Viola School held a parent/teacher conference Oct. 24. The school passed out copies of the annual report to parents as they picked up their child's report cards.
Superintendent John May gave an update on the building project. Phase one of the project has yet to get underway. "We had hoped to have started the dirt work by now, but dealing with bureaucracy to get things approved can take time. We hope to be taking bids on dirt work in the next several weeks," May said.
The report sent home with parents states that after phase one is finished on the new school, the parent center, preschool and elementary art will be moved to the current high school to make room for the north and south wings of the building. The school will also work on building a PE building. "Although highly unlikely, falling material costs could free up funds to build a larger gymnasium/auditorium with music room instead of just a PE facility," May wrote in the report.
The report also listed future projects that the school is considering. Listed in the report are new metal roofs for the home economics building, more parking areas, a new agriculture barn, relocating either the cafeteria or the library between the elementary and the new high school and adding a gym to the new high school building.
There is also some new staff at Viola. Bryan Russell is the new high school principal. Melodie Cox is now teaching K-12 Gifted and Talented and high school English, and Patricia Russell is the new high school business teacher. The school has also hired an elementary aide, Laikynne Wilson, and a bus driver, Ernie McIntosh.
According to the Arkansas Consolidated School Improvement Plan's (ACSIP) Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) report of the No Child Left Behind federal legislation, both the elementary and high school meet all standards for the 2008 school improvement report and were fully accredited with no violation for the 2007-2008 school year.
In the way of academics, Viola was ranked second out of 245 districts tested on the eighth grade math Benchmark Exam. Viola was also one of the top 10 school districts in Arkansas on four of eight Benchmark Math Tests for the second consecutive year.
Viola also did well on the literacy exams of the Benchmark. The district was on the top 15 percent on four of seven Benchmark Literacy Exams.
Students scored 4 percent more proficient in both math and literacy compared to the previous school year.
The total enrollment at Viola is 399 students with 209 in elementary and 190 in high school.