In a decision that will impact the elementary students for at least another year, the Sedalia School District 200 voted Monday night to keep the elementary schools in tact by voting not to send the fourth grade students to the middle school for the upcoming school year.
Superintendent Brad Pollitt had spoken to the board in December regarding the increased enrollment in the elementary classes. Several of the elementary buildings are nearing the capacity in terms of the numbers of students at each school.
After considerable discussion and based primarily on the input from the building principals, the board has decided to see where the enrollment figures are for the upcoming year and maintain the elementary buildings as kindergarten through fourth grade buildings.
“This year’s third grade has one of the largest enrollments we have seen at the elementary in recent years,” Pollitt said. “We’ve added 164 students in kindergarten through fourth grade since the elementary was built six years ago, but I still maintain that our classes’ sizes are very good.
“With those increasing numbers we wanted to explore what our options were,” he added. “At this time I think we feel that this is the best solution for our students, especially based on what we have heard from our principals, staff and the limited comments from our parents.”
The board also voted to approve the summer school schedule as presented. For the first time in recent years, the board is planning to offer an enrichment program for the elementary grades.
The program, for students in grades one through five, will focus on the areas of math, reading and science and will use hands-on activities for the students.
With the vote of approval from the board at Monday night’s meeting, the district will start preparation for the program.
“The program is dependent in part on state funding,” Assistant Superintendent Steve Triplett said. “We will monitor this until May and will make a determination at that time.”
The program will be available to the first 200 students who apply at the Central Office.
It will run from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday, from June 13 to July 1, if the district proceeds with the program.
The remainder of the summer school program is structured as it has been in recent years, according to information prepared by Triplett.
The district will offer:
• 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 paid student driver education program with June and July sessions that are dependent upon enrollment.
The last session of summer school, other than driver’s education classes, is scheduled to end July 29, which will leave the elementary students and teachers who attend the district’s reading camp shortly under a month before the 2016-17 school years begins.
The first day of school for students is scheduled for Aug. 25. Christmas break will begin with an early out Wednesday, Dec. 21 and students will return to school Jan. 5. The semester will end prior to Christmas break.
The last day of school is tentatively scheduled for May 23 unless the district needs to extend the calendar for make-up days.
In other actions, the board voted to approve the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan with the addition of a section on conflict resolution that was recommended during the last board meeting.
The board heard program evaluations from the counseling departments and the vocational education program, which includes the business and marketing department and the engineering/technology departments.
Pollitt informed the board it will not be necessary to host an election for the school board in April as only two individuals, incumbents David Wolf and Diana Nichols, filed for the board.
The board was presented with the attendance figures for the district. District-wide, 90.86 percent of the student have attended school 90 percent of the time this year.
Pollitt, on behalf of Gov. Jay Nixon and the district, recognized school board members for Board Appreciation month.
Skyline Elementary Principal Kelly McFatrich gave a presentation on Kagan Cooperative Structures. The program was implemented this school year after training for 100 staff members and administrators took place over the summer.
“The professional development training from Kagan has led to increased cognitive engagement and social skills at Skyline and throughout the district,” McFatrich said.
The board also announced that the track at Smith-Cotton Stadium at Jennie Jaynes Activity Complex will now be available for use by district patrons.
Patrons will need to purchase a swipe card pass that will allow them entry into the stadium and access to the track. The passes are available at the Central Office at a cost of $5 per person.
A complete story regarding the walking track passes will appear in an upcoming edition of the Democrat.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484