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