Green Forest School Board discusses cafeteria work plans

Friday, July 19, 2013

GREEN FOREST -- The Green Forest School Board began serious discussions about their new cafeteria project, accepted bids for fuel and bread, allocated funds for school supplies and decided to open no polling places for the upcoming school board elections at their meeting on Monday, July 15.

School officials announced there was no new construction during the meeting, but the district is trying to finish a recent property transaction and start the planning process for the cafeteria renovations project.

"The transaction for the property is with our title company and they still have to survey the land," said Superintendent Matt Summers. "Mostly it is a done deal and we are waiting to sign the papers."

The board approved the purchase of Randall Fultz's property that is north of 10th Street and adjacent to the central office, football practice field and intermediate school's playground, at a special meeting on July 1.

The initial idea for the new property was to transfer the school's transportation department to the site, School Board President Bud Phillips explained. There are no plans to do anything with the current department's location after the transfer and there has been no official decision made to move the transportation department.

"We don't know exactly how long it will take," Phillips said. "That's why we keep a streamlined budget, so we can have funds for projects like that without asking for more money from the taxpayers."

The school board also began talks for the cafeteria renovations for grades 6 through 12. Construction on project will not begin until the end of the 2013-2014 school year.

The district cannot begin the upgrades on the cafeteria while it is being used by students. The cafeteria is expected to be completely shut down during construction, which should start and end next summer before the 2014-15 school year, officials said.

The school has submitted their plans for the cafeteria upgrade to the Arkansas Department of Education. The ADE said they will contribute $480,000 to the $600,000 project, leaving the school with approximately $120,000 to pay.

The board on Monday also reviewed and decided on bids for fuel and bread. They decision was made to stay with the same companies they used last year for both. The school requested bids from multiple companies for both to comply with state law, but the two that were approved were the only two to respond.

The school's need for bread and fuel is so small that the other companies would not even acknowledge the request for a bid, Summers said.

In other school board news, the board decided to extend $500 per teacher to seventh- and eighth-grade faculty.

Every year, the district provides funds for teachers to get classroom supplies. According to Arkansas law, the district is required to provide $500 per classroom or $20 per student for supplies for students from kindergarten through sixth grade.

The Green Forest School District has placed sixth grade in the middle school with seventh and eighth grades as well. So the board has decided to extend $500 per teachers to seventh and eighth grade also.

"It all goes to the kids," Summers said. "We felt like it was completely the right thing to do."

The board also decided Monday not to open any polling places for the Sept. 17 annual school board elections, since there is no proposed increase in the district's millage rate, and both school board candidates are running unopposed.

The following changes have been made to personnel:

* Victoria Magdefrau has resigned.

* Donna Saul was transferred from middle school math teacher to the school's intervention specialist.

* The board hired Candice Smith as a paraprofessional.

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