Manila Board hires personnel, rejects football bids

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Town Crier News Staff

Members of the Manila Board of Education worked through a lengthy agenda at the July meeting Thursday evening. During the business the board filled three positions, purchased software, reviewed bids for computers, football field lighting, bleachers, bread and milk, accepted model policies, approved handbooks, and heard results of the district's test scores.

Following an executive session, the board voted unanimously to hire Lora Ellis as aid with a three month contract; Tracey Milligan as aid for the 2007-08 year, and Sherry Davis as secretary.

Pam Castor, superintendent, recommended the purchase of the Jedi software to be used in the high school and Orchard software for the elementary grades.

"The Jedi software is used statewide and can be used as a mediation tool and in alternative learning classes," Castor said. "The Orchard software is premier software and is used across the state in language, arts, math and science. The students will be able to start at their level and work up."

Jason Baltimore, technology coordinator for the Manila District, also recommended the software.

The cost for the Jedi was $11,931 and Orchard was $30,623.

President Tony Crowell asked Baltimore where the district is on technology and how many computers are in the school.

"We are about par with other schools our size," Baltimore said. "We are adding 16 mounted projectors throughout the school."

Baltimore said the school had a total of 390 computers.

The board voted unanimously to purchase the recommended software.

Following the review of seven bids from different vendors for 45 computers to be placed in the elementary labs, Castor recommended accepting the bid from the Computer Shop as being in the best interest of the District.

Board members voted unanimously to accept the Computer Shop bid.

Other bids accepted included milk bids from Turner Dairy and bread bids from Interstate.

The board reviewed three bids submitted for lighting at the football field.

Castor said according to state law any construction over $100,000 has to go to an architect. She recommended rejecting all bids. The turn-key bids on electrical lights ranged from $106,678 to $177,234.

The board rejected all bids and discussed bidding the lights, poles and labor separately.

Bids for bleachers at the football field were reviewed and discussed. The base bid amounts ranged from $241,500 to $263,310. The board voted unanimously to reject all bids.

Mrs. Castor recommended before going to an architect to take a little more time on the bleachers.

"These prices are in line with everything I've heard," Castor said. "We can go back to it later."

Board President Crowell said he couldn't see spending that kind of money now.

"I want it as bad as anyone, but we can't be foolish," Board member Johnny McCain said.

Diane Wagner presented the Board with Benchmark exam and end of course exams comparing scores over the past three years.

"We are heading in the right direction," Wagner said. "All across the board is coming up."

Castor said in terms of scoring for No Child Left Behind progress in every grade level in all populations has been met.

In other business:

*The board approved the Mirgrant Application for the coming year.

*Model polices and handbooks were reviewed and approved. Castor pointed out most of the policies are dictated by law.

*Reimbursement rate for lunch was raised from $8 to $10 with the mileage reimbursement remaining the same (29 cents a mile) at this time.

*Castor informed the board the ADM (Average Daily Members) for funding this year would be based on 1,009, down from 1,022 which will cut the district's funds by $71,000. Enrollment is presently 1,014.

*The board voted to oppose the Great River Academic Charter School application.

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