School board members heard concerns on the Better Beginnings early childhood center on Tuesday night.

School board members heard concerns on the Better Beginnings early childhood center on Tuesday night.
Tasha Hines, director of the center, shared the importance of the center to the community and noted the center is a level 1, star 1 rating. Hines hopes to reach level 2 by December 2018.
“Arkadelphia has a high quality early learning program,” said Hines.
Board members agreed on the quality and relevance of the program, but voiced concerns on the financial implications of keeping the center open.
Board secretary Karrie Goodman cited that the district lost $233,000 last year on the center, and raised questions on how the district could afford this amid construction and declining enrollment.
Board Vice President Dr. Kenneth Harris acknowledged the need for community involvement and support of the center.
Harris views the center as an investment instead of a financial loss. He also challenged the board to create a community-involved strategy to prevent the center from closing.
“I think it needs to be formalized and done in a strategic way,” stated Harris.
School board members agreed to revisit the topic and create a strategic plan to prevent the center from closing.
Other items addressed:
• It was announced that Arkadelphia Public Schools has been reaccredited for the next five years by Advance Ed.
“We’re very happy to have a good report,” said Dr. Donnie Whitten, superintendent of Arkadelphia Public Schools.
Accreditors spent a week with the school district conducting interviews and analyzing the district. The accreditation board highlighted the Arkadelphia Promise and Pre-K programs, and recommended that the district look for ways to implement more technology in classrooms and revisit the mission, values and goals of the district.
• It was announced that interior finishes of the new Goza Middle School building had been approved by Whitten.
• The board approved pay raises and new hires.
• Bread and milk bids for the 2018-19 academic year were approved.
• The board discussed increasing technology to accommodate the need in the classroom.