Manila School Board sets new guidelines for field trips

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Manila School Board met Aug. 11 adopting new guidelines for field trips, adopting a pay scale for drivers, adding personnel, and purchasing a bus.

Superintendent Charolette Wagner discussed with Manila Board members setting regulations and guidelines for activity/field trips.

"This goes along with the new hourly rate that we have to pay," Wagner said. "Mainly this will concern the overnight trips."

Wagner explained that according to the Department of Transportation's approach, bus drivers should drive no more than 10 hours per day and should be given breaks which will not be counted as paid time. Drivers must be given a block of eight hours for sleep. Drivers will be classified as on duty if they are with the school group, waiting for the group or actually driving the bus. A driver is also considered to be on duty if he/she is not free to pursue his/her own interests. Under the regulations, drivers must be given blocks of time of three hours or more to pursue their own interests.

"Sponsors will keep up with off and on duty times for bus drivers. With these guidelines, we don't pay for sleep time or break time. Most of our trips will come out the same or a little more than we have been paying," Wagner said.

Drivers will be paid $75 for all day, $150 overnight and $45 for shorter trips.

The board accepted the guidelines as presented.

The board accepted Wagner's recommendation to pay $6.25 an hour and no less than $30 a trip for certified and classified drivers for the day trips.

It was agreed that substitute route drivers receiv $19.61 for a short run and $24.86 for a long run.

After reviewing a bus report on the existing buses from Wagner, the board accepted her recommendation to purchase a new bus accepting the low bid from Ward Transportation at $65,445.

The board accepted the resignation of Randy Burnett, high school custodian, effective Aug. 18.

Following a lengthy executive session, the board approved a 35 cent per hour increase in pay for Scottie Reinhart, who has moved from an elementary position to the central office and will serve as Arkansas Public School Computer Network secretary. Her contract was extended from nine months to nine and a half months. Debi Cherry, secretary in the superintendent's office, received a 35 cent an hour increase. Dianne Sparks and Pam Chipman received a $1 an hour increase.

Carrie Mays and Dana Ferguson were approved to be part-time elementary aides at a salary of $8.88 per hour. Loresa Vasquez was also approved as an elementary aide at $8.88 per hour. Dixie Coppedge will be a part-time secondary aid.

Paige Copeland, special education aide, will move from elementary to the secondary school. Lisa Hicks, special education aide, moved from the secondary school to elementary.

Faculty members who have breakfast duty will receive $700 a year.

Parents, Kenny and Sandra Graham, addressed the school board about accepting their son's home school credits for his freshman year so he can enter Manila School as a sophomore.

Mrs. Wagner explained that the policy of the school has always been not to accept home schooling grades or credits.

"Since your child has only been home schooled one year, he could still get the credits he needs to graduate on time," Wagner said.

She went on to explain that he would have to be admitted as a freshman unless a policy change was made by the board.

Graham's parents asked the board to at least look at the credits and grades their son earned at home school.

Board member William Davis said he had no problem with looking at the information.

President Rob Veach said he did not feel the board was ready to change a policy.

"We are not trying to pick on your son. What we do for one, we have to do for all," Veach said. "We would love to have him in school."

The board approved a transfer request for a fourth grade student from Manila to Riverside.

The board discussed but took no action on repainting the bus shop. Wagner said she had an estimate of $7,000 for labor and paint.

Other discussions included:

*Placing a fence at the back of the elementary playground.

*The possibility of allowing the senior class to work the concession stand on a percentage basis as a fund raiser. Veach said they would have to work with the Booster Club.

*Wagner suggested selecting a committee to help with the model policies and making suggestions. She pointed out that any changes have to be approved at Little Rock. The group agreed to look at the Second Section of the model policies for the next meeting.

*Wagner said she was checking on grants available for preschool.

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