Manila School Board fills positions

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Pam Castor, Manila School superintendent, informed board members at the August meeting that school had opened with 1,002 enrolled. Sometimes the numbers do go up during the first weeks. The school ended last year with an enrollment of 1,005.

Following an executive session, board members voted unanimously (7-0) to accept Superintendent's recommendation to fill several positions. Carla McGuire was transferred from the cafeteria to special education aide. Penny Matthews, part-time cafeteria worker, was hired as a full time cafeteria worker. Rodney Lancaster was hired as in-school suspension alternative teacher.

The board accepted the resignation of elementary teacher Jennifer Jackson. Jackson has been on leave of absence.

Several student transfer requests were granted. Ryan Hughes transferred to BIC. Beverly Shumate 13, David Shumate 10, and Cynthia Tomlin 7, transferred to Manila from BIC. These three students have been attending Manila, Caster commented. Also transferring were Kayla Harrison, 15, from BIC to Manila and Jose Rameriz, a kindergarten student, from BIC to Manila.

Board members chose to receive millage incentive funding. Districts in the state are required to choose between millage incentive funding and general facility and debt service supplement funding, Castor explained. She presented the dollar amounts of each option. Castor recommended accepting the millage incentive, a higher amount.

A senior parent, Kenneth Hargrave, addressed the board about concerns he had over AP (advanced placement) classes being weighted on a 5.0 scale (more than the current 4.0 schedule).

He said that if the AP classes are weighted, it could be unfair to the seniors that have worked hard throughout their high school years to receive the honors positions.

Superintendent Castor and High School Principal Pam Chipman both said there is no plan to weight the classes this year unless the state made it mandatory.

Hargrave said that even if it becomes mandatory to weight the classes, the board had options as far as deciding the honors. Schools can decide how they do honors and can do them under the old rules, he said.

"I am asking you to consider the options before any changes are done," Hargrave said.

"I don't want to weight the classes for three years," Chipman said. "It is not my intent to hurt anyone but if the state department tells me I have to weight the classes this year, I will not have an option."

Board member Jackie Hill said he did not want to make changes in mid-stream.

Castor said it is her understanding that the classes will have to be weighted when full implementation is required in 2007-08.

Board member Rob Veach asked if it could be started next year.

"Why wait until we have to," he said. "I don't want Manila to be behind."

In other business:

*The Board accepted the elementary handbook.

*Castor spoke about test scores saying there has been a steady increase in scores. All of the results from the state are not in yet.

*Castor informed the board that the telephone system and the fire alarm system had been damaged by lightening. She said she is waiting on confirmation that it is lightening damage and estimates on the repair/replacement costs.

*Castor presented board members cost analysis data to review on the cost of implementing a football program.

*A notice of appreciation was read from Michelle Eubanks who attended the National FBLA Conference.

*Castor announced that open house will be held from 6:45 to 8 p.m. Sept. 2. A public meeting will be held in the auditorium at 6:45 to 7 p.m.

*Castor recommended the board pass resolutions to conduct business with several local businesses as being in the best interest of the school. Board members that were affiliated with the businesses being voted on left the room and did not take part in the discussion or the vote. Businesses included Hill's Grocery (Jackie Hill); Home Oil Company (Rob Veach); Sonic (William Davis); Scott's (Scott Misner); Land Lease by Contract (Steve Metheny).

*A special meeting was set to review the budget at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The budget must be submitted by Sept. 1.

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