C4 board approves purchase of equipment
By Haley Schichtl
The Connect 4 advisory board on Tuesday approved the purchase of $48,738 worth of equipment, which will be fully reimbursed from a state grant through the Office of Skills and Development.
Board president Rodney Ellis said the equipment includes four HAAS simulators, a lifetime training for the mill and lathe, a mini-mill and simulator, and transport for all the equipment. He said the grant has already been applied for and approved, so the reimbursement is guaranteed.
“HAAS has revamped their whole training program, so that’s something that would be beneficial not only to our students, but to our instructors long-term,” Ellis said.
Ellis said once all three school boards have met and approved it, the equipment can be purchased.
In other business, the board discussed the need for a new instructor for the program. Green Forest superintendent Matt Summers said he is working on the revised MOU, which would change the current payment arrangement to have all three schools divide the cost of the program, including the new instructor, equally for one year.
“It needs to go to our attorney, then it comes back to our board for approval in December,” Summers said. “I just need to know the dates on that MOU for our attorney to update.”
Eureka Springs superintendent Bryan Pruitt suggested they should start the new agreement on the hire date so that the three-way split would cover for the whole academic year. The board agreed to go ahead and start advertising for the new position.
“We’re the district that has the most to lose, because we’re contributing the fewest students,” said Eureka Springs board member Al Larson. “I’m certainly fine with continuing through this academic year, but it has been the intention of the board from the beginning that we become more proportionate. Of course, we need to do a better job of recruiting over there, but you know, small district, and we’re a lot different.”
Summers mentioned he is still in contact with Bass Pro about including their culinary program, which Eureka Springs has shown the most interest in.
The board discussed ways to recruit more students to C4. Tyler Harness of Green Forest finished putting together a short video, which they will be able to show at events like parent nights so people can get an inside look at what C4 is doing. Another option they discussed is giving students who have completed both years of the program a cord to wear at graduation.
“The cords we did last year… was a three-colored cord, a color that represented each school,” said C4 administrative assistant Jennifer Winkle.