C4 considers hiring additional instructor
By Samantha Jones
The Connect 4 program is going into its second year in Carroll County, and the C4 Board of Directors is considering ways to improve it.
On Wednesday, Aug. 28, the board met to discuss the future of the program. The board considered hiring an additional instructor to keep first- and second-year students separated, but Green Forest superintendent Matt Summers said he feels enrollment is too low to justify another full-time position. The board considered bringing on a part-time instructor who would also build a night program but took no vote on the issue.
Also at the meeting, the board unanimously approved the renewal of Sonic Wall through White River Services for $1,049.75 and addressed how to get the word out about C4.
Tyler Harness of Green Forest has been contacted to make a video of what happens at C4, and Drew Killingsworth of Berryville has been contacted about getting drone footage of the center and inside the buildings.
The board considered working with ESL teachers to find out when their parent meetings are to reach more students. The goal is to find a way to get students away from attending North Arkansas College and instead attending C4. Summers said it would be mandatory for all eighth-, ninth- and 10th-grade students to tour C4 and Berryville economic development director Chris Claybaker suggested having another open house to demonstrate what has changed since C4 began last year.
James Knight presented the director's update, saying student enrollment for the 2019-20 school year is four Eureka Springs students, eight Green Forest students and 23 Berryville students. Knight said the program is partnering with Wilson Combat to train students on the HAAS Lathe.
Carroll Electric will be coming on Sept. 12, Knight said, to certify students in harness safety and high-voltage training. Knight said Carroll Electric will come back and do mock interviews with students, requiring them to fill out an application and create a resume.
Al Larson suggested adding a culinary arts program to either the Eureka Springs School District or the C4 Program. Bass Pro has been interested in a culinary program in the past, but the board would need to consider location, cost, instructor, donors and the equipment needed. Eureka Springs superintendent Bryan Pruitt suggested the board tour Bright Water and Tyson's culinary facility to get more information on the topic.
In other business, Knight addressed options for adult education in the evenings. Knight suggested approaching Barrows Excavation and Black Hills Energy about night education and discussed offering a welding or industrial maintenance class. Rodney Ellis said it could be a good idea to offer industrial maintenance through the apprenticeship program the state offers. To offer such classes, there would need to be a minimum of 10 students involved.
The board's next regular meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4.