Green Forest board votes for May school elections
The Green Forest School District will now hold its elections in May.
Superintendent Matt Summers said new legislation requires school districts’ elections to coincide with either the general election in November or the primary election in May. The Green Forest School Board voted at its Monday meeting to hold the elections in May.
“All three school districts are wanting to do the same date so we can be on the same page,” Summers said. “The three superintendents have been in contact, and we felt it would be best to hold the school elections in the spring.”
The board also voted to have Ozarks Unlimited Resources (OUR) Educational Services Cooperative submit a waiver on behalf of Green Forest to the Arkansas State Board of Education requesting the district’s start date for 2018-19 school year on Monday, Aug. 13.
“There is a statute that states we can’t start school before the Monday of the week of Aug. 19,” Summers said. “Next year, Aug. 19 is a Sunday, so that’s the start of a new week. We’ve asked our co-op, OUR, to submit a waiver for us at the next meeting.”
He continued, “This year, we started school on Aug. 14, so it keeps next year’s schedule almost identical to this year’s schedule instead of starting later in the summer.”
The board also voted to grant an easement to Entergy on the Tyson Avenue property, which houses the district’s maintenance and transportation building, for a new power line.
“They looked at adding an additional three feet to that easement,” Summers said. “There’s a power line existing there, and they’re going to be changing that out to a three-phase line to bring in more energy for the expansion that’s about to happen.”
He said the district was offered $3 per square foot of the 425-square-foot easement, totaling $1,275.
“We did some math on it, and it’s fair market value for what they’re offering,” he said.
The board also voted to renew the agreement with Youth Bridge, which offers school-based counseling, mental health counseling and substance abuse counseling for students in the district.
“They’ve been serving the district for several years, and they do a wonderful job with our kids,” Summers said. “They provide counselors and people to meet with kids, and we just provide space at lunch or after school.”
The board also voted to create a new groundskeeper position in the maintenance department and, after an executive session, voted to approve the hiring of Jeff Abel for the position.
“With our recent acquisitions of property we’ve been doing the past few years,” Summers said, “the district has a little over 49 acres now. While there are a lot of buildings and parking lots there, you still have to trim and mow around those spaces and keep the flower beds kept up.”
Abel has been substituting as the groundskeeper since this summer, he said, so the board felt it was appropriate to hire him for the new position.
The board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19, in the high school library.