During their regular meeting Thursday evening in the central conference room, the Macon R-I Board of Education heard the plan for making up the school days missed due to snow and approved the addition of girl's golf.
Prior to the business meeting, public comments were heard from seniors Brooke Bernhardt, Annabelle Kacmar and Allison Bright requesting the consideration of former high school principal Dwight Tietsort as commencement speaker. Allison Rowland and Kevin Martin spoke in support of the addition of girl's golf and Michael Seipel and daughter Abby in support of setting the starting date of school year after the completion of the Missouri State Fair.
Superintendent Dr. Chuck Stockton told the board that to date, five days of school need to be made up for snow closings. School was to resume today with buses running on hard surfaces only. "Both the city and county crews have been great to work with," said Stockton. If no more snow days are used, the last day of school will now be May 22. Dr. Stockton said using any of the days that have been scheduled for spring break as make-up days could be a hardship on families that may have already made reservations for vacations scheduled during that time.
Athletic Director Bruce Weimer presented the results of a survey taken by girls in grades 6 through 12 on their interest in additional girl's sports programs. Approximately 300 girls filled out the survey. Sports that received votes included volleyball, soccer, swimming, gymnastics, golf and tennis. Weimer said that girl's golf could be started with an estimated cost of approximately $2,000. The board approved the addition of girl's golf for the fall of 2013. Members also requested more information on the costs and steps needs for the possibility of the addition of volleyball in the future.
High school principal Jeff Haley presented information on the district's transition to the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) 5 that will begin in 2015. The district needs to score above 90 percent to maintain their accreditation with distinction status. Halley said that based on 2012 numbers if the MSIP 5 standards were used today the district's score would be 90. One area that the school needs to work to improve is their graduation rate. Haley told the board that many other schools including Moberly, Brookfield and Chillicothe offer alternative school settings to better reach some of the students. "We want to work to provide education for all kids," said Haley.
John Walker told the board that the commencement speaker committee had met and had extended an invitation to an individual on January 25. The invitation was accepted. The board approved the selection of the speaker recommended by the committee. The name will be announced at a later date.
Dr. Stockton reviewed a 2013-14 Master Calendar that has school beginning on August 21 for students, with teachers reporting on August 19. The calendar included 181 teacher contract days and 167 student instruction days. The current school calendar has 169 student instruction days. To accommodate the new calendar the school day would be lengthened by beginning school five minutes earlier each day next school year. A public meeting to discuss this calendar will be held at the March 21 board meeting and a vote will be taken at that time for board approval. "Missouri law states that the board post notice and hold a public meeting to discuss and vote on the district's start date if that proposed date is earlier than 10 calendar days prior to the first Monday in September," said Dr. Stockton. "Our proposed date is 11 days."
The board approved Director of Operations Marshall Gingrich's request to advertise for bids for the following: school bus, elementary floor plumbing, tile kitchen remodeling, dish washer and alternative gym entrance; lawn mowing, technology (firewall, antivirus), outdoor painting of the middle school boys locker room, middle school roof.
In other action the board approved the English Language Learner (ELL) evaluation, preschool program evaluation, career center request for enhancement grants and career center request for bids for the 2013-14 building trades project.
In executive session, the board accepted the resignations of Doug Hawkins as varsity boys basketball coach and middle school assistant football coach and Jim Ehly as assistant varsity boys basketball coach. Allison Franzen resigned as elementary music instructor, effective at the end of the school year.
The board set March 12 as a work session and March 21 as the next regular board meeting.