Manila Board accepts resignations and fills positions

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Manila School Board accepted resignations, filled positions, reviewed state report card grades, increased lunch prices, approved technology purchases and renewed classified contracts at the April 21 meeting.

Following an executive session, Superintendent Pam Castor recommended the board accept the resignations of Cheryl Bassing, pre-k teacher; Tim Bassing, GT teacher; Vivie Veach, payroll clerk/central office; and Linda Coleman, custodian.

The board voted unanimously to accept the resignation requests.

"We want to thank them for their years of dedicated service to our school," Board President Jeremy Jackson said. "We appreciate them and they will be missed. They will be hard to replace."

The board approved hiring Teri Cossey and Amy Bailey, elementary teachers.

Castor's recommendation of several transfers was approved unanimously. Transfers include Kelly Belew from first grade to Gifted and Talented; Judy Shelton from second grade to pre-k; Chelsey Mealer from first grade to pre-k; Elizabeth Harrell from pre-k to kindergarten; and Sarah Perkins from kindergarten to first grade.

The board also approved the renewal of classified contracts on the list submitted by Superintendent Castor.

Castor reviewed the recent state report cards for the one time PARCC test for the 2014-2015 school year.

"The high school received a B and was in the top 10 percent in growth," Castor said. "They will be awarded $16,499.05. We are happy for the high school. They worked hard."

The Middle School received a D as did the Elementary School on the PARCC tests.

The year before the Middle School had an A and the Elementary School had a B.

Castor said comparing scores across the state, only 10 schools made As. The majority had Cs. She went on to say taking the test on the computer may have slowed down the younger students.

"Our Benchmark scores from 2013-2014 were high, Castor said. The way the PARCC test was calculated it put us in double jeopardy. For instance, we were at 93 percent proficient in math for our fourth grade the year before. Because we did not increase the score, it hurt our overall grade because the PARCC scores are calculated on the test scores and the expected scores."

"Our kids do well," she said. "We will work on keyboarding skills. The PARCC was a one time test so it is hard to compare it with the year before. We have gone to the ACT for high school and the ACT Aspire for elementary and middle school this year. I am confident our scores will go up. We know we have a good middle school and a good elementary school."

She went on to point out schools had to receive a waiver to take the PARCC test with pencil and paper. The schools had to show they did not have the availability to take it on line to receive the waiver. She said students who took the test with pencil and paper seemed to do better.

In other business:

*Architect John Mixon gave a brief update on the high school building project reporting the building documents have been submitted to the state offices for review. He reported a good turnout for the site bids. He said it could take six to 12 weeks for the dirt to settle but they are not expecting any problems. "We are looking forward to getting the approval and moving forward."

*The board approved purchasing technology equipment for a total of $115,225.19. Castor explained the purchase is budgeted and the Federal funds are regulated. Included in the purchases will be Ipad Minis, cases, projectors, computers, Smart TV, laptops, cart, and more. Elementary, middle school and high school will receive equipment.

*Castor informed the board calculations show Manila will need to increase student lunch prices for next year by 10 cents going to $1.90. Lunch prices are set by federal guidelines using a specific formula. She said guidelines for adult lunches will come later this summer. Breakfast prices will remain the same for now.

The next regular board meeting will be 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19.

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