dec sb

The Mena School Board held their December meeting on Tuesday night at the district administration building.

The night began with the superintendent’s report. Dr. Lee Smith first mentioned that since the boundaries of the 5 new board zones have been determined the next step is to determine which of the existing board members will be the at large candidates. That will happen at the January meeting. Candidates may begin filing on February22 nd .

Dr. Smith then yielded to Assistant Superintendent Bridget Buckley who updated the board on efforts to close the gap caused by learning loss during the COVID crisis. Gains are being made district wide. Highlights include a 71% gain in reading level at Holly Harshman Elementary & 20% of students have seen a full year’s growth or more this semester. Mena Middle School is seeing a 14%gain in reading and over half of the students have made gains this semester.

Next on the agenda was a student discipline issue. The board approved the expulsion of said student for a term of 365 days. A path back to the classroom will be open to the student if certain conditions & guidelines are met.

The board then considered the purchase of a new vehicle for use by personnel. Three bids were received & the low bid by Mena Ford on a Ford Explorer was accepted.

Financial reports were approved with no discussion.

As usual the last item on the agenda was personnel.

The board accepted the retirement of Sarah Carroll who is a paraprofessional at Louise Durham. They also approved a pair of employees changing positions. Alexa Brewer will move from her position as MHS secretary to paraprofessional. Jennifer McCauley from ISS Coordinator to MHS secretary. Finally Caleb Tilley was hired as the ISS Coordinator at MHS.