Manila School Board renews contracts

Monday, March 23, 2009

Manila School Board members renewed certified contracts at the regular March meeting held Thursday evening.

Superintendent Pam Castor presented a list of certified personnel for the 2009-2010 school year with recommendations for renewal. The board voted unanimously to renew the teachers listed.

Resignations were accepted from Shirley Austin, special education teacher, effective the last day of school and Bertha Brooks, custodian, effective March 13. The board also accepted the resignation of Jeral Hudspeth from basketball coaching duties as of June 5.

The board also voted to approve two student transfer requests, Blake Miller from Buffalo Island Central to Manila and Troy Matthews from Manila to Buffalo Island Central.

Castor said Blake, a ninth grader, is a Manila student and has recently moved into the BIC District but wants to continue attending school in the district.

Castor gave proposed calendars for the 2009-2010 school year for board members to review. The calendars are being reviewed by the personnel policy committee and they will make their recommendation next month. The board will make a decision at the April meeting.

Castor informed board members the district had received a request from Buffalo Island Rural Water for an easement on school land currently farmed by Wildy Farms.

"I talked to our legal adviser and the Arkansas Department of Education," Castor said. "We need to wait on making a decision until we get their recommendations."

Castor updated board members with an overview of the stimulus bill for education under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.

"These are only estimates but the way it looks our district may receive $139,000 in Title I and $198,000 in special education for a total of $337,000," she said. "There will be a meeting in early April and we should receive details on other funds to be distributed at the Governor's discretion."

These funds will be distributed over a two year period.

In other business:

*The board approved adopting the technology security plan.

*Board members reviewed the financial report asking Castor about the property clean-up and repair from the January ice storm. Castor said she had filed the cost with FEMA and they will coordinate with the district's insurance. Board President Johnny McCann said it looked like the district had a good year from the farm rent income.

*Castor expressed her appreciation to the Big Lake Country Club Board for their agreement to charge the school $500 a year for the golf teams.

"We appreciate them working with us," she said.

*Board member Danny Robbins recognized the Manila elementary Odyssey of the Mind for a great job in their first competition.

*During a special board meeting held Feb. 26, board members voted unanimously to hire Nabholz Construction as the construction manager for the elementary school project and Brackett and Krennerich Architects as the architect.

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