Share This Article
The Mountain Home Public Schools’ Board had a relatively quiet session at its regular monthly meeting on Thursday evening.
This month’s meeting saw the school board receive a briefing over the district’s Science Fall Interim Atlas scores. This school year’s interim scores are currently beating the state average across grades 3-8, showcasing the district’s renewed focus on education.
While the interim scores are a good indicator of how students are performing in their science classes, district officials did note that the scores are not official due to Arkansas’s ongoing transition to a new assessment system. That system should be completely worked out by Spring 2024.
By the fall of 2024, educators and parents should be able to receive a more detailed breakdown of student performance in English, Language Arts, math and science through Atlas 3-10 testing.
For a full breakdown of the conversation around Atlas and student performance, click to watch below.
Following the district’s academic report, Ms. Cotter of MHPS detailed the district’s financial report. During her briefing, Ms. Cotter noted that the district’s operating fund is currently on track to match Fiscal Year 2021-2023 for the month of November.
The 2024 operating fund has been slightly tracking higher over previous years, with only fiscal year 2022 bringing in more money in Oct. versus this year’s budget.
After the financial report, the school board turned their attention to the district’s enrollment report. Enrollment continues to trend downward this month, with the district losing another eight students.
Enrollment throughout the district has been down over the last few years from its previous high in the 2019-2020 school year. The district currently has 3,823 students enrolled in school.
Following the district’s enrollment report, Mr. Chris Knight gave his Facilities and Projects Update for the district. Several major projects have been completed since last month’s report, including work at the Kindergarten and the MHHS track. The track is now completely resurfaced and striped.
It should be noted that the asphalt beneath the track will need to be replaced the next time the track is due to be resurfaced in the next 10 years or so. The projected cost of the asphalt replacement is expected to cost the district double what it paid for a simple resurfacing and stripping.
Mr. Knight did note that the Big Top’s new smoke detection system at the high school was unable to be installed over the Thanksgiving break but is currently on track to be completed over the Christmas holiday. The Big Top’s required Fire Engineer inspection and walkthrough is set for this Wednesday.
Following his report, Mr. Knight asked the district to approve the district’s Master Plan. The proposed Master Plan includes projects such as a new roof at Guy Berry College and the High School Vocational Building, Bomber Stadium renovations and a new HVAC system at the Junior High School.
The plan passed unanimously.
The school board then approved a resolution to allow the district to conduct business with Shelli Jones of SJ Leather Creations as required under Arkansas Act 1599. Mrs. Jones is also an employee at Mountain Home Junior High School.
After the resolution, the school board passed a motion to update its Classified Personnel Policy Committee at the request of the CPPC. The changes now allow the CPPC to add some members to the district’s Financial Committee for better representation.
The school board also updated the district’s overtime, comp-time and FLSA policy at the request of the CPPC. Prior to Thursday evening’s request, the policy had not been updated since 2006. The new policy now includes a section that requires the district to cooperate with Department of Labor officials should they request an inspection of FLSA records.
For the final item of the night, Mountain Home Superintendent Allyson Dewey requested the district approve a salary schedule addition to prepare the district to potentially hire a future security and safety coordinator. If hired, that coordinator would coordinate with law enforcement to perform school site assessments, assist with the district’s crisis plan and enforce compliance with all state school safety policies.
While Mrs. Dewey’s recommendation was passed, the schedule is still required to go back to the CPPC, which will have to make its own determination on the new salary schedule, before bringing its own recommendation back to the school board.