The September meeting of the Mena School Board was held on Tuesday at the district administration building. The meeting lasted approximately 35 minutes.

As usual the first item on the agenda was the Superintendent's Report. Dr. Lee Smith updated the board on the latest data available and how it reflects students’ needs due to the loss of learning during  the COVID event.  According to ACT Aspire, Mena as a district has seen a 6% gain in reading and a 10% loss in mathematics. Smith then yielded the floor to Assistant Superintendent Bridget Buckley who spoke on the district’s plan to close the learning gap with intervention strategies, tutoring, communication, and more. The administrators in attendance also spoke briefly about how these plans are being implemented at their campus.

Next on the agenda was the 2021/2022 budget. Dr. Smith noted that there is $189,000 more in district coffers as compared to last year.  The board approved with no discussion.

The board also quickly approved the 2021/2022 Standards of Assurance Accreditation Statement of Assurance. As well as Resolution Act 1120-5% increase A.C.A. SEC. 6-13-635. Plus, the amended list of 2020/2021 deleted inventory.

The issue of board zoning was next. Dr. Smith told the board that according to the latest census Mena’s population now exceeds the 10% minority threshold. This means that board zones will be required in the future. A suggestion of creating five zones with each zone being represented on the board and two at large positions. That resolution was approved and this information will be made available to a demographer who will create the zones.

The board was made aware of upcoming training dates that they can take advantage of. Each person must meet the required minimum hours of training to retain their position on the board.

Maintenance Supervisor Danny Minton then shared an update on several projects. Including the status of new HVAC equipment at Holly Harshman Elementary and Mena Middle School. The addition of sand to the baseball and softball fields at Union Bank Park to fix a drainage issue. Also the construction of a new roof on the Cat Shack at Bob Carver Bearcat Stadium.

The board approved the financial reports with no discussion.

Personnel was the last item on the agenda. The board accepted the resignation of bus driver Vadena Hogan as well as the hiring of Jordan Bailey as RTI parapro at Mena Middle School & Erin Grant as a parapro.