Simply Arthur Economic Developer Ed Coller and Facilities Team present at board meeting
By ARIANA R. CHERRY
Several visitors filled the room at the most recent school board meeting held February 16, 2022. Some of those visitors included Ed Coller, the new Economic Developer for Simply Arthur and the members of the Facility Team. Coller gave the board a brief history about how Simply Arthur was started and exactly what the organization does. He commented on what a wonderful community Arthur was as well as its school district. “In all my years, I’ve never seen what school districts have had to deal with in the last two years. Thank you for what you have done,” Coller said.
During the Transportation Report, Cheek mentioned that there was one transportation report to be released and that it was not ahead of schedule. The district also received a significant donation from Carstin Brands which was related to the renovation to the FCF room which was worth about $3,500.
After the Treasurer’s Report, the Facilities Team gave their presentation. The co-chairs of the team took time to explain the process of their meetings and how they came up with their plan. One of the co-chairs, Jason Yeakel stated to the board that the charge of the team was to communicate a program to develop a long range facility improvement program for the school district and to enhance classroom instruction and provide the best opportunities effectively. Informational print-outs were handed out to members of the board showing the master-plan scenario and what phase one could look like. Some of those plans included creating a middle school area within the high school campus by making some changes, creating an improved gym space for the Arthur Grade School and also a list of other changes to both Atwood and Lovington Grade Schools. The estimated cost for phase one is around $30.6 million dollars. The master plan/ plan for recommendation can be seen on the U-Knights website at: https://sites.google.com/bldd.com/u-knight305/home.
Once the Facilities Team finished up their presentation, Cheek made a recommendation for a new Special Education Coordinator Position. “We are at a point where there is a need for support- not just administrative support, but I see this position supporting special ed staff, potentially helping guidance and social work staff and also a go-to person. It would almost be in the form of a partnership with special education staff,” he explained. Cheek informed the board that this was no longer just a luxury position, it was a necessity. Board members made a motion and approved the new position which would start for the 2022-2023 school year.
A three-year contract with Skyward, a student and financial database for the district was improved. The three-year contract came with a discount as well as a few other perks that would be helpful for the district as well.
Superintendent Shannon Cheek reported to the board several positions that needed to be filled within the district. Those positions included:
•Junior High Science (LGS)
•Junior ELA (LGS)
•School Counselor/ Social Work (LGS)
•School Psychologist – District
•Special Education (HS)
•PE/Drivers Ed and/or Health (HS)
•Substitute Teachers/ Bus Aides
•Substitute Teachers Aide
Cheek commented that there were some good leads on some of the leads and that he was “cautiously optimistic.”
The present COVID situation seems to be trending downwards in the school district. “The numbers are certainly trending in a much better direction!” commented Cheek. He noted that he will continue to be optimistic. Currently, there are six positive students, 16 students who are quarantined, one staff member who has tested positive, and two staff members are quarantined.
Cheek also gave praise to several staff members and teachers during his “celebration” section of his report:
•Mr. Seal – for improvements to the gymnasium and atmosphere
•Athletic Boosters – Glow Bingo
•All staff for their perseverance and dedication
•Bill/Justin and janitorial staff-clearing the lots of snow
•Admin for giving up their Sunday to collaborate
Cheek graciously thanked everyone for their support, patience and work during the last couple of years which have proved to have been difficult.
February 16, 2022
Accept the letter of resignation for Ms. Sarah Bailey effective at the end of the 2021-2022 school year