MAMMOTH SPRING -- More improvements are on tap for the Mammoth Spring School District.
Superintendent Ron Taylor informed the school board at their May 9 meeting that state Partnership Program funds have been approved for the school district. He said the program released a state facilities grant to the school for $91,000.
Taylor said the district will add $86,000 for the project that will focus on improvements at the elementary school building.
He said a new bathroom, addition to the library and a new entryway are included in the elementary building project. Taylor said the funds will not be released from the state until after July 1. He said he hopes to get the project started this summer.
Bids for the new special education building were opened and accepted. The building is 2,210 square feet and will house special education related services at the school.
Pierce Construction of Salem was awarded the contract for concrete work on the building, James Martin of Thayer the block work. The metal roof and gutters will be installed by Tri-State Roofing of Mammoth Spring.
The contract for the rough carpentry work, including trusses and the roof, was awarded to Pierce Construction Company. Drywall and painting will be done by Young's Dry Wall of Mammoth Spring. The heating and cooling on the new building, will be installed by Richards Heating and Cooling of Hardy.
The plumbing bid went to Tony Buchanon of Mammoth Spring. Thayer Decorating will be in charge of the floor covering, and the windows and doors of the building will be purchased from and installed by North Arkansas Glass of Mountain Home.
Taylor said the new building is expected to cost $135,000. The district will pay for $90,000 and the state will pay $45,000 on the project. He said construction will take place over summer vacation, and he hopes to have the new building up and running by fall.
The school board voted to accept a new eight-period-a day schedule for high school students. The new schedule was presented by high school principal Brian Davis.
Davis said in the past the high school had operated on a seven-period-a-day schedule. Davis said the new schedule should give students an opportunity to take more electives as well as give them added flexibility.
The board voted to accept the 2006-07 school calendar and to adopt the School Wellness Policy. Taylor said this is a new policy set by the federal government that limits what kind of snacks and drinks schools can sell in vending machines. He said the machines will now sell more healthful products.
The school board voted to accept the salary schedule as presented by the superintendent. All employees will receive a 5.4 percent increase.
Elementary principal Wade Powell asked the school board to create a new position at the elementary school, a reading recovery teacher. Powell explained that the position is needed to help first graders learn to read.
He said if a student should get behind in reading the teacher would be able to give him one-on-one instruction that the regular teacher would not be able to do because of lack of time. He said this would help get the student back on track. The board voted to add the new full-time position at the elementary school.
The board selected the color for the new metal roofs in the school district. Sierra tan will be the color of the new roof on the high school building, the vo-ag building, the community building and the new special education building.
The 3- and 4-year-old preschool program at the school was started last fall and the superintendent said it has been successful. He discussed the possibility of expanding the program this fall.
He said he would like to see children who do not qualify for the Head Start program at the school or do not meet income guidelines for the 3- and 4-year-old program to be able to participate in the program. He presented the proposal in which a child's parents could pay $12 a day and they could attend the program. No vote was taken on the proposal. The board did vote to build a cover over the play area of the preschool.
The board authorized the superintendent to advertise and take bids on a 1995 school bus the district has to sell. They also authorized him to hire Allen Edson for summer maintenance work at the school and to hire two or three high school students for summer work at the school as needed.
They also voted to allow parents of elementary students who are interested in the selection of their child's teacher to be involved in the selection process.
The resignation this spring of junior high math and science teacher Marge Shipp created a vacancy. The board voted to hire Jolie Washam for the position.