The Scranton School District held its Annual Public Meeting in the elementary library on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, at 6:30p.m. The purpose of the meeting was to inform patrons of the academic and fiscal status of the school district. Superintendent Toby Cook reported the overall district goal is to provide guidance, leadership and support so that each student may achieve his/her maximum potential and become a useful, productive member of society.
Facilities are all in good shape. We are nearing completion of a barn for our agriculture department. The locker rooms in the gym are getting a complete overhaul. New flooring, wall coverings, showers, and lockers will be completed soon. With the recent growth in the last couple years in our elementary school, we are in the beginning phases of applying for and preparing to add classrooms. We are at our capacity in current building.
Enrollment in the district as of October 1, 2020, was reported to be 451 students in grades K-12. We are holding steady on our enrollment.
Elementary Principal, Mario Beshears, reported the K-6 enrollment at 262 students. The Elementary School had to replace two teachers who resigned, and we added a teacher to get rid of the third-grade and fourth-grade split class. Mrs. Allison Riddell, who taught the split last year, is now teaching a regular third-grade class. Mrs. Laura Murray has moved down to fourth-grade to take the other half of the previous split. Mrs. Stephanie Canada has transferred over to GT to replace Mrs. Cook who took a position with the Springdale School District. Mrs. Hobbs has left teaching to work at the library in Charleston. We have hired Mrs. Bryce Robinson to teach the fifth-grade class, Mrs. Briana Cadman to teach the fifth and sixth-grade split, and Mrs. Breanna Hatchett to teach the sixth-grade. All teachers are designated as Arkansas Qualified for the appropriate areas.
The elementary school is offering after-school tutoring to students based on MAP test scores on Monday thru Thursday after school until 4 p.m. We are running a bus that runs a designated route throughout the district to help ensure we are getting the students who really need it to tutoring.
Our high school principal, Doyle Watkins, reported the 7-12 enrollment is 189 students. New instructional staff includes Laura Jackson- Family and Consumer Science, Dusty Douglas- Special Education, Golden Mulkey- 7th/8th grade English and Dyslexia Interventionist, Christy Terry- Special Education Paraprofessional, and Amanda Wewer- Distance Learning Facilitator. All high school teachers are designated as Arkansas Qualified for the appropriate area.
The high school is presently offering the required 38 courses to meet state standards. Advanced Placement courses offered are AP Biology, AP Calculus, AP Chemistry, AP Computer Science, AP US History and AP English Composition.
The distance learning lab offers classes in Spanish I, II and III, French I, American Sign Language I and II, Medical Terminology, Foundations of Health Care, Foundations of Sports Medicine, Human Anatomy and Physiology, Abnormal Psychology, Sports Entertainment and Marketing, Computer Science Coding Level I and II, Computer Science Cyber Security I and II, and Fundamentals of Photography I, II, and III through Virtual Arkansas.
Also offered through the distance learning lab as part of the Virtual Arkansas concurrent credit program are: Beginning Spanish I and II, English Composition I and II, American History, World Civilizations, Experiencing Art, Public Speaking, College Math and College Algebra. There are 18 students participating in this program, taking a total of 49 classes. College credit is awarded from our partnering institution, Arkansas Tech University. Concurrent Credit American History is taught on campus by Scranton High School faculty member Shannon Warren.
The Arkansas Tech Career Center allows students in the 10th-12th grades the opportunity to take concurrent credit classes at one of the following campuses: Clarksville, Paris, or Russellville. Currently, four students are enrolled in this program.
The high school continues to work on improving math and literacy scores. The district has purchased STAR reading, Odysseyware, Discovery Education, Accelerated Reader and IXL Math to supplement instruction.
A tutoring program began September 28th, 2020. Tutoring and homework help are available in Math, Literacy, and Science from a certified staff member after school from 3:10-4:00.
The High School is a One-to-One school, with all students in grades 7 through 12 being issued a Chromebook for use at school and home.
The latest available data released by the Arkansas Department of Education from the 2018-2019 School Report Card designated Scranton High School as an A School. The school was listed as having the following: Attendance rate was 97.16%, Graduation Rate was 100%, and Dropout Rate was 0.00%.
The Scranton Opportunity School is starting its eleventh year and is our alternative learning program. Mrs. Shannon Warren is the lead SOS teacher, with Mrs. Megan Gibson teaching a few class periods each day.
