Dr. Cleveland Named 2023 Superintendent of the Year
Dr. Jared Cleveland, Springdale Public Schools superintendent, has been named the 2023 Superintendent of the Year.
“I am thankful! When people pour into you, there is an obligation to pour into others. Springdale has the best leadership team and certainly the best board," Cleveland said. "Thank you for entrusting me to do this work."
Mike Hernandez, Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators executive director, surprised Cleveland with the award Tuesday at the Springdale School Board meeting.
The American Association of School Administrators National Superintendent of the Year program is sponsored by First Student, AIG Retirement Services and AASA. The award pays tribute to the talent and vision of the men and women who lead the nation's public schools.
Candidates are judged on the criteria of leadership for learning, communication, professionalism and community involvement.
“He is passionate about his work and family and is an excellent team builder,” said Randy Hutchinson, Springdale School Board president of Dr. Cleveland. “His work as superintendent in Springdale, the largest district in the state, has been outstanding, making him more than deserving of this recognition. I look forward to working with him for many more years.”
Springdale High School JAG Program Wins 5-of-5 Award
Springdale High School was honored at the board meeting Tuesday for earning the 5-of-5 Award.
Arkansas Department of Education representatives presented the award Sept. 9 at Springdale High to recognize the school’s Job’s for Arkansas Graduates program.
The 5-of-5 Award recognizes programs that exceed all five of Jobs for America’s Graduates’ national performance metrics aimed at graduation and employment, according to the Jobs for America’s Graduates national website. Performance metrics include employment rate, full-time employment, total full-time positive outcomes and further education rate.
Springdale High School’s JAG program has a graduation rate of 97.2%, an employment rate of 84.5%, a full-time employment rate of 86.9%, full-time positive outcomes of 85.9% and a further education rate of 83.05% for national JAG program students who graduated in 2021, said April Reed, Springdale High School JAG specialist.
The national averages for the program are 85% for graduation rate, 47% for employment rate, 65% for full-time employment rate, 79% for full-time positive outcomes and 78% for further education.
The Springdale High School JAG program will be used as an example for the Arkansas Department of Career and Technical Education to highlight for the Arkansas State Board of Education, said Shannon Tisher, Springdale Public Schools curriculum, instruction and innovation assistant superintendent for grades 8-12.
Commissioned School Security Officer Update
Damon Donnell, Student Services director, provided an update on the Commissioned School Security Officer hiring process.
"It has been a journey, " Donnell said, who thanked all the Springdale staff who have contributed to the process.
The School Board unanimously approved developing a Commissioned School Security Officer program at the 2022 August School Board meeting.
The district hired 11 CSSOs Sept. 12, who will complete initial district hiring requirements through Sept. 16. All CSSOs will also complete background checks, drug screenings, psychological exams and training through Oct. 1.
The initial 11 fully-commissioned CSSOs will be assigned to 18 of the district's elementary schools and its Pre-K program the first week in October, Donnell said.
The district currently has 21 School Resource Officer positions supporting all of its middle, junior and high schools. The addition of professional Commissioned School Security Officers will provide a trained security presence in all of the district's elementary schools as well.
Commissioned School Security Officers must complete a state training course, pass an exam, be 21 or older, have no criminal record and must pass Arkansas State Police and FBI background checks.
School Resource Officers are provided in partnership with the Springdale and Tontitown police departments.
CSSOs will be school district employees and can enforce school rules. SROs can enforce laws.
The School Board voted 7-0 to approve the CSSO salary schedule at the meeting as well.
School Board Approves Bus Driver Recruitment and Retention Incentives and Revised Salary Schedule
The School Board unanimously approved incentives to recruit and retain qualified and experienced bus drivers.
The district will use ESSER funds to provide incentives in the form of additional compensation to regular route drivers in their October, November and December paychecks this year.
- Each regular route driver will receive three incentives in the amount of $800 each as stated above. (Required payroll deductions will apply.)
- Regular route drivers must have driven a bus: (1) at least one day between August 15, 2022, and September 30, 2022, to receive the October 2022 incentive, (2) at least one day between October 1, 2022, and October 31, 2022, to receive the November 2022 incentive, and (3) at least one day between November 1, 2022, and November 30, 2022, to receive the December 2022 incentive.
The district will also use ESSER funds to provide incentives in the form of additional compensation for non-route drivers in their October, November and December 2022 paychecks.
- Each non-route driver will receive three incentives in the amount of $500 each as stated above. (Required payroll deductions will apply.)
- Non-route drivers must have driven a bus: (1) at least one day between August 15, 2022, and September 30, 2022, to receive the October 2022 incentive, (2) at least one day between October 1, 2022, and October 31, 2022, to receive the November 2022 incentive, and (3) at least one day between November 1, 2022, and November 30, 2022, to receive the December 2022 incentive.
The board likewise approved adjusting the district bus driver salary schedule.
The salary schedule increase incorporates the $20 daily attendance incentive bonus the district previously paid bus drivers.
Board Gives Thumbs Up to Staff Incentive
The School Board voted 7-0 in favor of a recruitment and retention initiatives for the district's full-time and substitute staff members as well.
The district will use ESSER funds to provide two separate incentives in the form of additional compensation added to employees’ November 2022 and May 2023 paychecks based on the following:
- Each full-time employee will receive two incentives in the amount of $1,200 each as stated above. (Required payroll deductions will apply.)
- Employees must have worked onsite at least one day on or after August 15, 2022, in the Fall 2022 semester to receive the November 2022 incentive.
- Employees must have worked onsite at least one day on or after January 5, 2023, in the Spring 2023 semester in order to receive the May 2023 incentive.
- Each $1,200 incentive will be prorated for employees who are not full time.
- No employee will receive more than $1,200 per incentive.
Incentives were likewise approved for substitutes based on the following:
- Substitutes who have worked a minimum of 30 days in the Fall 2022 semester prior to December 1, 2022, will receive an incentive in the amount of $250 to be paid in December 2022. (Required payroll deductions will apply.)
- Substitutes who have worked a minimum of 30 days in the Spring 2023 semester prior to May 1, 2023, will receive an incentive in the amount of $250 to be paid in May 2023. (Required payroll deductions will apply.)
- Substitutes must have received a paycheck in November 2022 and April 2023 in order to qualify for the incentive for the respective semester.
- Substitutes who have not worked a minimum of 30 days in the Fall 2022 semester prior to December 1, 2022, or a minimum of 30 days in the Spring 2023 semester prior to May 1, 2023, will be ineligible for either incentive.
Board Approves Property Purchase
The School Board voted unanimously in support of purchasing property at 402 N. Kansas St. and 404 N. Kansas St. to provide additional greenspace and revenue for the district.
The properties are contiguous to land the district currently owns near Springdale High School and will cost the district about $385,000 said Trent Jones, Communications director.
The 0.5-acre property at 404 N. Kansas St. will generate about $1,000 per month in rent revenue for the district, he said.