Manila School Board met Thursday, May 20, in regular session discussing cafeteria expansion, student policy, student transfers, accepting resignations, reassignments and other business.
(Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)
"We need to decide how we are going to proceed," Castor said. "This will affect two fiscal years, 2010 and 2011, which will help us because we can split the cost between two years. We will go into our balance to complete this project, and because of cash-flow issues, we may have to look at possibly cashing in a CD for 2011. The project will not exceed what we had planned to take out of our balance."
Castor said both estimates include the wiring of the geothermal system, but only one includes the generator for the geothermal system. She said the original estimate was for $1.2 million, but when the district added the geothermal system and a stage to the project, it went to $1.4 million.
Board members Jackie Hill and Johnny McCain asked how much of a savings would the district see by having the geothermal system in the cafeteria as well as in the new Justin Veach elementary building.
Castor said the main savings would come from the elementary building. The cafeteria is a partial-use facility.
"The cafeteria is not used all day like the elementary school will be," Castor said.
Castor recommended a conventional system be used in the cafeteria.
After a discussion, the board voted unanimously to go with the conventional construction of the cafeteria and not include the geothermal system.
Before going into executive session, the board approved the student policy concerning weapons and the transfer of Ella Harvey from Buffalo Island Central to Manila.
Following a lengthy closed session, the board approved the resignations of Jeanette McCormick, bus driver; Judy Hampton, custodian; Jason Durham, Middle School teacher and junior high football coach.
President Tony Crowell read a letter from Durham expressing his appreciation to the board for giving him the opportunity to be at Manila for the last three years.
The board approved Castor's recommendation to hire Kathy Borden and Linda Coleman, custodians, as of June 1.
The board approved the transfer of Debbie Donner from kindergarten to first grade. Beth Jolliff as hired as cheer coach for 2010-2011 school year. Scottie Reinhart was hired as assistant cheer coach and to work at the superintendent's discretion.
The board approved the transfer of Karen Miller to elementary special education teacher for the 2010-11 school year.
The board approved a one year contract with Lifetouch for school pictures.
Castor said Lifetouch does work all of the state and is headquartered in Little Rock.
"It may be the largest in school photography in the state," she said. "Tonia Eubanks did the research and said the company is compatible with what she needs for the yearbook."
The board unanimously approved a non-recurring salary payment for certified and classified staff for the 2009-2010 school year. Castor made the recommendation commenting it will cost the district about $120,000.
"We are like everyone else facing economically hard times but we are still trying to take care of our staff," Crowell said.
Castor explained to the board it is time to vote on participating in the Phase 2 of the Race to the Top MOU statewide program.
"The state did not prevail in receiving the first round of grants but it is time for the second phase," she said.
She explained if the state receives the grant, the school districts participating will receive grants for the initiatives required.
The board approved the participation in the Race to the Top.
Castor said she was pleased to announce the 11th grade literacy scores.
"We had 76 percent proficient or advanced," she said. "It was up from 47 percent last year. Our teachers worked in conjunction with the consultants recommendations. I want to congratulate our students and our staff on a job well done. We appreciate their hard work."
Castor said she had received word in the last 48 hours of Perkins money available for refurbishing high school business computer lab. She said there would be $25,668 cost with the district obligation $5,449.
The board reviewed the cost of the Apple computer prices for the upgrade and approved the prices.
Board members Tracey Reinhart and Danny Robbins gave a report the meeting they attended in Rogers.
Both agreed the meeting was informative and challenged them to meet the changes in the way students are educated preparing them for the future.
"Our kids are raised with technology," Castor said. "This generation learns different than the last generations and we need to make sure we are equipping our students for the world they will be going into."
Castor informed the board the district did well in the standards review. All three schools, Elementary, Middle, and High School, were accredited.
The June meeting was moved to June 10. The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m.