Green Forest school board approves TV Club

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Students in the Green Forest School District will soon have their own broadcast studio.

During their regular meeting on May 17, school board members voted to approve a new student organization, one that will allow students to gain experience in broadcasting.

The plan for the new TV Club was presented to the board by high school social studies teacher Dylan Stone, along with two of his students.

Matt Summers

“Instead of doing our announcements over the intercom like has been done forever,” said superintendent Matt Summers, “there’ll be a live feed — it’s actually going to be a YouTube channel — and they would do the normal announcements like we always do with the moment of silence, Pledge of Allegiance, lunch menu, sports news and then performance schedules like plays, band, color guard clubs, that kind of thing.”

Summers said hosting the daily broadcasts on a YouTube channel would allow them to be seen in every classroom.

“They can put it on their smart boards at the front of the room and it will actually be live, but then it would be recorded and updated as needed,” Summers said. “It’s a pretty good idea, pretty exciting. It gives our kids opportunities to be writers, it gives our kids opportunities to be the anchors, gives somebody the opportunity to be the sports reporter. It gives them a chance to look at that if they’re interested in the media industry.”

Summers said there would also be room to grow, perhaps even covering live events at the school.

“We’ve talked about doing that and maybe it could grow into that,” Summers said. “Right now, we’re starting with the livestream of our morning announcements. If we have great interest and the kids continue to do a great job, then it may take on a life of its own.”

In other business, the board also approved the purchase of 800 Chromebook cases for a cost of $16,710. This purchase comes on the heels of the board’s recent decision to supply Chromebooks to all students in grades 6-12.

“A sixth-grader every year will get a new Chromebook and a new case,” Summers said. “Our hope is that the Chromebook and case will see them through their academic career. That’s why we’re purchasing the case to protect from unwanted drops or bounces or scuffs and that kind of stuff and if a student leaves and we get a new student transferring in, you don’t want to hand them a case that’s been used for two or three years and has like melted chocolate in the deal.”

The board also voted to approve the addition of a new course and the creation of two new teaching positions.

The new course, Summers said, is not new according to state standards, but it is new to Green Forest.

“It would be a physical fitness, weightlifting type class,” Summers said. “The course code numbers are already presented, it’s just we’ve never done it here. We spent a lot of money in our weight rooms, both boys and girls, and it shouldn’t be just utilized in athletic periods. This would allow for students to sign up for this P.E. class instead of the traditional freshman class in the gym.”

The new teaching positions include an assistant band director and a second instructor for the district’s Career Based Instruction program.

Summers said the second CBI instructor was a necessity based on projections for next year’s enrollment.

“Our numbers indicate that we will have 18 [CBI students] next year,” Summers said. “By law, you can only have 15 in a class. So we have to have an additional position created.”

The district also approved a measure to create a position for a certified occupational therapy assistant, a move Summers said should be a win-win situation.

“Normally, that’s a purchase agreement for us,” Summers said. “The person of interest for us is a mother and wants to have a schedule closer to her child’s. It’s great for her because she’s not having to work when her child is home. It’s great for us because it saves us a little money.”

After meeting in an executive session, the board also voted to approve a number of personnel matters, including the resignations of Karen Kinard, Cameron Naas, and Stephine Maestas.

The board voted to hire Johnathon Loretz as assistant band director; Stephanie Spiva for the COTA position; Patti Bohannon as a special education teacher; Lexi Meeks as a fifth-grade teacher; Hilary High, Olga Santisteban and Scott Silva as custodians and Wesley Sooter as groundskeeper. In addition, the board voted to hire Christianna Camp as softball and volleyball coach and Kelby Harness as the girls track and cross country coach.

Approved transfers and other moves included Ben West as girls basketball and assistant softball coach, Daniel Fittts as assistant girls basketball coach, Eric Perez as assistant football coach, Terri Harness as volleyball coach for a year, Skylar Fowler as the head coach for seventh grade football and Brandon Stone as assistant football coach.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, June 21, at the Green Forest High School library.

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