Students in the Mountain Home Public School system are doing very well in the classroom and consistently exceeding the state average in proficiency, according to a state of the school report to the public which dominated the regular meeting of the Mountain Home School Board Tuesday.
Reports were made by administrators from various campuses in the Mountain Home system as well as from areas such as the Gifted and Talented and Special Education Programs and the Guy Berry College and Career Academy.
Dorothy Cook, director of federal programs for the district, said there had been concern sequestration could have resulted in up to a 10 percent reduction in federal funds available to the district, but the actual reduction had come in at about five percent. She said the federal money paid for additional staff, helps promote parental involvement activities and funded professional development within the district.
It was reported all of the Mountain Home Public Schools facilities meet accreditation standards established by the State of Arkansas. The 2012-2013 graduate rate in the district was almost 85.5 percent.
After hearing all of the reports, Board Member Neal Pendergrass said he was confident the district was headed in the right direction. Other board members were complimentary of students, staff and administration for the exemplary progress they were all making.
Keith Alman, who is in charge of computers and other technology for the district, said the schools now have 3,500 pieces of equipment, including 2,000 desktop or laptop computers and 22 servers. The high school currently has wireless internet availability and Alman said it is now planned to extend the wireless capability to all the other campuses by the end of this school year. The board approved a bid of $109,700 from CDWG of Chicago for the equipment necessary to make the expansion. Alman said his department will install the equipment. He said when the project is completed, all of the campuses would be what he termed "saturated" with wireless. The board also voted to accept a bid of almost $39,000 from a Minnesota company, Parts Stock, to replace 100 teacher/staff computers. The district's policy is to replace teacher/staff equipment after four years of service. Alman said the 100 computers were refurbished units which made the replacement less expensive. Alman said the district had an extensive relationship with both of the winning bidders.
The Board also voted to approve the 2013-2014 Arkansas Comprehensive School Improvement Plan for the district. The plan is basically a detailed blueprint which sets goals and maps out ways and means of accomplishing those goals in order to ensure a superior educational experience for all students.
In addition to dealing with internal elements within the district, the plan also addresses such outreach issues as parental and community involvement. State law requires the ACSIP model must be used by all Arkansas public and charter schools.
The Board also voted to accept bids for two 71 passenger buses from Bluebird. The bid was for $89,395 per bus. A bid of slightly more than $47,000 was accepted for the purchase of a 30-passenger bus from the Collins Company.
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