Three student graduated from the program last year, and we currently have sixteen students in the program. All students are making adequate progress towards graduation requirements. In addition to academic goals, students are working on having better attendance, social and emotional skills, and career possibilities are explored as well.
Mrs. Stephanie Canada is our new Gifted and Talented teacher. She reported that 46 identified students in grades 4 -12 are being served. Third grade is in the process of being identified due to Covid. Students may be nominated for the program by faculty/staff, parents, community members, peers, or they can nominate themselves. General nominations are received any time during the year but are especially encouraged during September and April. The students are identified on the basis of specific and consistent criteria in several areas which can indicate giftedness as outlined in the local definition. This includes above average intellectual ability, creative thinking ability, high achievement, and task commitment or motivation. No single criterion or cut-off score may be used to exclude a student from identification and placement. Referral forms are available on our school website or by contacting the GT coordinator.
Services offered by our gifted and talented program:
High School (9th-12th)
Served through concurrent credit, secondary content, Advanced Placement or pre-Advanced Placement courses.
Middle School (7th-8th)
Seventh and eighth grade students receive services through secondary content classes. Teachers of all core content classes have received training in providing differentiation for gifted and talented students.
Elementary (3rd -6th)
Third through sixth grade students participate in a “pull-out” program for 150 minutes of direct instruction per week provided by the GT teacher/coordinator.
Elementary Enrichment (K-2nd)
Students in Kindergarten through second grade receive 40 minutes of whole-group enrichment each week. These classes take place in the GT resource room and are led by the GT teacher/coordinator.
A Gifted and Talented link is on our District’s web page (referral documents, rules and regulations, Q & A section, and all district policies and procedures are available).
Gifted and Talented Face Book page: Provides an opportunity to broadcast news and information to students, parents and community members. Promotes our school’s Gifted and Talented Program.
The Parental Involvement Program is facilitated by Mrs. Greta Strobel at the elementary school and Ms. Laura Simpson at the high school. Each school plans activities to get more parents involved in the education of their child. COVID-19 has proved to put a substantial obstacle in allowance for parents and volunteers. Every school is experiencing this at this particular time. We cannot make specific plans based on the unprecedented unknown due to COVID-19 and CDC regulations. Therefore, all of our events for this year have been placed on hold, and we are continuing to reassess monthly to determine if these events can be held. Therefore, some events may be held at a different time of year compared to the usual. Both schools held Open House virtually. Elementary allowed parents to pick up and complete paperwork in the parking lots without anyone in the buildings. In addition, Kindergarten students were given personal tours by Mr. Beshears and Mrs. Greta. This allowed parents a sense of security, safety, and getting to have that special Kindergarten moment with their child. Seventh grade orientation was held on August 12th. Both schools hold Parent Teacher Conferences twice a year. The first time in September was held virtually. Elementary teachers touched base with every student. Highschool used a google sites page for parents to sign up for a conference time if needed. The second one is scheduled for March 2021. The elementary school normally hosts Literacy night, Write about Christmas, inviting parents to come see what their child is learning. In the works are Donuts with Dad and Muffins with Mom. However, those events as of now are not happening. Currently, we are looking at starting a virtual "History around our Community". This would include teachers or parents seeking a variety of historic places, attributes, or trails to share with our students. We hope to encourage parents, friends, and students to get out and see what our community and area has to offer. The parent could share a picture with the student of what and where they found the object, animal, bridge, trail, cave, and etc. The high school is planning a SHS Family Fun Day, allowing parents to play games with their children. Again, this event will be held at a different time if possible. We will do a K-12 art exhibit in the Spring. The parents and community will be invited to see the students' art projects. Grades and Attendance are recorded electronically in e-school. Parents have access to HAC which allows them to access the child's grade, attendance, progress reports, and final grades. The school uses an automated phone messaging system to keep parents informed of important announcements and events. The Scranton School District utilizes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and school app to keep parents updated, share pictures, and notification of activities going on around the school. We are able to push notifications to parents for the most important events.
All five school board members received the professional development as required by A.C.A. 6-13-629. Current board members include Hilda Turner, President; Tim Blaschke, Vice President; Adam Fritsche, Secretary; and members Ryan Rogers and Carolyn Rhinehart.
