Manila school shows slight growth during 2013

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Manila School Board members reviewed the financial report, discussed enrollment, reviewed policies, accepted resignations, hired new personnel, and accepted bids at the July 17 meeting.

Board members discussed the cost of the capital improvement projects which included the concession stand, sidewalks, work on the intercom system, and architect fees on completed and future projects before approving the financial report as submitted.

Superintendent Pam Castor reported at the end of the third quarter ADM (average daily membership) was 1044.1. The district did show growth.

The state estimates growth at the beginning of the year and the amount of funding comes from the estimation. Castor said the state overestimated growth slightly for the year.

"We will be returning $20,000 of the growth funding to the state. Overall we ended the school year in a good place financially and enrollment."

To date Manila has 72 enrolled in kindergarten for the coming year. More are expected.

"We will have to wait and see for sure but we might be a little light this year (kindergarten numbers) with a big increase the next year," Castor said. "Right now we have 1044 in the system."

Following an executive session, Board members unanimously voted to renew custodian Mary Rountree's contract; Lorin Morgan for high school social studies teacher and assistant football coach; and hired Megan Tarver, middle school teacher.

The board accepted resignations from Courtney Owens (middle school teacher), Shannon Moody (elementary teacher); Dwight Booth (high school agri teacher) and Jordan Wise (physical education).

Board members voted unanimously to approve an early graduation request providing all requirements are met from Morgan Greer.

Castor reviewed several proposed policies from the Arkansas School Board Association. She said the policies will go into effect this year. They will be sent to the PPC Committee and come back to the board later. The proposals concern insurance and changes made in the last legislative session.

Castor reported qualifications for health insurance will be employees who work a minimum of 30 hours, which will exclude bus drivers. Also, spouses will be excluded if they can get health insurance elsewhere.

The Bronze plan, the least expensive plan, will have a mandatory health savings account. A state committee continues to meet on the insurance subject. There has been some discussion of the schools taking over the insurance program. Also discussed was the possible increase in premium costs. Castor said they will have to wait and see.

Caster discussed a policy change for violation of the tobacco policy. She said a high school committee has suggested a Saturday school which will keep the students in the classroom more for first offense instead of in-school suspension, and incorporating tobacco cessation program into the Saturday school.

The board approved the update on policy proposals as presented.

Castor said she had received a letter from the facilities department approving the building plan as submitted for a new high school facility.

"There is no guarantee we will receive funding but it is good to have the plans and square footage accepted," Castor said.

She went on to say the district has been given a deadline of 2016 to remedy the problem of using the older building, Tipton Hall. The board agreed they needed to work toward a solution.

The board will meet in a special meeting to discuss personnel and facility plans before the next regular meeting.

In other business the board:

*accepted milk and bread bids. Castor said there was only one submitted for each.

*agreed to continue with the Learning Institute. Castor said the high school has utilized the service for several years and it is beneficial.

*voted to continue with Dwight Jones Insurance for student insurance.

*agreed to move to the SubTeach, providers of substitute teachers. Castor said they work with the district's list.

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