The Sedalia School District 200 Board of Education will meet tonight for their last meeting of 2015. In a calendar year that saw the board approve the realignment of grade levels throughout the district as well as the approval of the construction of two additional buildings at Smith-Cotton, the board is scheduled to hear an update on the progress of that construction tonight.
“We’re pleased with where we are at right now on the buildings,” Superintendent of Schools, Brad Pollitt said. “We’re on schedule despite the fact that we have had about nine inches of rain since we broke ground.”
The buildings are expected to be completed for the start of the 2016 school year project manager Dennis Paul of Septagon Industries said earlier this fall.
The board will also make a decision concerning the hiring of additional staff at the Pettis County Early Childhood Cooperative.
Grace Kendrick, principal of the PCEC had addressed the possible need for addition staff in her presentation to the board in November.
Based on increased enrollment over last year Kendrick is requesting the hiring of two paraprofessional positions and one additional teaching position for the Co-op.
The positions if approved will be fully funded by DESE.
The board is also scheduled to vote on a proposed increase to substitute pay for the district.
Currently the district pays $9.25 per hour for individuals who have a substitute certificate and $10.00 for individuals who sub in the district with a teaching certificate.
The Administration is recommending raising the rates $1 per hour.
In other actions the board will be presented the list of candidates for early graduation.
“We have 75 students who have met the number of required credits for graduation,” Pollitt said. “While this isn’t something that we promote, we want to allow the students who have completed their requirements who may want to start early with their college careers or who may be entering the military or the workforce to have the opportunity to do so.”
Pollitt said the number of candidates was normal compared to previous years.
The board will also hear information that may change the manner in which students are recognized at graduation.
Under a proposal from Smith-Cotton Principal Wade Norton the district would eliminate the system of valedictorian and salutatorian and move toward the Laude System.
“The guidance counselors and front office have developed a proposal we feel will benefit a greater number of students at S-C,” Principal Wade Norton said. “We want to see all students honored for their hard work and efforts no matter what route or path the student may choose to take.
“We want our students to choose the classes they want to take and need to take based on their interests and not the ones that are weighted that students feel will boost their class rank,” Norton added.
The proposal includes three rankings as part of the Laude System:
Cum Laude — 3.5 to 3.7 (9.62 to 10.17)
Magna Cum Laude — 3.8 to 3.9 (10.31 to 10.72)
Summa Cum Laude — 4.0 (11)
The district is currently transitioning from a 11 point system to a 4 point one and if approved at a later meeting the changes would not begin for four years.
“If the board adopts the proposal we would start with the incoming freshmen class,” Norton said. “We think we are at a good starting point with the proposal but we really want to hear feedback and opinions from the board as well as the community.”
The board meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Smith-Cotton High School in the Heckart Performing Arts Center, 210 Tiger Pride Blvd. For more information call the central office at 829-6450.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484