Tuesday, October 09, 2012

TOP STORY >> Beebe district will build storm safe room

Leader staff writer

The Beebe School Board on Monday approved the price of $928,781 to build a storm safe room at Beebe Middle School in McRae.

The shelter will be 4,200 square-feet. The district received $661,500 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to build the safe room that will be open for residents during severe weather.

Delk Construction is the construction manager for the project. Board members approved plans for the shelter to have a sloped roof instead of a flat roof for $54,400. A slope roof will last longer.

The shelter will have one large room and three bathrooms. Work on the storm shelter will begin this year.

Assistant superintendent Scott Embrey gave an overview of the district’s annual report to the public. Beebe’s enrollment grew by one student from last year to 3,180 students.

Construction of the new middle school building in McRae is under way. The bus-wash bay at the transportation department is complete.

Construction of a cafeteria at the ninth-10th high school building is planned to start next year.

Last school year, athletic expenses were $1.1 million. The cost included salaries, benefits, transportation, utilities and supplies. The district spent $204,981 on the gifted and talented program. The district is required by the state to spend at least $147,402.

The district spent $2.5 million on maintenance and operations. The district was required by the state to spend at least $1.7 million.

Beebe Elementary School principal Cathy Payne gave the board an update on what is happening at the school. This year’s theme is “Setting the World on Fire.” Students are expanding their vocabulary and learning how to think innovatively.

Payne said the staff is working to keep parents informed about school events by updating the outside marquee, teacher newsletters, e-mails to parents and updated web pages.

She said many parents are volunteering helping out in the classrooms.

Beebe Elementary is continuing to participate in Rachel’s Challenge, a program recognizing acts and kindness by students. The school is also continuing the Watch DOG (Dads of Great Students) Dads program. Dads volunteer at the school, assisting teachers and administrators where help is needed.

During Response to Intervention time, teachers are working one-on-one with students or in small groups. The school has three language labs to help students catch up who are having problems with language skills.

The board had the annual rotation of leadership roles. For 2012-2013 Harold Davis is president. Lucy Mahoney is vice president. Robert Jenkins is secretary.

Board members approved $12,925 for renewal of the Renaissance Learning program.