Brooke Aguilar was hired as the elementary art teacher by unanimous vote following an executive session at the Thursday night Manila School Board meeting.
Board members worked through a lengthy agenda awarding the picture contract for the 2010-11 school year to Alford Photography. Pam Castor, superintendent, recommended the company.
"The people who have been doing our pictures are no longer interested in pursuing a contract," Castor said. "Tonia Eubanks (who does the yearbook) has been looking around. We looked at quality and cost. We want all of our students to have the opportunity to purchase school pictures. This is a company that uses the same format we do and has experience with school photography."
Castor and the board reviewed student insurance contract proposals and voted unanimously to go with Dwight Jones Insurance Coverage for students.
Board members voted unanimously to accept Mark Stone and Mason Hastings from the Buffalo Island Central School District to Manila. They also voted unanimously to accept the transfer of Brandon Atkinson pending the release from Buffalo Island School Board.
The board reviewed classified salaries for the 2009-10 school year with Castor proposing a 20 cent increase for classified employees with increments calculated and awarded. The Board also approved a stipend list presented by Castor and approved the 2010-2011 proposed budget.
Castor and board members reviewed several policies. Some rewording was adopted to make policies more clear and ensure everything is in line with all state policies. Among the policies reviewed were steps taken in any type health outbreak, points listed under the Advanced Placement grades, curriculums, absentees mandated by law, dress code, student records confidentiality, use of cell phones, information security, in service, redefining the responsibility of the board all according to state law rewritten policy, PPC proposals, provisions for retention in grades 9-12 and K-8. Students must pass the end of course testing in order to receive credit.
Castor said this year will be the first year for the high stakes testing beginning with Algebra I. Remediation options will be used to assist students.
Mrs. Castor informed the board the three year Arkansas Leadership Academy Manila District has been involved with has concluded.
"A lot of work went into the three years," she said.
Middle School Principal Diane Wagner said every staff member in middle school will receive a plaque for their work.
Castor informed the board she had been invited to participate in a leadership program through Arkansas Tech.
"I've been asked to participate based on our Leadership Academy," she said.
The board had no objections to entering into the leadership program.
Castor updated the board on the stimulus funds.
"The funding has not yet been set aside for Title One," she said. "We will wait until after July 1 before we do anything."
She said there are changes daily. She said a lot of technology has been requested such as additional smart boards, calculators, novels, several big items are being considered. She said under the IDEA funding, handicapped buses are allowable and they will be looking into that possibility. She said they had also talked to other area schools about programs implemented including a literacy coach and consultants which have raised literacy test scores.
Castor said they are reviewing items and will be compiling a good list.
"We want to use the money wisely," she said.
"We have a lot of work to do and it started today," President Johnny McCain said.
McCain was referring to the demolition of the elementary building and the construction of a new elementary building.