The district facilities include thirteen buildings and several storage buildings and ground improvements (covered walkways, fencing) totaling $14,184,925. The contents of the buildings are valued and insured for $2,809,437. The district is covered by Arkansas School Boards Association Risk Management Program.
Our coordinator of Federal Programs is Mr. Mario Beshears. The district receives federal funds in Title I, Title II-A, Title VI-Reap, Title IV Student Support & Academic Enrichment, and this year, ESSER (COVID-19 Relief) funds.
Title I – 6501
Scranton Schools is a schoolwide Title I school. We are able to serve all students in the school with Title I funds, rather than identify lower achieving students and concentrate the funds on those students. Our annual allotment this year is $159,792.09, plus a carryover from last year of $1,742.15. We are also transferring our Title II-A funds into Title I, $12,787.01. Our total budget is $173,579.10. Funds will be utilized as follows:
- Salary and benefits of Mrs. Shannon Johnston (0.75 FTE) for reading interventions/dyslexia.
- Salary and benefits of two elementary classroom aides, Rocky Rea (0.667 FTE) and Maria Hanks (1.0 FTE), to work under direct supervision of classroom teacher with students.
- Salary and benefits of Mr. Cory White (.673 FTE) for enrichment/study skills classes for 7/8 grade students in high school.
- Salary and benefits of Mr. Mario Beshears (0.50 FTE) for federal programs.
- Elementary literacy program, Wit & Wisdom
- Parental involvement set aside
- Homeless required set aside to be used for backpack program and other needs of students
- After school tutoring for high school students, offered Monday-Thursday through Spring Break
- Odysseyware program, a remedial tool used for interventions and in ALE for students behind in areas
- Technology, smart touchscreen tvs for classrooms
Title II-A – 6756
Annual allotment is $12,787.01, with zero carryover. All money is transferred to Title I fund.
Title VI Reap – 6782
The Reap grant allotment for this year is $23,904. There is no carryover from last year. The money is budgeted as follows:
- Chromebook cart for elementary
- Document cameras
- 5 Redcat classroom sound systems
- Smart touchscreen tvs & mounts for classrooms
Title IV Student Support & Academic Enrichment – 6786
The annual allotment for Title IV is $12,944.16, with zero carryover. Funds are budgeted as follows:
- Accelerated Reader/Star Reading program for K-12
- Dibels literacy/reading assessment tool
- Fundations/Wilson Language literacy materials
ESSER (CARES ACT – COVID Relief) – 6780
The district received $135,813.64 in ESSER funds to be spent by September 2022.
- Mobile carts for art/music to go to elementary classrooms rather than expose them to HS classrooms
- Wilson/Fundations materials to send home to virtual students
- PPE materials required (masks, gloves, gowns, etc)
- Technology – Surface Pros & accessories for teachers to make easier to do lessons for virtual students, additional chromebooks to have on hand
- Sanitizing/Custodial – KVAC Cleaning machine, mister/fogger machine, sanitizing materials
- After School Tutoring for elementary
- Bus driver for one route after school tutoring
- Stipend for 8 employees on the CO-RT (Covid Response Team) to assist administration in making decisions during this pandemic
The district is financially sound at this time. We have no revolving loan debt. The district currently has two bonds. The last audit for fiscal year ending June 30, 2019, had only one finding which was the need for more internal control/segregation of duties. This would require employment of more personnel in the accounting department which is not financially feasible at this time. The breakdown of our recent year-end legal balances have been a steady balance. We have been transferring funds to our building fund and maintaining a steady, even balance in our legal balance. Our current building fund balance is $1,689,025, of which some funds will be utilized for an elementary addition if all is approved in the near future. We were fortunate enough on June 30, 2020 to transfer $441,643 to the building fund. We are continuing to maintain a legal balance around $620,000-$625,000. Our budget for 2020-2021 is as follows:
Beginning Balance July 1, 2020 $624,850
Total Operating and Debt Service Revenues $4,139,350
Less Salary Fund Expenditures $1,715,013
Less Operating Fund Expenditures $1,930,426
Less Debt Service Expenditures $177,167
Projected Ending Legal Balance $941,593
With our steady increase in enrollment, we anticipate keeping a healthy balance for years to come. We strive to provide a quality education to every student and have confidence in their ability to reach their maximum potential and become productive members in society.