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Greenbrier School Board discusses snow days

Posted: March 17, 2014 - 12:05pm
BJ FOX PHOTO   Pat Tapley (left) receives the Arkansas School Business Official of the Year award for Region 2 from superintendent Scott Spainhour.
BJ FOX PHOTO Pat Tapley (left) receives the Arkansas School Business Official of the Year award for Region 2 from superintendent Scott Spainhour.

The regular meeting of the Greenbrier School Board prompted much discussion on how to make seven snow days.

One day was already made up with President’s day, but six more need to be made up in order to receive funding.

A vote on the 2014-15 school calendar was taken among all the teachers in the district, which also included whether to tack the snow days on to the end of the year or take away spring break.

An overwhelming majority decided spring break should remain the same. The Board voted to make Good Friday a school day instead of the usual holiday and to tack the other five days on to the end of the school year, making June 4 the last day of school.

The Board also voted to adopt the recommendation of the teachers to follow a school calendar that will begin Aug. 18 and last until May 27, 2015, almost identical to this year’s calendar.

Eastside Elementary teachers Courtney Williams and Julie Wallace were recognized as the sponsoring teachers receiving third place for the Local Community Literacy Award through the International Reading Association.

The Board was proud to present Pat Tapley with a plaque honoring her for receiving the Arkansas School Business Official of the Year for Region 2.

Greenbrier Wooster Environmental Science students presented an overview of their ideas on a renovation that includes a pond for their school. Their winning design included a gazebo or pavilion using solar panels and a fish nursery as part of a learning pavilion.

Plans include eco-friendly designs on an 11- to 12-year scale. They already have two sponsors lined up, and the teachers noted there may be grants amounting to about $15,000 available that they will apply for.

Engineer Brad Peterson and Randy Palculict gave an update on the proposed land for a new school building. Peterson looked at the property in question without doing a full engineering study, but it appears to be in a Zone A flood plane with a 1 percent chance of flooding in any given year. He pointed out that it could possibly be a challenge to develop because FEMA preserves part of the land not to be developed. After full engineering studies, which could cost up to $20,000, and FEMA and other involved agencies respond to applications, the proposal could be tied up for nine months to a year.

Board member Jeremy Riddle said, “I don’t think that’s what we wanted to hear.” Superintendent Scott Spainhour said, “With at least a year before we could get these studies done, we might wind up putting kids in portable classrooms. We need to re-focus. We’re getting to the point in our growth that we can’t wait.”

The Board decided to take a closer look at the 12 acres on Elliott Road for a possible two-story building. The soil report there came back positive.

This month is a time-line for a decision on property in order to be under contract with a construction firm by this fall or else lose $3.5 million in partnership money.

The Board approved a bid from Midwest Bus Sales to buy two new 77 passenger type “C” buses with underneath storage for $85,313 each. This company met the emissions standard outlined in the bid process. They plan to retire two older buses from their 43-bus fleet this fall.

The Board also approved the immediate purchase of a 30-passenger type “A” mini-bus from Nationwide Bus Parts. This is a 2013 Chevrolet with 890 miles and a camera system on a one-ton chassis for $49,500. This will allow drivers to make smaller runs for special events without having to use the larger buses.

The School Board meets in the District Office at 4 School Dr., on 6 p.m., the second Tuesday each month.

For more information, visit the district’s web site at www.greenbrierschools.org.

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