The Arkansas Department of Education visited the school in November to give an Administrative Review of Child Nutrition Report. Deanna Bell, Food Service Manager who said that they were very impressed with the whole school, not just the cafeteria. Superintendent David Rolland said they tried to hire Bell away from them. One of the items that was discussed at great length was how the cafeteria had a substantial positive balance which is not common among school district cafeterias. Board member Mark Flint asked if there some other options they could give the kids or if there was some equipment that could be purchased with these funds. Bell said part of these funds are because they are running short staffed. Bell said they were looking to get some new equipment such as a steamer. Bell also said she had went to a food show recently and she let the kids taste test but the problem is she can’t order the product from their usual vendors and she had asked another district about going in with them to bring these items in. She also said she wanted to get away from the skillet because it is becoming a problem, the cost on that is $13,000. She also said they had taken on the water and gas for the cafeteria to help the district.
Bell also talked about at Open House having parents put their names in a drawing to have two names drawn to come eat at the school with students. The ADE also discussed with her about donating items to the Senior Citizens center that will go bad while they are out for Christmas break. The ADE said they had never seen a cafeteria work as successfully as this one with such a small staff.
They also discussed the Beta State Convention Proposal which will be held on January 26 and 27 in Hot Springs. They have had 22 students sign up so far and they have until December 14 to sign up.
Bell is also the Archery coach and on February 10 they will be hosting the Regional tournament at the arena. On February 9 they also have basketball senior night.
Under old business they discussed the changes in the baseball and softball sign proposal that had been made and tabled at the October meeting. The contract was then approved.
The AAEA did a presentation focusing on Pangburn and how they were affected by the SWN lawsuit. They met with Sen. Missy Irvin as well as Rep. Jim Dotson and Rep. Bob Johnson who are members of the tax reform and relief legislative task force. Pangburn was the only district to reach out to the committee for help. Sen. Jonathan Dismang got up and left the meeting prior to the presentation. All exhibits from this meeting are available electronically on the General Assembly’s website at www.arkleg.state.ar.us.
Lindsey Bailey of Arkansas Association of Counties said that case law office supports the assessor’s assessment. Bailey is very supportive of the district and said that they needed to fight this in the press. Bailey also said that they have hired some consultants to review the calculations and do an analysis on the computation that has been being used and the methodology. The report is supposed to be in by the end of the year. Judge Jerry Holmes said that there may have been a delay on that.
Superintendent Rolland said that there was a meeting scheduled with Rep. John Payton and Sen. Missy Irvin to discuss the issue at Greers Ferry West Side School and only four of the eleven superintendents involved in the lawsuit showed up for the meeting. West Side, Viola, Mountain View and Pangburn were the only superintendents who attended. Board member Trey Reaper said that he didn’t understand why the other superintendents were not in attendance and said he appreciated the article in The Sun Times regarding the SWN lawsuit.
“Some of the public perception is that they dodged a bullet,” said Reaper. “We are just trying to work to keep our doors open for the long haul.”
Rolland then discussed the Floors and More offer of judgment and he would know more in January.
Rolland agreed and said he felt that transparency was what they strive for.
Rolland was pleased to announce that enrollment was up to 743, including two transfers from Heber Springs. The board voted to approve the transfers.
There were no personnel issues to discuss.