December 8, 2015

December 8, 2015

Last night was the regular monthly Board meeting.  A summary of the meeting is as follows.

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m.   The meeting started with awards for our golf athletes and two academic awards for students who did well on the ACT test.   This was followed by a presentation by two of our Computer Science students and their use of Python programming language.

The next part of the meeting was a public meeting to discuss the annual facilities plan for the School District.  The plan was reviewed and there was an opportunity for discussion and input.  The Board will have the facilities master plan on its agenda for the January meeting.  This will be when the Board will have the opportunity to approve the plan before it is submitted to the State. 

The consensual items of the minutes and financial report were approved by the Board. There was a short presentation to the Board on how to read and understand the contents of the District’s revenue financial report. 

The following expenses over $5,000 were approved.  They included:-
Mayflower Banking Center for loan payment, $10,119.66; Video Reality for Smart Boards, $16,540.76; Arch Ford Co-Op for Membership fee, maintenance supplies and general supplies, $5,359.79; Summit Bus for bus parts, $5,741.94, PCMI for subs, $5,989.45.

The following transfers into the District from Conway were approved.  They were:- Trinity Reppenhagen age 11, Hailey Reppenhagen age 9, Katrina Phillips age 16.

The School District has two old buses and on old suburban to sell by bids.  The Board gave the Superintendent approval to put these items up for bid.  The plan is to advertise them in the newspaper and possibly on Craig’s List.

The final item discussed during the meeting was about the Grassy Lake area becoming part of the Mayflower School District.  The Superintendent is to contact the Superintendent of the Pulaski County Special School District to investigate the possibility of this.  
This was a short meeting that lasted just under an hour.  The next meeting is planned for January 11 at 6:00 in the High School Media Center.

Have a great day.

John Gray
Mayflower School District 

November 10, 2015

November 11, 2015

Last night the Board’s regular monthly meeting was held.  The following is a summary of what happened during the meeting. 

The meeting opened at 6:00 pm.  The meeting started with awards and recognition to Middle School teachers and awards.   Recognition was first given to junior high choir for their achievements at regional competitions.   Next were demonstrations by several students and their programmed robots.  Lastly with a presentation on formal assessment by grade 5, 6 and 7 math teachers that they had learned through the Math Design Collaborative.  

Stephens Inc represented by Leigh Ann Biernat presented a possible bond/loan refunding that would save the District interest costs possibly up to about $140,000.  The Board moved to continue with this process of possibly refinancing the bond. 

The consensual items of the minutes and financial report were approved. 
The following expenses over $10,000 were approved:- American Bus Sales for bus, $46,000; First Community Bank for bond payment, $13,746.75; Educators Book Depository for textbooks, $7,577.2; Edmentum Assessments for Plato Software, $9,999.00; Hatch for Pre-K computer learning center, $6,632.84; TigerDirect for computers, $7,055.91.

The following student transfers were approved. 
Student transfers in from Conway:-
Corinne Riley age 16, Makayla Ford age 7 and Kylee Ford age 5, Hadden Lynne Evans age 5, Ashton Shaye Munson age 3, Payton Leon Munson age 5, Caylee Dotson Age 7 , Patience Ryan age 8, Nathan Lee age 6, Andrea Harris age 10, Joanne Hunter age 8, James Hunter age 7, Ravionna Austin age 6, Lakisha Austin age 5, Davanta Durden age 9 and James Aaron Williams age 17.
One transfer out to Vilonia:- Thomas Thacker Jr. age 7.

An ethics declaration was approved.  Randy Rankin cooked B.B.Q. for Teacher Appreciation week (4/21/15) and this was paid for by the teachers out of their Sunshine Activity account. 

A request was received to create a band booster organization.  This was approved by the Board.

The Board approved to consolidate several dormant High School Activity accounts that have funds to a new account to support our students with low income to pay for their concurrent credit classes. 

A discussion was held and the Board was updated on the latest information on the construction of an elementary storm shelter.   There is a possibility this project can be combined with a City Community Center and Public Safety Office.   By doing this we may be able to build a bigger storm shelter and help our community and possibly generate more funds. 

A discussion was held about the latest information of increasing road access to the Middle School and High School campus.  It was decided that when the new access is created the School District would look at beautifying the end of Billy road with plants and a foot bridge after the culvert is removed.  
It was approved to pay a one-time bonus of $1,000.00 gross amount to all contracted employees; to be paid on or after 12/3/2015.
A resignation from Debra Evans was approved effective November 20, 2015.  Jace Gadberry was approved as a long term substitute.

The meeting was closed at 8:24.  The Board will be conducting its annual Board tour of the campuses this Friday starting at the Elementary School at 8:00 a.m.

Have a good day,

John Gray


October 6, 2015

October 6, 2015

Last night was the regular monthly Board Meeting.   Before the Board meeting started the Annual Report to the Public was presented.   This will be available on our website shortly and a summary will be published in the local newspaper.  

