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story.lead_photo.caption Photo courtesy Lori BraunerJordan Hartley receives his high school diploma Dec. 19 from California school board President Philip Burger.

Jordan Hartley received his diploma Dec. 19 from California High School during the regular Moniteau County R-1 School District Board of Education meeting.

Hartley successfully completed all his requirements to graduate through the Missouri Option program and plans to attend Missouri State Technical College, Linn, for a degree in mechanical and technical engineering.

At the board meeting, Damon Gonterman was added to the early graduation list.

Tyler Edwards, California schools band director, shared plans with the board for the 2019 band trip to San Antonio, Texas, next winter. The band will participate in the Alamo Bowl festivities. The California High School band takes a trip out of state every four years, to ensure every band student has the opportunity to travel with their musical peers.

Also discussed at the board meeting were the bus routes and bus ridership list that was gathered in October. Moniteau County R-1 Superintendent Dwight Sanders shared a map with the board that detailed areas for the new bus route. There are now 11 regular routes. During this count, they identified 705 eligible riders. Those students live more than one mile from their campus and ride the bus at least once per week. The district covers 120 square miles and the buses travel nearly 3,000 miles per week for their regular routes.

The district received $54,200 from the E.M Burger Foundation with four separate checks to support eight different buildings, groups and programs. Sanders expressed his gratitude for the donation.

"The Burger Family and the Burger Foundation has been a source of support for our kids and our district for many years," Sanders said. "We are blessed."

A new state statute that will be in place during the 2019-20 school year was discussed at the meeting. The statute will impact the work of the district's calendar committee as they are preparing next year's calendar. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will no longer ask school districts to submit a calendar, based on the number of days of attendance. Instead, the organization will only look at hours of attendance.

A school district in Missouri must have at least 1,044 student contact hours, as well as 36 hours of snow make-up time built into their calendars. Sanders said this is not an issue for California.

"We have traditionally gone 169 student contact days, three of which have been 1 p.m. dismissals for homecoming, the last day before Christmas break and the last day of school," he said. "This consists of 6.65 hours of student contact time totaling 1,117.85 hours and have always made up all days missed because of inclement weather."

Inclement weather, Sanders said, is weather that "prevents us from safely coming to school." "It can be excessive snow, ice, or bitterly cold temperatures or a combination of those."

Essentially, inclement weather encompasses any weather that may make roadways unsafe to travel.

If the district continues to schedule 169 student contact days, they would not have to make up snow days, according to the new statute.

The board decided if the district misses four days or fewer, because of inclement weather, neither students nor staff will be required to make up this missed time. Staff will still be paid for these days. However, if more than four school days are missed because of inclement weather, the board will meet and decide if and when this time will be made up.

School districts are required by the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) to set a "dead week," free of activities and athletics. This dead week must begin on a Saturday and end on a Sunday. The board set the Activities/Athletics Dead Week for June 29 -July 7, which is consistent with the tradition of keeping dead week over the Independence Day holiday, to make sure parents and families can plan vacations during that time.

An update on Scott Harkins and the SRO position was also heard during the meeting. Sanders met with Harkins to discuss expectations of the position and a copy of the agreement was provided to the district and the county.

"Scott is extremely excited to start his new position and will being his duties on Jan. 2."

The last item the board went over was an update on the 2020 Bond Issue. Sanders has been working with contractors on various projects in each of the district's campuses that are proposed to be included in this bond issue. Work is being done to prioritize the projects and determine which duties can be completed with the $9.25-9.8 million dollar bond issue.

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