Green Forest school employees getting bonus

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Employees at the Green Forest School District can expect to receive a nice bonus this holiday season.

During it’s meeting on Oct. 18, the school board voted to approve a $750 bonus for all employees, one that will, according to superintendent Matt Summers, be disseminated before the Thanksgiving break for a total cost to the district of $195,325.

In addition, the board approved the purchase of a new card-activated security system that will both increase safety at the school and help with contact tracing related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Matt Summers

Summers said the Convergint system would cost the district approximately $79,910, money that will come from funds the district received under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund.

“That’ll cover all of our exterior doors,” Summers said, “and it will really help with contact tracing and knowing who’s in our buildings. There will be a security camera above the door that will automatically timestamp when anyone uses their card or gets buzzed in the main door.”

The new system, Summers said, is also very versatile and will let the district continue to allow the use of some of its facilities without distributing keys.

“Things like people using the gymnasium, we can give them a chip card that will only open that door during a certain time,” Summer said. “We will also still have key access, but that will be very limited.”

The computer-controlled system will also allow administration to restrict access to themselves and first responders at all exterior doors in case of emergency.

The board also approved the purchase of several GermGuardian air purifiers and filters for classrooms and other indoor spaces.

“We’re getting 154 small units for classrooms and six of the larger units for areas like the cafeteria, conference centers, the gymnasium, that kind of stuff,” Summers said.

The total cost for the project, Summers said, will be $12,685 and will be paid for out the school’s ESSER funds. It’s also part of a larger HVAC project that will eventually cost the district a total of approximately $750,000.

“That’s a future project,” Summers said.

In other business, the board decided to hold off on a planned resurfacing project for the school’s track. Summers said the type of track at the school’s athletic complex is typically resurfaced every five to seven years and Green Forest’s is well past that mark.

“It’s in very good shape,” Summers said, “but it’s 12 years old.”

Summers said the board decided to hold off on resurfacing for the moment to gather more information in order to make a better decision.

“The cost was going to be like $150,000 and I felt like we needed some more information,” Summers said.

After meeting in a closed session to discuss personnel issues, the board reconvened to accept a number of resignations and several new hires.

Edith Tipton resigned from food service, along with special education paraprofessionals Amanda Atchley, Heidi Baker and Jacob Biggs.

Chelsea Murray and Joy Eddings were hired as special education paraprofessionals and Linda Johnson was hired for food service.
In addition, the board added Jacob Brown and Sarah Underdown to the after-school tutoring program and added Adam Richter as a volunteer assistant coach for the boys soccer team.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15, at the Green Forest High School library.

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