A decision regarding options for the growth of the elementary enrollment in the Sedalia School District 200 and a discussion of summer school options are expected to be the primary topics of discussion at tonight’s Board of Education meeting.
Previously reported by the Democrat after the last board meeting, administration is looking at options on how to deal with how to meet the student needs because the district is continuing to see an increased number of students, especially at the elementary level.
Superintendent Brad Pollitt listed those options as:
• Leave the fourth grade students in their respective schools for another year.
• Move all the fourth grade students to the middle school.
• Move all the fourth grade students to the middle school with the exception of the students who currently attend Heber Hunt.
“The decision to keep the fourth grade at Heber Hunt is based on the fact that they still have the most room to accommodate additional students if their enrollment increases,” Pollitt said. “If we were to move all of the fourth grades with the exception of those at Heber Hunt there would be 710 students at the middle school next year.
“With this plan of moving all but one fourth grade to the middle school, it allows us to keep the (Pettis County Early Childhood Cooperative) to remain intact. I don’t think any of us wants to see that program suffer any cutbacks because we know the benefits to the services they are providing our students.”
Pollitt told the board that since the new high school was opened six years ago, the district is seeing a 1 to 2 percent yearly increase at each grade level.
Currently the district is home to 5,067 students.
“We have talked to the building principals again and will present that information at Monday’s meeting,” Pollitt said Friday afternoon. “The best interests of the students will be our primary focus no matter what decision the board makes and there are several options that they will have to consider in regards to this decision.”
Another decision the board is expected to make tonight surrounds the district’s summer school options. The board will consider if the district should once again provide an elementary enrichment summer school program.
“We are going to ask the board for permission to start the preparation for an elementary enrichment program for first through fifth grade,” Pollitt said. “We haven’t offered this in a number of years but we want to see the interest level that is there with our students and proceed from there.”
The program would focus on the areas of math, reading and science and would offer hands-on activities for the students to participate.
The tentative dates for the program would be from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday, from June 13 through July 1. The program would be by application only and the district would accept the first 200 applications at the Central Office.
“We are still planning to offer our other summer programs as we have in the past,” Pollitt added. “For the high school students we think that the classes we offer allow the students to have some more flexibility in their schedules and provide a greater opportunity for the students to take additional electives that they may not have been able to fit into their schedules.”
According to information prepared by Assistant Superintendent Steve Triplett, the district will offer, if approved by the board:
• The Community Summer Learning Program for grades first through fourth at the Housing Authority of Sedalia from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, June 8 through July 1.
• Reading Camp for grades first through fourth from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday, July 5 through July 29.
• Credit Recovery for grades nine through 12 from 7:50 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. (two sessions) from June 13 to June 29. Make-up days would be June 30 through July 1. Classes include personal finance, health, and physical education.
The district will also offer a student paid driver education program with June and July sessions that are dependent upon enrollment.
The board is also expected to approve the 2016-17 school calendar. The district staff was presented two options and overwhelming voted for option two by a vote of 239 to 20.
“There aren’t really a lot of options to consider when it comes to the calendar,” Pollitt said. “Our start days are driven by the State Fair and our dual-credit classes.”
The district has more than 700 students enrolled in dual-credit classes and because of issues with the scheduling of those classes by the various colleges and university schedules, under both proposed calendars the first semester will end when school is dismissed for Christmas break.
“We have to be cognizant of the number of days we have in each semester,” Pollitt said. “We ended the semester after break (this year) and found that it created some concerns that we need to get away from.”
The board will also vote on the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan, the Guidance and Counseling and Vocational Education Program evaluations.
The board meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Skyline Elementary, 2505 West 32nd St. For more information call the central office at 829-6450.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660- 826-1000 ext. 1484