A School Board Appreciation Week resolution by Gov. Jay Nixon was read by Superintendent Dwight Sanders at the school board meeting Jan. 16. The resolution reading was followed by presentation of individual certificates and small "goodie bags" put together by the California Teachers Association. School Board Appreciation Week is Jan. 20-26.
Filing for the two seats coming up for election April 2 closed Jan. 15. Those who have filed are Paul Bailey, Rhonda Kirchoff Meyer and Kyle Wirts. The seat to be filed in this election are held by Bailey and Wirts.
For the coming year, the board accepted the resignation of teacher Jeannie Martin Webb. She has been at CHS since 2004. Although she has filled several position, she has primarily been a language arts teacher.
School safety was a major topic addressed in the Missouri School Board Association video by Brent Ghan, executive director. It was briefly discussed by Sanders and the board. Sanders reported discussing the matter with Chris Pickering, director of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and Paul Fennewald, advisor for the Center for Education Safety, both of whom are local residents. In addition, the Moniteau County Sheriff's Department and California Police Department are already on board with security issues at the school and are seeking additional training to help officers deal with any possible problems.
The CHS school board and administrators have improved security and are updating emergency plans for each building and campus. The plans include all kinds of possible emergencies, including tornadoes, power failures, intruders and others. Because each of the school facilities is configured differently, security and safety issues are addressed on a building by building basis.
Training with different scenrios are being planned. Sanders said the object is to make the schools as safe a place as possible for students and staff.
The board approved the Activity and Athletics Dead Week for June 29 to July 7. A week of no school activities including athletics is required by Missouri High School Activities Association (MHSAA).
Although there were suggestions that a different week be selected, Sanders said it is not easy to find a period of time in which nothing is already scheduled for school personnel. It was suggested that the dead week be scheduled in the calendar early and announced to everyone so activities can be fitted around it.
Elementary Principal Daniel Williams reported 592 students enrolled. Middle School Principal Matt Abernathy reported 295 students enrolled and High School Principal Mike Hight reported an enrollment of 406.
Williams also reported the tentative start date for the swimming program is Feb. 11. This will be for kindergarten through second grade. The current plan is for each class to have 10 consecutive days of swim instruction. The next professional development day is planned for Feb. 14. The tentative plans includes writing math essential learner objectives in line with the Common Core standards. Common Core State Standards is a program designated for Missouri schools by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). It is a national program adopted by 45 states considered to be a first step towards a high-quality education.
Abernathy reported to the board that the middle school continues to make progress towards the goal of reducing D's and F's. It is the lowest it has been in five years.
Hight reported the staff is also bringing curriculum in line with Common Core Standards and some changes in building emergency plans in an effort to address school safety.
Sanders commented on the recent announcement by Gov. Nixon of a plan to increase the school days to 180 from the current 174. Since some districts have gone to a four-day week to reduce building utilities and bus fuel costs, he doesn't know how this will be when it is finalized.
In other business, he mentioned the possibility of installing a building automation system for HVAC for energy management, the shortage of substitute teachers on the list and the fact of some preschool plans in in the works. The program will be limited to somewhere between 14 and 26 students. It would require an equal number of special needs to regular students.
The next board meeting is Feb. 20.