Superintendent David Rolland welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced the school board members, administration, and reported that the school district was in compliance with all accreditation standards set forth by the Arkansas Department of Education.

Pangburn Elementary Principal Chad Ramsey opened the Report to the Public discussing the Imagination Library, an organization started by Dolly Parton that puts a book in the hands of a child birth to five years old every month. Ramsey said that they have noticed test scores in literacy needing improvement and feels this could help make a gain in these scores. He did say that they could use financial assistance in this area due to the fact their size has doubled this year.  Something that they have started is blended learning which is a blending of traditional teacher directed instruction with students and a technological device to learn, “We actually have on campus, right now, enough Chromebooks to put one in every student’s’ hands.” They have also chosen to use I-Station instead of using Iowa tests for L-2. The curriculum that goes along with it is already in place and the great thing about this is that as students go along through the curriculum the tests it gives a lot of the information by engaging the student helping them learn. Another thing is that when the student takes a test, it assesses them in what they are ready to learn. It meets the kids right where they are.  The Chromebooks help students who need extra help while the teacher is doing other teacher led instruction.

“With fourth grade we are working on flex scheduling, classes are 45 minutes long in the morning so that students can have flex time in the afternoons. They can work on the Chromebooks and at the same time other teachers will do highly engaged STEM learning. Which we all know kids need today.”

This summer all kindergarten teachers, two certified interventionists and five paraprofessionals were trained on instruction of multi-sensory education, using a kinesthetic approach.  Brain research has shown that certain students are kinesthetic learners and need this kind of instruction.  Now this can be used in the classrooms. They have also changed the way the paraprofessionals are working with the children. They no longer have one paraprofessional to a grade, now they have them in a team and work within two to three students at a time.

“We have learned that when fluency goes up, comprehension goes up.” said Ramsey.

Next up was Suzanne Loukes, Middle School Principal who said they are also doing flex days and experimenting with taking 10 minutes from each of the core classes so there are 30 minutes to use for remediation and/or other enrichment activities. “We have clubs that are meeting at least once a week: Chess club, Wall Street club, Robotics club, Technology club and more.”

They have also started teaching character and use an acronym T - Teamwork, I - Integrity, G - Grateful, E - Empathetic, Respectful, P - Perseverance, Responsibility, I - Innovative, D - Discipline, E - Excellence. TIGER PRIDE. They encourage students and faculty alike to do one thing everyday to be kind and to help one another.

High School Principal Chris Collett began his part with, “People may not know where Pangburn is, but they know who we are because of what our students are doing. We are teaching soft skills to our 9th and 10th grade students.” Because of the way the flex schedule works it has allowed students to do internships with area businesses. They have students working as interns in area businesses. Students are also able to take concurrent classes because of a partnership the district has with ASU-Searcy and ASU-Heber Springs. They are also working on having courses in technology or skills, such as welding. “A question was asked if there was anything special done for those going in the military. My big focus here is every kid is either going to graduate with college hours or a career certification or an internship with a plan for employment.” Rolland said. Rolland went on to explain his passion for seeing that their students are prepared for real life.

The board meeting was called to order. Minutes of the September meetings were read and approved as was the financial report. Stacy Hopkins explained a new Direct Legal  Balance Worksheet that she has been working on and is “still a work in progress.”

Collett asked to have a procedural change on how class sponsors are done. What they asked was that the advisors for each class be sponsors so that isn’t limited to two sponsors. Some issues that came up in the discussion was coaches roles and the stipend. “We aren’t looking for more money we will just divide it by the number of sponsors not just two.” he said. They will also be beginning in 9th grade so the advisors will be in a mentor role as  well.

A proposal regarding a baseball and softball sign proposal. After much discussion it was agreed to table it until clarification could be made on several points.

The next school board election will be held in May. Board President Mikel McCord said he was leaning towards May and Vice President Mark Flint agreed. Trey Reaper asked about a millage election. Explanation was given on how it would be affected. Approval to hold them in May was unanimous.

The reorganization of the board was up for a vote when a motion was made to leave the board as is. It passed. Nikki King, board member was a volunteer in the concession stand last year and did such an excellent job they wanted a resolution to allow her to continue doing this. She does not perform in a purchasing capacity directly. She notifies business manager Stacy Hopkins what is needed and Hopkins purchases them. The resolution passed unanimously.

The board then went executive session to discuss personnel issues.