Alma School Board members were updated on summer maintenance projects and the district’s summer school program during their meeting Thursday night.

Superintendent David Woolly spoke to board members about the progress of Camp Airedale, Alma School District’s summer school program. About 140 students just completed the first week of the three week long program.

Unlike traditional summer schools, Camp Airedale is not similar to the regular school program, Woolly said.

"It’s the furthest thing in the world from regular school," Woolly said. "It’s educational, (but) it’s helping kids to learn how to think by doing things - things that these children often don’t get to do."

Students who are invited to attend the program perform at basic or below basic levels and qualify for free or reduced meals. But the summer school is not remedial, Woolly said.

Students in the program take interactive classes where they learn things such as cooking and sewing, and go on field trips.

"You would be flabbergasted," Woolly told board members, "to see how much these kids are learning and how much fun they’re having."

After Woolly described the camp as "highly successful," board member Nancy Hawking asked how the success of the school was measured.

"What we see when they get back in the classroom during regular school is a much higher interest in learning," Woolly said. "It’s hard to quantify, but I’ve had teachers say they came back a changed student."

Woolly also updated board members on summer maintenance projects, including the "freshening" of the football weight room and two middle school bathrooms with new paint. The district also plans to build a greenhouse at the middle school, he said.

Board members approved the refunding of a bond measure at a lowered interest rate.

Raymond James and Associates put in a bid to refund a $5,995,000 bond at a 2.524852 percent interest rate, saving the district a total of $527,213.50.

Woolly also notified board members of a meal increase of 10 cents for the school district. The district provides its meals at the minimum cost required by law, he said.

Resignations were accepted from Janice Bower, Alicia Gregory, Cheryl Pickens, Shelby Grubbs, Mandy Gregory and Kristen Iovinelli.

New hires approved by the board are Jenna Moody, Kelsie Inge, Megan Tillery and Anna Dean as intermediate school teachers; Anna Redo, Courtney Moore and Teresa McCarver as middle school teachers; and Angela Wehunt as a special education teacher.