Several concerned citizens attended the Macon R-I Board of Education meeting Thursday evening to express their thoughts on a draft of the 2013-14 school calendar that calls for school to begin before the end of the Missouri State Fair.
James Wilson, Megan Pollard, Angela Helton and Amy Schaefer each addressed the board. The group presented Superintendent Dr. Chuck Stockton with a list of signatures from the community members recommending that the first day of the 2013-14 school year be delayed until after August 16.
Dr. Stockton distributed a second possible calendar draft that detailed a school year with a starting date of Monday, Aug. 19. Both calendars incorporated an end to the first semester prior to Christmas break and for the school year to end before Memorial Day. He also passed out information comparing the starting dates for area schools and state fair dates for other states. A list of comments from faculty members on the start dates, spring and Easter breaks, and personal development dates and comments from school districts that send students to the Macon Career Center was included. Data was presented that showed eight students missed the first day of school and nine students and one faculty member missed the second day of school last fall because of the fair.
"I estimate that 75 to 80 percent of the faculty would prefer to start school mid-week rather than on Monday to ease students back into the classroom," said Dr. Stockton. "We cannot fix this problem," he said. "Just move it to another group by moving the starting date." No vote was taken on the issue. The calendar will be placed on the agenda of the February meeting for a vote. "We will accept the board's decision and then make it work," said Dr. Stockton.
The board also heard on a proposed addition of girl's golf for the fall of 2013. There has been an interest expressed by some students. The program could be added with an estimated cost of approximately $2,000. Dr. Stockton told board members that the addition of girl's golf would bring the district in stronger compliance with Title 9. The board requested that Athletic Director Bruce Weimer take a survey to see the amount of interest in the program. No vote was taken.
Elementary Principal Ernest Motley presented a review of 2012 MAP Assessment Data for the elementary school. The data included results from testing of third through fifth in mathematics and communication arts and fifth grade science during the 2011-12 school year.
The data showed Macon's scores compared to the state average and the scores of the nine other Clarence Cannon Conference schools as well as Moberly and Kirksville. "Our goal is to be at or above the state average," said Motley.
Last year's third grade class scored above the state average in both communication arts and mathematics. Last year's fifth grade class was slightly below state average in mathematics and above state average in communication arts. Last year's fourth graders were below state average in both mathematics and communication arts. Out of 16 reports Macon ranked at 6.5 when compared to the other conference schools. "We are moving in the right direction, but we still have work to do," said Motley.
Page 2 of 2 - John Walker told the board that he and Steve Burns have received a list of several potential candidates for a commencement speaker. They will move forward in the coming months to make a selection.
Under the consent agenda the board approved a cooperative agreement with Immaculate Conception School for seventh and eighth grade students to take part in Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSHA) activities. This is the fifth year for the agreement between the two schools.
The only business item for the board at the meeting was the approval of the evaluation report for health services for the middle school, high school and career center as prepared by school nurse Diane Roberts.
Prior to the business meeting the board heard a presentation from the Macon Marketing Company, a Junior Achievement company. The students were accompanied by business sponsor Kevin Butner.
Richelle Shoemaker is also a sponsor for the group.
Rob Rollings of Robert Rollings Architects, LLC of Sedalia presented the board with a dedication plaque commemorating the completion of the 2009 renovation and building project.
There were no votes taken in executive session.
The next meeting of the board is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. in the central conference room. The meeting has been move back a week from due to possible conflicts with the district basketball tournament.