Demolition bids opened at Manila School Board meeting

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Jeff Herren with Brackett Krennerich Architects opened 13 demolition bids at the regular Manila School Board meeting on Monday, April 20. All school board members were present. The bids are for demolition work to remove the lower elementary buildings to make way for a new facility.

Manila School Board President Johnny McCain (left) accepts a check to the district from Manila FFA students Luke McLaughlin and Jerry Jaco. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Bids ranged from $38,944 to $198,900 with completion time ranging from 10 days to 45 days.

Superintendent Pam Castor recommended the board take the bids under consideration and advisement.

"We'll discuss it with the architects and review bid security and licenses and go from there," Castor said.

Members of Manila Future Farmers of America, Luke McLaughlin and Jerry Jaco, addressed the board presenting the school with a $2,000 check.

"We had a fundraiser and raised money to help pay for the equipment purchased at the first of the year," McLaughlin said. "We appreciate your help."

School Board President Johnny McCain accepted the check.

Student transfer requests were approved 7-0 from Tanner Platz and Kaitlin Adams, both from Buffalo Island Central.

Castor discussed the North Central accreditation.

"In the past elementary has been NCA Accredited and high school has been NCA Accredited," Castor said. "Next year there will be a cycle of study at all three levels, high school, middle school, and elementary, for a district wide accreditation. I'm recommending we pursue the District NCA accreditation."

She went on to explain representatives will come into the district and look at everything meeting with teachers, administrators, board members, and parents.

The board was in agreement to go forward and pursue the District North Central Accreditation.

Castor discussed the school progress report card explaining there has been and is going to be more changes. The gains model used this year is calculated separately from AYP (Average Yearly Progress). The gains model is used through the eighth grade.

A new category, the Status Model, will be introduced next year. Scores will be derived from each category, below basic, basic, proficient and advanced. Next year the state will intervene if needed.

In last year's testing elementary met all standards and scored a 3 on the scale of 5 being the highest to 1 the lowest.

"High school scored a 1," Castor said. "This does not include all of the high school or all of the middle school. It only included the seventh and eighth grades. We took a big jump in scores in the seventh and eighth grades the year before and leveled off last year. We did not meet the required gains in those two grades in spite of the fact we made AYP in the combined populalation. Under the gains model requirements students can score in the 90 percent proficient and advanced but still receive a low score due to the lack of progress (or gains) from the year before."

Board member Danny Robbins said it was misleading the way it was reported.

"This is what is expected and we want to show growth every year," Castor said. "I just wanted to let you know where we are and explain about the status model next year."

Castor also reported on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus funding). Castor attended a meeting last Friday and received a lot of information. Information on the amount of funds will be released in the near future by Governor Beebe.

Some of the funding will be restricted and available for special education funding and Title I money. All of the regulations for these funds will also apply to the stimulus money received. On the General Stimulus funding, requirements will also apply. Some of the money may be used for construction or renovation if requirements are met. In June or July there will be release of technology money.

"We will have to report to the state our plans for any expenditure," Castor said.

Board members went into executive session to consider classified contracts. The board approved the list of classified contracts as presented by Castor.

Board members accepted the resignation of Linda Stevens, special education teacher; Holly Shelton, middle school counselor; Corine Hamilton, cafeteria employee; and Troy Fisher, a one on one special education tutor.

The board then voted unanimously for the transfer of Trena Shedd, middle school business teacher, to middle school counselor.

The Board approved a raise of $47 per teacher. Castor explained the $47 is from the trust fund money and must go to base salary.

The board then approved a non-recurring salary payment for the 08-09 school year of $1,200 for certified personnel, $600 for classified personnel and $250 for bus drivers and part-time personnel.

In other business:

*Board members unanimously approved an early graduation request from Breanna Collier.

*Approved the 2009-10 proposed calendar that received the most Personnel Policy Committee votes with 89 voting for Calendar #2. Calendar #1 received 41 votes.

*Castor informed the board there will be changes in government payments made to the school on farmland rented.

"In past, government payments to the school were inevitable," she said. "Now there will be a drawing, and the school drawn will receive payments. Right now it applies to two contracts we have. Some districts are going into a lease contract."

Castor said she will look into it, talk with the farmers and bring a proposal back to the board.

*The Manila baseball team won district championship and Coach Steve Milligan was named Coach of the Year.

*Manila students will participate in the Special Olympics on Saturday at Gosnell.

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