A summary of the meeting was as follows:
                I.            Call to Order
             II.            Visitors
        a. Road access to MS and HS campus
The County Judge attended the meeting.  A discussion was held about opening a new road to the High/Middle School campuses for road congestion and safety reasons.   The Judge was very supportive to the school district and will work towards the county building a road to increase access to the campus.
          III.         Election of Board Officers
The new positions are as follows:
President:  Scott Sewell
Vice President:  Sherilee Holland
Secretary:  Terry Turner
Primary Disbursing Officer:  Pat Raney
Disbursing Officers; All Board Members
          IV.            Consensual Items
            The consensual items of the minutes and financial report were approved.
             V.            Education Items
        a. Elementary Awards
Mrs Pipkins and Mrs Morse were presented a teacher Leadership Award for their acceptance into the leadership academy.   The following students were presented an award for being selected on the school student leadership advisory committee.  Julie Morse, Kade Williams, Haden Richardson, Abby Roberts, Ava Butler, Dareck Haynes, London Webb and Hailey Francis
        b. LDC/MDC – Middle School
Mr Pipkins and Mrs Koch presented the professional development activities of their staff.  They covered the features of the Literacy/Math Design Collaborative that is sponsored by the ADE. 
          VI.            Business Items
a.    Expenses >$5000.00
The following expenses were approved:  Education Book Depository for textbooks, $5,208.36 and $19,125.67;  Tempco Heating and Air for installation of 5 ton unit and a compressor, $5,247,19;  The Sportstop for football gear, $5,117.55; Arch Ford Ed Co-Op for Lease Program, Appraisal Service, Staff Dev., GT Coordinator, ALE and Facilities support, $69,362.80.
b.   Correction of previous minutes
The April 6, 2015 minutes were amended to show the Board reviewed the annual audit report
c.    Resolution for pay increases over 5%
The Board approved the resolution approving the staff increases over 5%.
d.   Employee Business dealings (ethic requirements).
The business dealing with Sarah Henderson and LyBrand Signs Inc were approved.                                                                        
       VII.            Personnel
a.    Long Term Substitute
Mrs. Di Baldwin was approved as a long term substitute.
    VIII.            Discipline Hearing was conducted after a short break.  The Board moved to expel John Oglesby for the remainder of the calendar year.                                                                                                  

The meeting concluded at 8:05 pm.


John Gray

Mayflower School District

September 15, 2015

September 15, 2015

Last night the regular monthly Board meeting was held.  The meeting went for about 90 minutes.   The following is a summary of the meetings.

The meeting was opened at 6:00 pm.  The first topic was a discussion on the possibility of opening up more road access to the MS and HS campus.  Pat Rainey presented options for opening up Lon Road to the school campus that would come out near the Parent Center.   This was discussed in detailed.   It was decided that further investigation is required on the potential cost to the school district.

The consensual items of minutes of the last meeting and financial report were approved.  The Superintendent gave a short training on how to read the Board Financial Report.

Last year a successful preschool curriculum was introduced to the students.   An explanation of the curriculum and the benefits were presented by Jeff Cox and Hailey Cockerham.

Recent expenses that were more than $5,000.00 were approved by the Board.  They are:  The Learning Institute for formative testing, $29,011.00; Jim’s Tree Service for removing dead trees, $5,900.0; Arch Ford Educational Service Co-Operative for supplies, workshops, $5,063.87; Master’s Transportation for bus, $33,500.00 and Video Reality for SMART Boards, $6,638.10.

The following student transfers into to the district were approved.  Angel Stanhope age 4, Bradyn Tindall age 5, Roderick Terrell age 15, Daniel Hobbs age 17.

The new dyslexia handbook for the district was approved. 

The potential of adopting charter school waivers was discussed.   Several options were considered that have be granted to Academics Plus that the school district is eligible to apply for.   The Board would like the administration to continue work on obtaining several of the waivers from the State Board.

The annual school budget including the special education budget was approved.  As enrolment is down a little this year the budget was more conservative than in previous years.

The resignation of Ms Di Baldwin, HS English teacher was approved.  The recommendations to employ Brianna Rushing, Elementary Teacher and Kinsey Baker, Elementary Art were approved. 

The meeting closed around 7:30.

John Gray


August 6, 2015

August 6, 2015

Last Monday was the regular monthly Board meeting held by the district.  A summary of the meeting is below.

The meeting was called to order at 6:00.  This was followed by the approval of the consensual items.

Next Mr John Pipkins, Middle School Principal present the grade 5 and 7 science test scores last year.  The 5th grade scores were 20% above the State average.  The 7th grade scores were 17% above the State average.  

