The Helena-West Helena School Board met Monday night and approved two small projects to continue its improvement of district facilities and voted unanimously to fund a new reading program in the Special Education Department to aid some of the district's most at-risk students.

The Helena-West Helena School Board met Monday night and approved two small projects to continue its improvement of district facilities and voted unanimously to fund a new reading program in the Special Education Department to aid some of the district’s most at-risk students.

Krista Fortenberry, director of Special Services, presented the Read 180 program to the board of directors.

She said, “Research has shown this program has been effective. We know that literacy is key to the success of all students and it is my recommendation that the Read 180 program is the best fit for the students we serve. I firmly believe we will see improvements.”

Superintendent John Hoy supported the recommendation and the board approved it by a vote of 7-0. The cost of the program was $45,592 and will be paid for by restricted funds.

The board also voted unanimously to approve the addition of bleacher seating at the new P.E. facility in the Eliza Miller Building on the J. F. Wahl Elementary campus.

Board President Andrew Bagley laid out the need for this project.

He said, “We know that the renovation of the Central High School gymnasium will interrupt at least one volleyball season. The facility was built so that we could practice volleyball and basketball there if needed. If we add these two section of seats, which can accommodate 330 people, we would be able to handle the typical volleyball game crowd. Also, this would make the facility suitable for elementary basketball if we ever started an in-house peewee basketball program.”

Hoy added, “We have a beautiful new facility and I want us to have as many possible uses for it as we can. This expands the number of things that we can do and enhances the facility.”

The cost is $23,282.

The board also unanimously approved the personnel recommendations made by the superintendent and approved the annual order for supplies and equipment for the football program.