Manila School board hears principal reports

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Town Crier News Staff

Manila principals updated school board members on the start of the 2006-07 school year at the September meeting Thursday.

Diane Baugher, elementary principal, reported an enrollment of 408 in kindergarten through the fourth grade with 32 students in pre-kindergarten for a total of 440. She said two new students had enrolled Thursday making 442. The number is slightly up over last year's beginning enrollment.

"We have a few slots left in the pre-kindergarten and we are enrolling children who will turn four by Dec. 31," she said.

She also gave a report on the Benchmark and Iowa test scores. The scores are up. She presented the student handbook with the combined model policies adopted by the board and a copy of the teacher handbook.

Diane Wagner, mid-level principal, gave a report on fifth through eighth grades.

"This is the place to be with junior and peewee football, a new building project and being part of the Arkansas Leadership Academy," Wagner said.

Enrollment in the mid-level is 70 in fifth grade; 61 in sixth grade; 66 in seventh grade and 84 in eighth grade.

She presented a copy of the handbook with modified policies, seventh and eighth updated faculty handbook and the Benchmark test results. She said there is an increase in all areas.

"We are going the direction we want to go," Wagner said. "We have filed our appeal on our improvement status.

"We are not over 150 students for any one teacher or over 30 students in any classroom."

High School Principal Pam Chipman presented a copy of the 7-12 grade handbook.

"Exciting things are happening in high school," Chipman said.

High School enrollment is 323.

She spoke briefly about the Arkansas Northeastern College classes at Burdette for Manila juniors and seniors.

"It started at Christmas last year and is a great opportunity for our students," she said. "We have 17 students going to Burdette for classes each day. We also expanded our distance learning lab and have 29 students enrolled. When I came aboard, I saw students taking two or three study halls."

Chipman said through the classroom, ANC classes and Distance Learning Lab, MHS offers 38 class units with 90 total offerings.

"We are looking at adding a work ready class and a work ethic class," she said. "When our students graduate, they will have a well-rounded curriculum."

The board approved the transfer of Tyler Harrison from Buffalo Island Central to Manila and Cody Wells (fifth grade student) from Manila to Riverside.

New Board member Justin Veach was welcomed to the meeting. Veach was elected for Position 1, formerly held by Rob Veach, who chose not to seek re-election.

New officers for the year were elected with Tony Crowell elected as president; Jackie Hill, vice president; and Donald Master, secretary. Other board members include outgoing president Scott Misner, Johnny McCain, and Steve Metheny.

Superintendent Pam Castor requested the approval of a sale of surplus items. The board approved the sale 7-0.

The board went into executive session to discuss personnel matters. A Personnel Policy Committee Resolution was reviewed with no action taken.

During the administrative reports, Castor said she would like to look elementary building renovations to submit for review for future projects through the Partnership Program. Board members had no objections.

She informed the board of the upcoming board training sessions. The Distance Learning Lab will be utilized by the board for a two-hour training session.

Castor also reported the district had received a good report for the 2004-05 audit.

"We had no audit exceptions," she said.

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