Mrs Watts presented the latest information we have on the recently approved State testing.   This new testing will be ACT Aspire for grades 3-10 and the ACT test for grade 11.   It is a summative test that will occur at the end of the year and cover English, Reading, writing math and science.   The average time for the test is 240 minutes.

The following expenses over $5,000 were approved.  ASBA Risk Management for Property and Vehicle Insurance, $46,530.43; Rubicon International for Atlas Curriculum Software License, $5,000.00;  Riddell for Football helmets and  reconditioning, $5,567.04; The Learning Institute for annual membership (Formative testing and curriculum support), $29,011.00.

Student transfers into the district were approved for  Arianna McGinley age 15 and Aidon McGinley age 13.

A new copier for the middle school was approved.   The purchase is for a Kyocera machine from Capital Business Machines.

A student handbook policy change was made.  It allows students who are assigned to in-school suspension to be able to attend after school activities.

Updated copies of the student/parent athletic handbook and coach handbook were approved.

A discussion was held on the proposed future employment process to be conducted by the administrators.

Two transfers of funds were approved to the building fund.   They were for $314,848.05 and $1,206.24.

A bid was approved for Little Rock tours for the annual end of  year Middle School Field trip.  The trip this coming years is to Tampa, FL.

A long discussion was held about opening up Lucky and Bill drives to the middle school and high school campus.  The purpose of opening the roads is to reduce traffic congestion especially at the start and end of the school day.   Some local residence came to speak against the opening of these roads. 

Resignations were accepted from Amanda Brown and Kara Hollinger.  A resignation from Kristen Sellers was made subject to finding a suitable replacement by August 10. 

Two new custodians were employed.  They are Maurice Shavers of Menifee and Mary McCoy of Plumerville.

The last item of the evening was the approval of licensed employee job assignments.

Have a great day,

John Gray                                  

July 7, 2015

July 7, 2015

Last night was our regularly scheduled monthly board meeting. The following is a summary of the meeting.

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 pm.  Consensual Items were approved after there was a short education section on reading the financial reports.
Business Items were next and included the following.
a.   The following expenses over $5000.00 were approved.
1. Video Reality for SMART boards, $6,638.10;
2. Dept of the Treasury for refund of over payment on interest on QSCB loan, $81,457.23.
b.   Student transfers into the district from Conway were approved. 
 Eli Douglas age 13, Allen Douglas age 8, Gavin Douglas age 7, Charity  Douglas age 6.
c.    Food Service Bread and Milk Bids were approved from Harris Baking and Hiland Dairy.
d.   Two Board policies were updated.  They are policies 3.2 and 7.5.  This was due to changes at the State level.
e.    A few minor updates were made to the preschool handbook for next year.
f.     A few updates were made to the student handbook and it is now ready to send to the press.
g.   The Board approved the purchase of two used buses subject to inspection.   Bus 1 - Handicap bus:  Master’s Transportation Inc., Malvern, Diesel 6.6l, 14 plus 2 passenger (room for two wheel chairs), 2009, 77,023 miles, $33,500.
Bus 2 - 84 Passenger Route Bus:  American Bus Sales, All American, C7 CAT Engine, Hydraulic Brakes, 7 years old, Stock #1648, $46,000 with 2 year warranty. $46,000.
h.   Employment process
There was a discussion on the current employment process and how it can be improved.  The topic was sent back to the administrators to work on. 
i.  Elementary Storm Shelter
The Board approved to keep working on this project and to undertake soil work at the site.  The FEMA application for $553,000 worth of funding is progessing well.  We have some preliminary plans from the architect.

The topic of personnel was next on the agenda.  A resignation from Jayme Claassen was approved.   The following staff were approved for employment:-  Ryan Williams - Computer Tech., Savanah Blalock – Sp Ed Para Pro., Lesley Johnson – Pre K Para Pro., Hailey Cockerham – Pre-K Classified Teacher, Charlotte Troutman – food service, Lori Cole – Classroom Teacher, Angela Hayes – Classroom Teacher, Angela Miller – Classroom Teacher, Christie Burns – HS Counselor

Each year by state law the district has to present to the Board for awareness of any employees that had earned 5% or more than the previous year.  The list was presented to the Board and approved.

The last item for the night was the Superintendent’s mid-year evaluation.  The Board went into executive session for this.  When they returned from executive session the meeting was adjourned.

Have a great day,

John Gray

June 2, 2015

June 2, 2015


Superintendent Update,

Congratulations to our baseball team for winning the 3A State Championship.  I heard that June 5, is going to be announced as Golden Eagle day in honor of our team by the County Judge.  His announcement will be today or tomorrow.

Last night was the regular monthly meeting.  The meeting went for about 30 minutes.  A summary of the meeting is as follows.

