Alma School District Newsletter

March 17, 2023

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Northwest Arkansas Regional Science and Engineering Fair

Congratulations to the following students for placing at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Science and Engineering Fair on Friday, March 10, at the University of Arkansas! These students qualified to compete at the State Science and Engineering Fair at the University of Central Arkansas on March 31-April 1.


  • Caleb Boen | Animal Science
  • Caleb Ferguson and Cali Ferguson | Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • Sherman Reed | Chemistry
  • Carter Seals | Computer Science
  • Hugo Janssen | Energy and Transportation
  • Hannah Crawford and Elizabeth Masterson | Medicine and Health
  • Miranda Gibson | Microbiology


  • Sofia Floyd | Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • Capucine Bacis | Biochemistry
  • Shelby Norris | Engineering: Materials and Bioengineering
  • Alexis Wofford and Samantha Marquis | Energy and Transportation
  • Landon Coursey and Mabrey Birchfield | Medicine and Health
  • Carson Newton and Avery Bowerman | Microbiology
  • Jasper Stockton | Plant Sciences
  • Xavier Herzig | Physics and Astronomy


  • Olivia Roller and Marti Lineberry | Animal Sciences
  • Emmalee Scowden and Madelynn Scowden | Biochemistry
  • Jack Snell and Mason Collins | Computer Sciences
  • Justin Atha | Engineering: Electrical and Mechanical
  • Sydney Atha and Grace Hamilton | Environmental Management
  • Lola Tapia and Leila Wood | Medicine and Health
  • Chloe Gregory | Microbiology


  • Ashton Millsap, Wyatt Brister, and Locklan Flanagan | Animal Sciences
  • Brooklynn Qualls | Earth Science
  • Isaac Vasquez | Engineering: Electrical and Mechanical
  • Clayton McCoy | Energy and Transportation
  • Bryson McCaslin | Environmental Management


  • Jack Snell and Mason Collins: Arkansas Soybean Science Challenge Student Research Award
  • Brooklyn Qualls: Association for Women Geoscientists award, Geoscience Excellence award, and NASA Earth Systems Science Award




The following teachers received the perfect paperwork award for zero violations: Brian Curd, Jerry Kelley, Robbie Pham, and Zach Thomas. Alma also won the Overall Senior Division Award.

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A visit with Temple Grandin

Members of the AHS Animal Science classes traveled to Bee Branch, AR, on Monday, March 13, to hear from Temple Grandin. Dr. Grandin is an expert in animal welfare and handling techniques. He is credited for many of the effective animal handling practices and facilities we see being used in the industry today. She spoke to students about the value of proper handling techniques when working with livestock and the payoff we see when these techniques are implemented. She also reminded students that exposure to new things and ideas is how we find our passion.
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Arkansas Technology Student Association State Conference

Alma High School had 38 students who competed in the Arkansas Technology Student Association State Competition. 33 of the 38 students qualified to advance. Congratulations to the following students for placing! In June, these students qualified to go to the National Technology Student Conference in Louisville, KY.


  • Luke Bailey, Evan Hewitt, Abigail SmitH | Audio Podcast
  • Derek Bailey, Drake Norris, Shelby Norris, Emmalee Sanderson | Board Game Design


  • Branson Brogan, Ethan Burris | Audio Podcast
  • Drake Norris, Emmalee Sanderson | Debating Technological Issues
  • Sydney Atha, Jordan Johnson, Michael King, Logan McKay, Liam Stidham | Engineering Design
  • Tayla Gil | Prepared Presentation
  • Carter Seals | Music Production


  • Liam Crandall, Galin Halmes, Hudson Reeves | Animatronics
  • Patrick Engelke, Michael King | Biotechnology Design
  • Tyler Wilcox | CO2 Dragster
  • Derek Bailey, Shelby Norris | Geospatial Design
  • Dalen Hutchinson, Aiden Mackay | Music Production
  • Grace Hamilton, Dalen Hutchinson, Aiden Mackay | Technology Bowl
  • Carter Seals, Jack Snell | Video Game Design

Congratulations to Dalen Hutchinson for being elected Arkansas TSA State Secretary and Tyson Castleberry for being elected Arkansas TSA State President.

