On June 20, 2011 the Arkansas Department of Education removed the Pulaski County School Board of Education and Superintendent, Dr. Charles L. Hopson and took control of the District. Dr. Tom Kimbrell, Commissioner, Arkansas Department of Education, will serve as the PCSSD Board of Director. Former Superintendent Bobby Lester and Phyllis Stewart, ADE, were appointed as liaisons for the District by the Department of Education. Dr. Jerry D. Guess was selected as the Superintendent of the Pulaski County Special School District, effective July 1, 2011. The following summary of PCSSD Operations were recommended by Superintendent Guess and approved by Dr. Kimbrell.
- 2011-2012 First Semester Student Assignment Report–Equity and Pupil Services. Approved
- 2010-2011 Annual Recruitment Report – Equity and Pupil Services. Approved
- Boundary Agreement between District and Willifords: Approval to grant encroachment rights to Willifords as stated in the agreement. This agreement was made on the 8th day of July, 2011, by and between the Pulaski County Special School District, a public school district organized and operating pursuant to Arkansas law, and Dinzle Ray Williford and Norma Jean Williford, husband and wife, 10202 Hillcrest Road, Sherwood, Arkansas 72120. This involves a metal canopy extending approximately three feet across the property line onto the District Property. The District agrees that so long as the house on the Williford Property shall remain standing and is owned by the Willifords, the District shall allow the metal canopy to extend as noted; and allow the concrete slab to extend approximately four feet across the property line on to the District Property. Approved.
- Final ARRA Revision submitted by Federal Programs and approved by the reviewing committee at ADE: Approval of the final revisions allowing the District to expend the balance of funds by the December 29, 2011, deadline for: 6511 SFSF/ESEA; 6801 New Construction; 6802 Modernization; 6803 Renovation; 6805 Homeless; 6721 IDEA; 6516 TITLE I; 6517 SIG 1003(a) to reallocate the balance of each fund. Approved.
- Funding for the continuation of the Arkansas Leadership Academy School support in the following schools: Fuller Middle, Jacksonville High, Landmark Elementary, Mills High, Taylor Elementary, North Pulaski High, Maumelle High, Robinson High, Sylvan Hills High, Sylvan Hills Middle, and Northwood Middle. Approved.
- Summary of Districts Operations for August 2011: Approved.
- Personnel: Approved.
- Award of Bids: Approved
- Bid 12-001 Food - Sysco
- Bid 12-002 Ice Cream – Blue Bell
- Quote #LE12-001 Hand Tools – Refrigeration and Electric
- RFP 12-004- Student Accident Insurance – Cox and Associates Insurance, Inc.
- Approval of bills for payment: Approved.
- Approval of financials: Approved.
- Approval of Fiscal Distress Reporting Requirements: Approved.
On Tuesday, September 13, 2011, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Pulaski County Special School District boardroom at 925 East Dixon Road, Little Rock, Arkansas, a grievance hearing was held at the request of Allison Klucher. A three-member panel consisting of Danny Knight, Chair, Mary McClendon and Ken Turner conducted the hearing regarding the reduction in force of Allison Klucher as school nurse at Sylvan Hills Elementary School. Judy Wilber, General Counsel, represented the District. Others present were: Dr. Jerry Guess, Superintendent; Paul Brewer, Executive Director of Human Resources; Cynthia Hines, Nurse Facilitator; and Linda Paladino, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent.
Ms. Klucher asserted another school nurse who had the same seniority should have been dismissed instead. In making the decision, the District applied Board of Education Policy GDQA-R, II (7), which provides that in the event there is a tie in the length of service (seniority) within the divisional category to be reduced, the tie will be broken by applying the factors of performance, ability, and skill as determined by the employee’s evaluation and work history. Paul Brewer, Executive Director of Human Resources, in making his decision, took into consideration the nurse who was retained had substituted as a school nurse for approximately three years and had actual “school nurse” job experience as well as other factors the policy allows to be considered.
After all discussion and testimony, the hearing panel found the District followed its policy in the reduction of support staff. The panel’s decision was unanimous. The decision of the panel was presented to Dr. Tom Kimbrell, Commissioner of the Arkansas State Department of Education, acting board for the Pulaski County Special School District. Dr. Kimbrell provided in a letter to the District that he sustained the panel’s finding and asked that Ms. Klucher be notified of his decision.