Manila School Board

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Manila School Board went into executive session at the Sept. 17 meeting following board member Tommy Wagner's motion to table the financial report until next month. Wagner said he would discuss the motion in executive session because it involved personnel.

The board returned from executive session and voted 6-1 to table the financial report until next month's meeting.

Board members reviewed the proposed 2012-2013 budget submitted by Superintendent Pam Castor. Mrs. Castor said it is a conservative budget. The board voted to accept the proposed budget.

Mrs. Castor discussed with the board the approval of the ACSIP for 2012-2013. She explained there is a committee that meets and creates a plan for school improvement. The state must approve the actual plan once it is submitted. In conjunction with the proposed ACSIP Plan, Castor said she would be asking for two expenditures. One is the Skills Tutor Software at $11,600 and the other is approval to continue with the JBHM, a support service for $15,000. Both expenses will be funded using ACSIP Federal Funding.

Following a discussion, the board voted unanimously to approve the ACSIP Plan and the purchase of the software and the continuation of the support service.

The board accepted student transfers for Eric Lee Navarro, Jaden Goff, and Steven Lancaster, all from BIC.

The board accepted the resignation of Rachel Smithson, elementary secretary, and approved the hiring of Melissa Cole for the remainder of the school year.

Principal reports were given by each building principal. LeeAnn Helms, middle school principal, said the attendance is up with 75 in fifth grade; 70 in sixth grade; 85 in seventh grade; and 86 in eighth grade. She discussed the new Robotics team started in middle school.

"We are excited about it," she said. "Mrs. Baker and Coach Deaton are working with the students. They have raised their own funding. We have had a number of parents volunteer to help. If you come by at 11:30 to 12:15 in the library, you can meet the Robotics teams. It is a fun adventure."

Mrs. Helms went on to talk about test scores.

"We have appealed some of the results," she said. "We tested 100 percent of our students but according to the test results, we did not. Our students who went to high school for algebra I did not get counted and they did test."

She said they are also appealing the math and growth model.

"We had four or five students who had achieved growth," she said. "If the appeals go through we will be in the achieving school in both math and literacy."

She also said middle school will be receiving 40 stock market teams through the Walton Foundation providing 21 tablets.

"We are working toward being the best middle school we can be," she said.

High School principal Robin Baugher said high school is off to a good start with a lot of new faces in personnel and students.

High school has a total of 328 students, an increase of 36 from the same time last year. There are 67 seniors, 74 juniors, 88 sophomores and 99 freshmen.

"I am happy to say we meet standards in class size and course offerings in high school," Mrs. Baugher said. "We have 95 course offerings. We have Comp 1 and 2 giving more students the opportunity to earn college credits. We have 20 students going to Burdette, and 32 in Advanced Placement. We also have started a Robotics team with 20 students who went to ASU for materials and instruction. They will be working 12 hours a week in the evenings and will be building a workable robot. We encourage anyone who would like to help to join in."

She went on to say the AP scores were better than ever. Testing was good and missed performance rate in literacy by only a few students. She said the after school tutoring will be extended and writing across the curriculum will continue. She talked about the new program Pride, a teacher advisory council that will connect each student with a teacher adviser to be here for them throughout their high school years.

Mrs. Baugher said she was pleased to say every student in high school is involved in at least one extra-curricular activity.

Dale Case, elementary principal, said the total enrollment for elementary is 431. No class is over 20 students.

He said the new staff members are a great addition and the parent organizations have hit the ground running. There will be a fall festival Oct. 5. He talked about the literacy and math intervention, the transition room, and the Excelled Reader programs.

New school board officers were elected for the coming year with Dan Robbins elected to serve as president; Brandon Veach, vice president; and Jeremy Jackson, secretary. The chief dispersing officer is Brandon Veach with alternates Tommy Wagner, Johnny McCain, Tony Crowell and Tracey Reinhart.

Mrs. Castor announced upcoming board training sessions. The board agreed to change the regular October meeting to Oct. 25. The Regional board meeting is scheduled for Oct. 18 at Wynne.

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