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story.lead_photo.caption Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND Gravette teachers Neka Lunderquist (left) and Stacy Bingham receive a check from Alan Rutledge, board president of Autism Involves Me, and Paula Towle, AIM executive director. The $750 AIM2EDUCATE Grant check will be used to purchase sensory equipment for their classrooms.

GRAVETTE -- Alan Rutledge, president of the board of Autism Involves Me (AIM), and Paula Towle, AIM executive director, were present at the Feb. 19 meeting of the Gravette School Board to recognize Gravette teachers Neka Lundquist and Stacy Bingham for taking the initiative to reach out and request funds that will benefit students with special needs in their school.

They received an AIM2EDUCATE Grant check in the amount of $750 to purchase sensory equipment for their classrooms. Rutledge reported that two percent of the male population suffer from autism and invited those present to participate in the organization's AIM Weekend scheduled for May 11-12.

Also present at the meeting were Tom Buchl and Russ Anzalone from the Knights of Columbus chapter at St. Bernard's Church in Bella Vista. Buchl and Anzalone presented a check for $2,854.51 to Kim Davis, special education director. Funds were from proceeds of the chapter's Tootsie Roll sales campaign. Some proceeds from Tootsie Roll sales have also been donated to the Sunshine School, they said.

Dennis Kurczek, the school district business manager, gave the financial report for the month of January and reported the largest amount of property tax payments have been received. He reported expenditures were about as expected except for high utility bills because of the cold January weather.

Richard Page, the superintendent of schools, announced the upcoming junior honor society initiation Monday, Feb. 26, and reported that Allison Schafer has been chosen as a member of the team which will be reviewing state science standards. He also reported on the Feb. 13 facilities proposal meeting, leading to a discussion among board members about the pros and cons of a dome style versus rectangular gym structure, comparative costs, square footage and the importance of aesthetics in the design.

Faculty members from each of the four schools gave updates on the status of professional learning communities in their schools and strategies being employed to reach the PLC goals. A highlight of the presentation was the announcement that Gravette Upper Elementary School has been chosen as a model PLC, one of only three schools in Arkansas to be so honored.

Sheila Roughton, food service director, gave her report, showing the "Second Chance Breakfast" program is going well, with an additional 123 students per day being served. An additional 65 reduced-price meals are being served each day. About 1,100 school lunches are being served each day and 900 to 1,100 are being served at breakfast. The price of school lunches will increase by 10 cents for the next school year, and plans are to use additional revenue collected for much-needed kitchen upgrades and possibly a new vehicle for meal delivery.

Board action items included a vote to approve the 2018-2019 school year calendar recommended by the personnel policy committee with two weeks of Christmas break and a return to school on January 7.

Richard Carver, the transportation department supervisor, presented bids for school buses. Board members approved accepting the low bid of $179, 650.14 from Midwest Bus Sales for the purchase of two new school buses.

A board planning session will be held the last of March or the first part of April, and superintendent Page asked board members for suggested dates. It is expected the legislature will give ideas on school funding before the planning session date.

Board members adjourned and went into executive session to consider personnel matters. After returning to regular session, they voted to accept the resignation of Amanda White as the junior-high cheerleading coach and Duke Mobley as the junior-high football coach, both effective June 30, 2018. Votes were also made approving the administrative re-hire recommendations for the 2018-2019 school year presented by Superintendent Page and extending Superintendent Page's contract for two years, for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years.

Community on 02/28/2018

Print Headline: Gravette teachers recognized, donation made for special education

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