                I.            Call to Order

             II.            Education

        a. Teacher of the Year awards

Congratulations to these fine teachers.   Elementary school winner is Kristin Allbritton, Middle School is Alicia Eberhard and High School is Johnette Reynolds. Congratulations to our excellent teachers for looking after our students so well.

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

          IV.            Business Items

a.    The following expenses over $5000.00 were approved.  AR Dept of Ed. for Medicaid State Match, $9,012.54; PCMI for substitutes, $5,974.45; PCMI for substitutes, $6,524.57

b.   Four student requests to transfer into the district were approved

c.    Due to State requirements the school district has to have at least a minimal charge on lunch prices.  The Board approved the following prices for next year. 

                    Breakfast:  Students all schools - $1.50; Adults - $2.00

                    Lunch:  Elem. - $2:50; MS/HS $2.75; Adults - $3.50

d.   Food Service Bids

The winning bidder approved by the Board was US Foods.

e.    Election Budget that is to be published for the next Board election was approved.

f.    FEMA Disaster Recovery Loan

The Board approved a resolution for a FEMA Community Disaster Loan.  This could result in low interest or a forgivable loan to the District.  This probably won’t be needed but it will be there if the need arises.   

g.   Board Policy Updates

Policy 1.6.1 and Policy 7.23 updates were approved

h.   Student Handbook changes

Next year’s student handbook was approved.

             V.            Personnel

a. Employment/Resignations

The following resignations were approved:

 Melody Thompson -  HS Counselor

Amanda Crews – Compt. Tech.

Billy Forrester – Custodian

Brandy Lane – Elem. Teacher

Lisa Davis – Sp Ed

Sharlee Crowson – HS English

Tammy Bryant – Para Pro

Cindy Fortson – Elem. Teacher

Tiffany Barnes – Elem. Teacher 

The following recommendations for employment were approved

Tracy Standridge – Food Service

Misty Sillavan – Sp. Ed.

Russell Denette – HS English

Jessica Kaplan – HS Art

Joseph Lyle – HS English

Ethan Shaw- HS Band

Kayla Brown – Elem Teacher

Emily McEuen – Elem Teacher

Destiny Bair – Elem Teacher

          VI.            Adjournment

Thanks for your support for Mayflower School District.

John Gray


May 8, 2015

May 8, 2015

Last Monday the regular monthly board meeting was conducted.  It went for about 1.5 hours.   The following is a summary of the meeting.

The meeting started with a public meeting on the elementary storm shelter.  An overview was given about the proposed storm shelter for the elementary court yard.  It will be sufficient size to hold the students and staff of the school.   The FEMA grant amount for the project will be released on May 12.   The overall cost for the project is anticipated to be about one million dollars.  If anyone has questions on this project please let me know.

Next, there were several high school awards made to outstanding athletes:  J.P. Perry, Hayden Long, Drew Duncan, Tyler Herrin, Adam Dycus, Trey Lasker and Justin Bailey.  Matthew Stelly was honored for his dedication of service to the United States Army. This was followed by awards for staff for their exceptional efforts.  This included Mrs Reynolds, Mrs Crowson, Mrs Thacker and Mrs Templeton.  Mr Stallings was recognized for being the 3A Coach of the year.

We had one visitor and that was Jack Truemper.  Jack is the school financial advisor and represents Stephens, Inc.  Jack provided an updated financial analysis of the district.  It looks at our millage rate and our facility loans mainly.  Overall, we are financially sound and the district is doing well.  We are hoping our millage base may grow over time so we will be eligible to raise more funds to improve facilities.  The long range plan is to build a new high school when enrolment is sufficient to justify the cost.

The consensual items of finance and minutes were approved.

Next, were the expenses over $5,000.00.  The following expenses were approved. 
Conway Area Career Center for student tuition fees, $14,625.33; Video Reality for SMART Boards, $16,377.26; PCMI for subs, $6,913.89.

The topic of new meal prices was discussed.  This was tabled until the next meeting.

A list of inventory items was presented for deletion.  It consisted mostly of old technology.   This was approved by the Board. 

Over the last month the staff and I have been working on many school policy updates.  The source for these updates came from the Arkansas School Boards Association.  Many of the changes were due to legislation changes.   A copy of the changes is available on request.  This policy will take effect next year and will be posted on the school website soon.

On recommendation of the PPC the following statement was added to the school calendar for next year.  “In accordance with Act286 extended days may be used to make up any school days missed.”

Resignation requests from the following employees were approved: 
      Nick Williams – Band Director, Rachel Trusty – HS Art Teacher, Chelsea Howard – Elem                   Teacher, Terri McCuien- HS Special Ed.Aaide, Jami Reed – HS English, Caroline Carmack –             Speech Therapist,  Angie Wright- Elem Teacher.

Employment was approved for Speech Therapist:  Sarah Hahn of Conway and
Assistant Principal M.S.: Kim Koch who is currently the HS Media Specialist.


John Gray