One principal will head both elementary and intermediate campuses

Thursday, May 26, 2005

GREEN FOREST -- The elementary and intermediate schools will now share one principal, Andrea Martin, who has served as elementary principal the past three years.

The decision to reorganize and put one principal in charge of both campuses, with help from two assistant principals yet to be named, was reached May 16 when the Green Forest Board of Education met for its regular monthly meeting.

The action came after the board officially accepted the resignation of Intermediate Principal John Pipkins, who is leaving to accept a K-5 principal position near Conway.

Martin will oversee some 800 students in grades kindergarten through seventh on two campuses.

The board also hired Donna Hobbs as an occupational therapist and Cynda Coats for elementary music.

Resignations were accepted from Tammy Middleton, a kindergarten teacher, and intermediate art teacher Suzanne Spurlock.

Superintendent Dr. Larry Bennett announced that the federal summer lunch program will run from May 31 through June 24, during the summer school session.

Free breakfast and lunch will be available to all community youth, from birth to age 18, regardless of whether they attend school or not. The meals will be served weekdays in the school cafeteria.

Bennett said athletic camps have been scheduled during that time so those youngsters can take advantage of the free meals.

After some discussion and a tour of the concession area in Tiger Gym, the board gave Bennett the go-ahead to seek bids for concession renovations.

The proposal that was put forth calls for the front of the gym to be extended five feet, entrance and exit doors moved to the center, and the concession area moved to the glass wall that divides the lobby from the basketball court.

Some board members were concerned that patrons would miss standing in the lobby and viewing games through the glass, while others said parents working the concession would be able to watch their kids play.

Concession upgrades are required because of health department standards. The board will revisit the plan after cost estimates are available.

Bennett reported that the Tenth Street trailer park property that the district purchased had been cleaned up, the trailers moved and trash hauled away.

Someone had offered to move the house that remains, if there was no price tag attached, he said. The board okayed the give-away, and Bennett said he would check on the legality of such action before proceeding further.

Stipends of $300 each for teacher of the year recipients was approved, along with changes to the elementary student handbook.

The bullying policy was reworded to include transportation to or from school, and military identification was added as an acceptable form of required identification.

Bennett said those changes will likely be included in intermediate and high school handbooks.

He also reported that a recent standards review found only one fault, that the district didn't list military identification as an acceptable form of ID in its handbooks.

The accreditation report, he added, showed the district was fully accredited but had one deficiency -- that of an elementary teacher working toward compliance. Bennett said the state allows for such a practice, and allows three years to do so, but faults the district in the meantime.

Important dates administrators noted included: 2:30 p.m. May 22 -- third grade Author's Extravaganza; 6 p.m. May 23 -- first through third grade awards night; 6 p.m. May 24 -- kindergarten graduation, followed by seventh grade awards ceremony and seventh grade graduation; and, summer school from May 31 through June 24.

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