The Mena School Board met for their regular November meeting on Tuesday at the district administration building. It was a very brief meeting.
The meeting began with the superintendent’s report and Dr. Lee Smith immediately yielded the floor to Mena High School Principal David Maxwell.
Maxwell informed the board that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has awarded Mena High School with a monetary reward of $50.00 per student for their performance on the latest test scores. Mena High School was rated in the top 6-10% of schools in the state for academic growth. Maxwell recommended that the $24,200.00 be equally distributed to all faculty and staff at MHS. The board approved.
Dr. Smith then continued with more information for the board. He stated that discipline reports are 22% lower across the district compared to last year.
The district attendance rate was reported to be 92.6%, which is below the district goal of 96%. Smith explained that the flu and other illnesses have had a major impact on students and staff attendance and has made it difficult for them to attend school at a high rate.
Smith also told the board that the district is meeting the reading goals, set at the beginning of the year, with the exception of 5th and 8th grades.
In new business Smith gave an update on school projects, including the vehicle plan. A new truck for the band has been ordered through Mena Ford and is on it’s way. A new car for district use is also expected to arrive in 6-8 months. That car was paid for with proceeds from an auction of surplus equipment earlier this year.
Estimates from the district’s construction management company, C.R. Crawford, have also arrived on the construction of the new activity center, a new concession stand and restrooms at Bob Carver Bearcat Stadium and an outdoor classroom. The board approved moving forward with the projects and await official bids and funding recommendations in December.
Next was the financial reports. Dr. Smith stated that revenues outpaced expenses in the past month and the district is on target to meet the projected ending balance. The board approved.
Finally in personnel. The board accepted the resignation of Scott Wright as Head Girls Basketball Coach and Sr. High assistant Volleyball Coach. They also accepted the resignation of Tiffany Sims from her position as Paraprofessional at MMS.
The board accepted the retirement of Suzanne Bentley, Administrative Bookkeeper, effective June 30th, 2023.
Several contracts were restructured. Including bus driver Peggy Foster from a full time E route to an afternoon only C route. Brad Lyle from Sr. Girls Basketball Assistant to Sr. Girls Basketball Interim Head Coach. Tia Fryar from Jr. Girls Basketball Assistant Coach to Sr. Girls Basketball Interim Assistant Coach.
New hires included Tyler Smedley as Bus Driver and Whitney Horner as paraprofessional at LDE.