Manila School Board approves projected budget

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Manila School Board approved the projected budget, accepted bids on a bus, accepted a resignation, approved student transfers, and accepted several reassignments at the June meeting Thursday.

Manila Board members approved the minutes and reviewed the budget before going into a short executive session.

The board approved the resignation of Tiffany Barnes, pre-kindergarten teacher.

Superintendent Pam Castor recommended the board approve Steven Milligan as assistant football coach with an extended contract to 195 days. Milligan is the assistant girls' coach and head baseball coach. The board unanimously approved the recommendation.

The board also approved Robin Baugher, junior high math teacher, additional duties as Dean of Students in the upper elementary.

The board approved hiring Bill Beal as part-time employee for the 2006-07 school year. Beal is a retired college football coach from Baylor University.

The board reviewed and accepted the low bid from Merls' Bus Sales of $57,715 for a Type C, 65-passenger bus.

Board members reviewed and approved the proposed stipend salary schedule for the 2006-07 school year and the proposed salary schedule for classified personnel. The salary schedule allows for a unified starting salary for different positions with employees topping out in five years. Increments will be awarded only in conjunction with a voted salary increase. Increment will be awarded in a manner to bring employees to the high end of the salary range in five years. The high end of the salary range will change based on voted salary increases. The low end of the salary range will not be less than defined by law.

Board approved unanimously student transfers of Christopher Oliver from BIC to Manila and Jonathan Ware from Greene County Tech.

Diane Baugher, elementary principal, reported on 2005-06 test scores. She said the district had received preliminary reports.

"It is good news," Baugher said. "In fourth grade last year our literacy scores on advanced and proficient were 44 percent. This year we had 60 percent score proficient or advanced. Our math improved even more. Last year we had 34 percent proficient and advanced and this year we had 61 percent. Math was up in the third grade also going from 53 percent to 59 percent proficient and advanced. We did go down slightly in literacy from 50 percent last year to 46 percent this year in the third grade.

"This was the first year for our kindergarten, first and second graders to test for reportable scores and in our kindergarten we scored 67 percent proficient and advanced in literacy and 60 percent in math. First grade scores were proficient and advanced for 43 percent in literacy and 62 percent in math. Second graders scored proficient and advanced 53 percent in literacy and 54 percent in math."

Castor said she expected the junior high scores to be good overall.

"We have received the preliminary report," she said. "The high school scores are not in yet."

Castor distributed the model policies as sent by the Arkansas School Board for the board to review as a proposal to accept at next month's meeting.

Castor informed the board a design for the proposed building addition is underway and design should be ready in the near future.

Toby Doke, football coach, updated the board on progress.

"Inmates from the Department of Corrections did a great job helping with the removal of the baseball fencing," Doke said. "The scrap metal on the south end has been moved and I think they can get their tractors in to work on the field now. Charlie and Freddie Fleeman have brought in equipment and worked. The irrigations guys are on stand-by when we are ready. We paid Ray Boone about $600 for dirt work."

Doke estimated the irrigation cost to be $1,500. He said he had talked to Rob Veach (board member) about getting fertilizer and Bells Sod Farm about the grass. He said thanks to the work by the inmates, they are ahead of schedule.

"We have had a lot of volunteer labor and we appreciate all of it," Doke said.

He was pleased with the number of players coming to the weight workouts.

"I think when we get ready to begin football we will have between 45 and 50 students between the seventh through ninth grades," Doke said.

Castor said the gymnasium floor will be refinished. The damage is covered by insurance.

"The total estimate for the work is $12,000 and we will be responsible for the $1,000 deductible," Castor said.

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