Manila School Board met Thursday in regular session discussing sites for a practice football field, reviewing financials, passing a county disaster mitigation plan resolution, looking at policy changes/additions, consider maintenance issues, accepting a resignation, and renewing classified contracts.
Superintendent Pam Castor, using cardboard cutouts scaled down to represent a proposed football practice field, allowed the board members to get an idea of the space needed. The proposed field would be located behind the high school gym and baseball field, running east and west. She demonstrated how much property would be needed for the field, with and without a track around the field, along with space for bleachers. A storage building would have to be moved. Castor said she would like to check into a metal storage building.
Board member Johnny McCain asked how much space would be left for a new junior high building.
Castor said that would have to be considered.
"Engineers and architects were on campus last week to look at the current junior high building and the cost of bringing it up to state standards as part of the district's state partnership application," Castor said. "As far as they are concerned it is not economically feasible to continue to update a building that old.
Castor said the district should know by May 1 if approved for a partnership grant. The grant would pay a percentage of the cost of new constructions and renovations.
"We need to give serious thoughts to an architect firm," Castor said.
President Scott Misner said he would like to use a local firm if possible.
Castor also suggested hiring a management person to oversee the construction once the work begins. The board discussed several options and was in agreement they wanted any new building to merge nicely with other buildings.
"We need to keep in mind long-term needs," McCain said. "We don't want to patchwork something together that won't be functional 10 years form now."
Board member Rob Veach said he thought there had been a master plan drawing with a new junior high building included. Castor said she would look for the plans.
Board member Jackie Hill expressed his appreciation to Medic One for the $1,000 donation to be used to help Manila implement football.
The board talked about advertising for a football coaches.
Mrs. Castor said some applications have started coming in for the position. She also mentioned starting a football booster club.
Anyone interested in joining can call either the superintendent's office or junior high office.
The board voted unanimously to restructure the maintenance department eliminating the hourly position of a licensed plumber and electrician. The position will be filled by a salaried maintenance supervisor.
Castor said the job will have a job description which may include overseeing custodians, grounds and physical plant maintenance.
The board passed a Mississippi County Disaster Mitigation Plan Resolution. Castor explained that the resolution has to be passed in order to approve FEMA funding if it became necessary.
"It is also the first step in building a safe-type building," she said. "We have to pass the resolution before we can apply. Federal funding will be available in December for a 75 percent grant for a safe building. It is a nationwide competition for this money and we need to have things in order when it comes time to apply."
The board also adopted a Wellness Policy from the Arkansas School Board Association.
Castor said the Standards review team were on campus and made a few suggestions in clarifying some policy statements.
"There were no changes just location of where items were listed," she said.
In the attendance policy for kindergarten through sixth they said the word "documentation" should be spelled out such as dentist, doctor, funeral, etc.
Castor said it was also suggested instead of rating tardies as absentees, consider disciplinary action instead.
The board voted on the changes and a new policy on tardiness will be in effect at the new school year.
Following an executive session, the board accepted the resignation of special education teacher Patsy Mick, effective May 27.
The board voted to renew the list of classified contracts meeting the state licensing requirements.
In other business:
*Castor said the sign is under construction and should be completed at the end of the school year.
*Castor informed the board members that the Leadership Academy Scholastic Audit will be on campus going over grades 5-8. She also informed them they will need to set a time for a 1-1/2 cay of training with the Leadership Academy group.
*Castor said she was pleased to announce that the Standard Review representatives had been on campus and Manila elementary and high school are in compliance.
"They made no recommendation of any action on our part," she said.
*The board reviewed the financial report. Castor said the fuel bill has been high and a new hot water heater had to be purchased for the cafeteria but overall, the district should come out all right this year.
*Castor expressed her appreciation to Medic One for the donation to the football program.