Manila School Board renews contracts

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Manila School Board renewed certified and classified contracts, accepted four resignations, voted on raises, and reviewed superintendent resumes during the April 12 meeting.

The board accepted four resignations, one certified and three classified. Custodians Bertha Brooks and Peggy Brooks submitted their resignations as of May 21. Betty Vandiver submitted her resignation as of June 30.

Summer Hammons, kindergarten teacher, will leave at the end of the school year.

Following an executive session, Pam Castor, interim superintendent, recommended contracts of all certified personnel, provided they are not currently working under an additional license plan, be renewed. The motion made by Robert Veach carried unanimously 7-0.

Castor recommended that contracts for employees currently working under an additional license plan, provided they make satisfactory progress toward completion, be renewed. Steve Metheny made the motion that passed 7-0.

The board voted 7-0 to renew all classified employee contracts.

Castor recommended that certified personnel receive a $1,000 per teacher salary increase for the 2003-04 school year. The board voted unanimously to propose the $1,000 raise per teacher to the salary committee and Personnel Policy Committee (PPC).

The board voted unanimously that the classified employees receive a 25 cent per hour discretionary bonus for the 2003-04 school year.

The board voted unanimously to submit the state salary schedule to the salary committee and PPC board for consideration of raises for the 2004-05 year.

Castor reviewed the proposed amendments to the school board policies effective for the 2004-04 school year. She explained that some of the current policies needed to be rephrased to be in compliance with the state standards and guidelines.

Board members approved the changes 7-0.

The board voted unanimously to adopt four policies.

Senior participation in graduation activities policy is:

"At the end of the first semester, any student classified as a senior who cannot demonstrate by virtue of their accumulated units of credit and documentation of second semester class enrollment the ability to meet graduation requirements will be ineligible for all senior graduation activities during the second semester."

The board approved the graduation requirements and honor student requirements beginning for the 2007-08 school year.

The Core Curriculum requirements will be 15-1/2 required units and 7-1/2 elective units for a total of 23. To be eligible for honor graduate, valedictorian or salutatorian students must maintain a 3.25 GPA and a total of 23 units with 4-1/2 electives.

Castor said according to Act 681 of 2003 high school students will have to have 350 minutes of planned instructional time per day. College courses approved by the principal can be counted toward the 350 minutes. She explained that two additional electives had been added.

She also informed the board that next year basketball will be a non-credited class. Physical education will receive a full credit.

The board adopted the School Choice Policy. This policy sets the guidelines for accepting students that are non-resident based.

The fourth policy approved was for the Advanced Placement courses that will begin with the 2004-05 school year. The AP courses will be taught under the ADE regulations and standards.

Castor recognized Donald Master as being named ARSBA Honor Board member.

Castor gave a summary of Act 35. The accountability bill will outline the general laws and changes.

"State laws are not all out yet. The Court Masters gave an overall general report. We believe, based on what they said, efficiency in part with staff/student ratio, salaries and facilities will all be part of it. Additional revenue from state salaries may increase by law. We will have to watch over the next few months and keep up with all fiscal requirements," Castor said.

Board members voted to change the regular meeting time to 7:30 p.m. on the third Thursday night of each month.

The board reviewed nine superintendent resumes. The board agreed to interview two in addition to interim superintendent Pam Castor. The two candidates are Barry Scott of Piggott and Tim Passmore of Greenland.

Board President Johnny McCain informed the Town Crier on Wednesday that two more resumes had been received and the board would also review those, also.

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