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Region 5 Choral Performance Assessment

On Friday, March 10th, the Alma High School Vocal Department hosted the annual Region 5 Choral Performance Assessment (CPA) to various schools around the state at the Skokos Performing Arts Center. This assessment occurs once every spring semester. Students perform in ensembles for three judges and receive constructive feedback. High School groups that receive Superior ratings can advance to State Choral Performance Assessment.

Alma Choirs brought seven choirs (3 middle to 4 upper-level groups), all receiving Superior ratings, with four high school groups advancing to State CPA. The State CPA will occur at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas, during the week of April 10th.

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Arkhola Preston Quarry

On Friday, March 10, Mrs. Dooley's Green Architecture students at AMS visited the Preston Quarry in Arkhola. The students have been studying recyclable construction and building materials such as concrete and asphalt. Many of the materials used in those products are mined and created at the local quarry. Plant Supervisor, Travis, took the group on a tour around the quarry to show the mining process from start to finish. The students could even see a "blast" of a new mining area - this was their favorite part, of course! They finished the tour in the quality control department to learn how various federal and state regulations control asphalt and concrete use in different construction areas.

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Music In Our Schools Month

March is Music In Our Schools Month. The purpose of MIOSM is to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children – and to remind citizens that school is where all children should have access to music. MIOSM is an opportunity for music teachers to bring their music programs to the attention of the school and the community and to display the benefits that school music brings to students of all ages.

Mrs. Walden and her students at AIS celebrate with Musical Mansions by creating, researching, and performing. Every student in the building makes a slide presentation about a composer they have drawn out of a hat. These composers have definitely impacted the music we listen to and enjoy. As the students research their composer, they are surprised they have heard most of their music in movies, commercials, and video games. Mrs. Walden picks one composer from each class in the building. Then, each individual class decides on one song the composer wrote that they want to use as a theme for their float.

For example, one class has George Gershwin as their assigned composer. The song they chose was "Rhapsody in Blue." After listening to the music, they recognized it was in the movie Space Jam. These students are making a float that represents the movie.

Each student is assigned a section of the float to make. The areas include a skirt, wheels, objects, handle, letters, hidden composer, the flag of the composer's birth, country, & continent. Everyone works as a team to make their float represent the composer and their class personality. The floats will then be judged by outside judges and students choosing the crowd favorite, and yes, prizes will be awarded! From the Musical Mansion project, about 30 different composers will be represented at Alma Intermediate School. Thank you to Mrs. Walden for making learning so fun!

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The latest episode of The Airedale is now available!

The Airedale 3-15-23

Medicaid memo

If your child is a Medicaid/PASSE/ARKids beneficiary, please be aware of upcoming changes that could affect your child's eligibility status.

The Public Health Emergency, brought about by COVID, enabled DHS to be more lenient in their required verification processes. With the Public Health Emergency ending, they will return to being more strict with their renewal/verification process.

This does not mean your child is automatically at risk of losing coverage, it just means you must stay up to date with all requests for information from DHS. The most important piece of information is your contact info, DHS will use the mailing address they have on file to send you the required forms and renewal information. Calling 1-844-872-2660 to verify your correct information, will help prevent any loss/gap in coverage.

Returning all forms and requested documentation is the next step in maintaining benefits. It is also vital to keep your child's PCP (primary care physician) updated with Medicaid and stay up to date on their WCCs (well-child checkups). Without these pieces in place, services may not be billable and covered by Medicaid. Be sure to return your completed forms to Medicaid/DHS as soon as possible to avoid any interruption in your child's benefit coverage.

Contact the local DHS office for assistance:

(479) 474-7595

704 Cloverleaf Circle, Van Buren

Manage Medicaid online at

AEAF Scholarship Application 2023

Dear Airedale Seniors,

Each year, the Alma Education and Arts Foundation awards scholarships to worthy candidates who wish to pursue educational opportunities beyond high school. These scholarships are both need and merit-based. It is important for you to know that the scholarships are made available for all areas of academic study; they are not limited to arts-related degrees. The scholarships may also be applied toward technical and trade vocational education offered in programs in addition to traditional college and university settings.

