Mineral Springs school presents report to public


    Annual report to the Public/Title I Public Meeting
    Sept. 20, 2017 • 6 p.m.

    The Report to the Public and Title I Public Meeting was held on Sept. 12 at 6 p.m. in the Mineral Springs Cafeteria. Mrs. Thelma Forte gave the opening remarks about the overall financial status of the district and the building program. Mrs. Forte talked about the groundbreaking ceremony and the status of the building project. Mrs. Forte said the overall goal of the district was to build a new school, increase community involvement, offer more college preparatory courses, and maintain the financial status of the district. The new school is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2019. The District is expecting growth after the new building is completed.

    Wendy Reed spoke about federal programs and the expenditure of categorical funds for the district. These are the only revenue generated through the Arkansas Department of Education. Title I is a federally funded program that ensures all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high quality education and reach, at a minimum, proficiency on challenging state assessments. Title VI is another federal fund utilized the same as Title I. The state categorical fund categories are: National School Lunch, Professional Development, English Learner, and Alternative Learning.

    District Level:

    Title I District funds will be used to employ an instructional technology teacher to provide job embedded professional development for teachers to improve the use of instructional technology. Teachers will implement technology based initiatives like Google Classroom to increase student engagement while they are receiving immediate feedback from teachers.

    Mineral Springs Elementary:

    Title I District Funds will be used to provide a remediation classroom setting for students in grades K-6. Students will have the opportunity to receive instruction in a small classroom setting to improve academics and the ability for students to receive point in time remediation.

    Professional Development funds are going to be used to send the elementary principal to the Arkansas Leadership Academy. This professional development will help the building level leader with building and sustaining accountability systems, creating a mission and vision, and disaggregating data.

    Title I funds will be used to purchase a phonics program to improve decoding skills, fluency, and reading comprehension. This program has a formal Response To Intervention Program to identify students who are not reading on grade level to provide immediate assistance for the purpose of improving reading skills.

    Mineral Springs High School:

    NSLA funds will be used to secure a college coach to improve ACT scores, the number of students going to college, providing visits to college campuses, and increasing the number of students taking the advantage of waivers to take the ACT.

    NSLA funds are used to secure a school improvement specialist. The school improvement specialist is providing job embedded professional development for teachers, developing professional learning communities, and creating a consistent format for interpreting data.

    School Improvement Grant money combined with Title Funds will be used to secure the services of Fetterman and Associates. High School students will receive in-depth training to improve ACT scores. Teachers will receive job embedded professional development to improve daily instruction.

    Elementary Principal, Stacy Gauldin reported that the enrollment for grades K-6 is 234 students. The enrollment is holding steady.  This year the elementary will focus on mathematics and reading instruction with a heavy emphasis on phonics instruction, reading fluency, Response To Intervention, and comprehensive literacy. Mrs. Gauldin reported students are receiving point in time remediation to improve reading skills, and Accelerated Reader is used to motivate reluctant readers to read and take comprehension exams. Students receive dyslexia interventions from Mrs. Lynn Cooley. Mrs. Lewis is providing Spanish lessons for students grades K-6. Mr. Plant is providing keyboarding classes to students in grades 4 and 5. He will continue to offer robotics club as an after school activity for students.

    East Program: Mr. Rob Plant spoke about the robotics club and the EAST program. He plans to provide services to 13 students in the robotics club, and he is currently serving as the EAST Teacher.  He gave a brief description of the EAST initiatives planned for the 2017-2018 school year. All EAST initiatives are student initiated. EAST students will host a special night for breast cancer awareness.

    G.T. Program: Mrs. Loe spoke about the GT program. Nominations are ongoing. She took over the GT program about a week after school started, and she is teaching K-3 once a month and will begin testing fourth graders next week. She is preparing for a GT audit.  She is relying on the help of the K-3 teachers to continue lessons to promote critical thinking skills. 

    As for grades 7-12, we are meeting the requirements of the GT standards through our offering of AP, Pre-AP, and concurrent classes. GT students will have an opportunity to attend GT classes on Fast Friday.

    Special Education: Mrs. Ladonna Curtis is the District Special Education Supervisor. She confirmed the special education department was committed to ensuring all special education students would receive a free and appropriate public education. Mrs. Curtis stated teachers will strive to help students meet their fullest potential. Mrs. Curtis said that 71 students were receiving special education services. She highlighted the partnership our district has with Riverview Behavioral Health to provide therapeutic services and interventions for our students. She also talked about additional manpower secured to provide more support for students while creating an age appropriate setting.

    Josh Kessler, the high school principal, reported the secondary level (grades 7-12) has an enrollment of 170 students. This year the high school has identified students who need assistance, and they are receiving help through Edgenuity. High school students will utilize advisory periods to create opportunities for students to monitor grades and set goals. The highs school has set a goal to increase the number of students who are receiving the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship. The Master Schedule has been altered to offer more college credits, concurrent classes, and Virtual Arkansas Classes. The overall goal of the high school is to improve ACT scores, improve communication, and create opportunities for students to engage in personal goal setting.