Manila Board renews principal contracts

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Following a short executive session during the regular February meeting on Thursday, Feb. 20, Manila School Board members voted unanimously to renew principal contracts for the 2014-2015 school year. Contracts renewed include Jason Evers, elementary principal; LeeAnn Helms, middle school principal; and Robin Baugher, high school principal.

In addition to the principals, the board voted unanimously to renew the contract of Tony Crowell, dean of students.

On the recommendation of Superintendent Pam Castor the board voted unanimously to hire Casey Wilder part-time for the cafeteria staff. The Board also voted to allow, up to 10 hours a week at the superintendent's discretion, Dustin Bennett to assist in the technology department.

Castor gave board members a copy of the audit report with no findings.

"We appreciate the hard work you and your staff put in," Board member Brandon Veach said.

Maintenance Supervisor Kent Moore gave an update on the recent visit from the state fire marshal and representatives from the facility board.

"We don't have the official report yet, but we had a good visit," Moore said. "They went through all of the buildings and there are a few violations found by the fire marshal we will have to address. The facility board seemed to be pleased with the upkeep of the older buildings. Tipton Hall was built in the 1950s and has the boiler system and window units. It cannot be brought up to code. The building built in the 1970s can be upgraded."

"We do not have an official report yet," Castor said. "We know the residential type paneling will have to be removed."

Board member Tommy Wagner asked how many classrooms are being used in Tipton Hall.

Out of the 16 classrooms, eight are being used.

"If they (the facility board) come back and tell us we can't use it, we would be short 16 classrooms," Wagner said. "Would the state rather students be in portable buildings than buildings from the 1950s?

Castor said she got prices on portable buildings to be prepared and said they are expensive to purchase or to rent.

"I felt the board would want all of the information," she said. "If we gain enrollment next year like we have this year, it will be tight."

Castor said she will submit the building plan last approved by the board for consideration for the partnership funding by March 1.

Board members asked about new construction going on or off campus.

"It is my understanding if the state approves the size of the building is what we need, we do not have to specify the location," Castor said. "If we stay on the present campus the plans would have to be modified but the size would be the same."

In other business:

*The board voted to accept bids for the purchase of 25 laptops, a cart, and 30 desktop computers. The new equipment will be placed in the high school.

*The board accepted the calendar recommended by the personnel policy committee (PPC) for the 2014-2015 school year. Also, two additional snow days have been added to this year's calendar which includes Good Friday, April 18, and one extra day at the end of the school year, May 30. Castor said if any additional days are missed, they will have to go back to the PPC for a vote.

*The board voted to renew the Legal Liability Insurance through the Arkansas School Board association.

*They approved an early graduation request based on the student meeting all the requirements.

*Mrs. Castor gave several in-service dates for the board members to consider attending.

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