Some scholarships are available from designated family memorials, private gifts, and grants.

The process for applying for these funds begins by completing the online application form. The 2023 application is now available. The application process closes on Sunday, April 9, 2023, at 10 pm.

If you have any questions, please contact me at (479)632-2129 or

Congratulations on the successful completion of your high school education, and best wishes for your future endeavors.

Sincerely, Chuck King

Executive Director of Alma Education and Arts Foundation

Alma Alumni Survey

Are you a graduate of Alma Schools who has directly benefited from a scholarship granted by the Alma Education and Arts Foundation? We want to know about it! Please help us in furthering the goals of the Alma Education and Arts Foundation by responding to this brief survey. Thank you!

Kindergarten Registration

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Incoming Freshman Parent Night

Calling all 8th-grade students and parents! The transition to high school is coming soon! Join us for the Incoming Freshman Parents Night and learn about all of the requirements for graduation, the elective courses we offer, our programs of study, and other helpful information for the Alma High School Class of 2027. Please bring your Chromebook, as we will enter course requests into HAC that evening. We hope to see you there!
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A new episode of "Hey! What's Your Deal?" is now available!

In this episode, Mr. B. discusses how placement happens within the Alma School District and how the placement committee goes about determining which students require gifted and talented services within the district.

Go, Dog. Go!

Welcome Spring with this family show based on the classic reader by P.D. Eastman -presented by the national award-winning Alma Airedale Theatre!

Thursday, March 30th: 7:00 PM

Saturday, April 1st: 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM

Sunday, April 2nd: 2:00 PM

Call the Box Office at 479-632-2129 for special group rates and a daytime performance schedule!

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Airedale Athletics

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School Choice for the 2023-2024 school year

The Alma School District will once again be participating in the Arkansas Public School Choice Program for the 2023-2024 school year. Under the guidelines for this program, students who reside in another district may apply for admission to Alma School District. Applications may be picked up at the Alma Administration building located at 916 Highway 64 East in Alma. You may also access the application online by following the link below.
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International Student Spotlight

Esther from France wants to learn what the American Dream is all about! If you are interested in becoming a host family or welcome family or would like more information about the International Exchange Student program, please contact Eileen Parham at or 479-462-5100.

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Press Row

Kevin Taylor is a retired sportswriter with 42 years of experience, including 22 years at Southwest Times Record in Fort Smith. Kevin is the author of two books, "Tiger Boogie!" and "Stat Daddy." He's married to Mardi Taylor and has two kids, Logan (19) and Landon (15). Kevin is an online teacher for Alma schools (2015-present) and a sports reporter for Alma schools (2020-present). He is the 2021-22 Wadie Moore Distinguished Service Award.

Read what's new on Press Row:

Alma Public Library Calendar

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RISE Arkansas

R.I.S.E. (Reading Initiative for Student Excellence) Arkansas encourages a culture of reading by coordinating a statewide reading campaign with community partners, parents, and teachers to establish the importance of reading in homes, schools, and communities. Each month they share a newsletter that is full of helpful tips for families. Check out the latest edition of the RISE Arkansas newsletter below.

In the March issue: mysterious two, multisyllabic words, and bookmark fun!

Nutrition on the go

With My School Menus, you can find out what is being served at your student's school, along with nutritional information, allergens, and more!

Some key features of using My School Menus:

  • See menu items offered at your school
  • View allergens and ingredients
  • Access nutrient info

To get started, go to the iTunes App Store or Google Play and download the app "My School Menus." Select your state, district, and school to have access to menus on the go!

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Meal payment information

Alma School District offers parents the ability to pay for student meals online. Parents will need to set up a profile before making online payments. For support, call 877-237-0946. For more information, follow the link below.

Alma School District

Do you have information or good news that you want to be included in the district newsletter? Please send any news items, including alumni updates, to