The Heber Springs School Board met recently and after approving an addition to the agenda they recognized students who participated in the Little Rock State Special Olympics in Bowling. They had five elementary students who had received medals. Two received Gold medals, two received Bronze medals and one finished in 5th place. In middle school, a Gold medal and three Bronze medals were received. Elementary students who were present were Kenneth Allen and Kyle Hensley. Middle School student Will Birmingham and High School student was Christian Torres, who received a Silver medal.

Superintendent Alan Stauffacher then gave his financial report and passed out a spreadsheet that showed the amount of money the SWN company owes the district, as well as other school districts and the county. From 2016 taxes, which would have been collected in 2017, SWN owes the Heber Springs school district $375,017.014. Overall they owe the county $1,959,438.78. The picture for 2017 taxes, collected in 2018, is much worse. SWN owes $415,164.11 to the school district and $2,247,647.52 to the county. This makes a total owed to the county, by SWN $4,207,086.30.

The board then approved a transfer from Rose Bud. They accepted the resignation of Stacy Gold and approved the hires of Nicole Grover, elementary music, and Katie Evans, who will replace Gold. They approved the termination of Janet Skinner, a para at the elementary school.

Leslie Williams then gave a Nurse’s report and passed on the survey results. In the elementary school which has 789 students, they had 15,962 office visits. In high school, there are 890 students and they had 15,607 office visits. This is an average of 45 students per day seeing a nurse. The state says there must be one licensed nurse per 400 students and they are currently meeting that. She told the board that they had been trained in CPR and had recently completed Stop the Bleed training and received several kits for free because they participated in the training. The kits are worth $2,500. Nurses help with attendance and help students with chronic conditions, such as diabetes. The board also approved a SWAG (Students Wellness Advocacy Group) stipend of $500 to be paid to Leslie Williams, who serves as advisor and $1,500 for supplies. The monies came from a grant. This program is led by Arkansas Department of Health and FEMA.

Due to the minimum wage increase effective January 1, the board passed an increase to Custodians and Food Service workers to $9.25 per hour. A Contract Disclosure Resolution approving Dr. Ryan Buffalo’s wife to serve as a substitute nurse. In discussion Judy Crowder stated that Mrs. Buffalo is an RN who formerly was employed at the school and does an excellent job with the students. Dr. Buffalo abstained from the vote.

Stauffacher then recommended the use of the Digital Learning Academy to reach students who are not being met through the school. They will partner with Arkansas Public School Resource Center to meet these students needs. It allows students to stay connected with teachers when having personal issues or health problems. Students can take five classes per year through this program.

The board then went into executive session.