The Sedalia School District 200 Board of Education members voted to combine the Smith-Cotton Halls of Fame into one entity Monday night during their second board meeting in October.
While the district has not seen a lack of nominations for the Athletic Hall of Fame they have struggled to receive nominations for both the Academic and Activity Halls of Fame.
Earlier this month, superintendent of Sedalia 200 Schools, Brad Pollitt, submitted proposed changes to the nomination process, recommending the combination of all forms and selection committees.
“We know there are some highly deserving individuals who deserve to be in our Halls of Fame,” Pollitt said. “One of the difficulties is that people will think about nominating someone and by the time for the nominations, they have forgotten to complete the forms.
“This simply sets one deadline for all the forms and will help with the selection process since we will only have one committee comprised of seven individuals to meet,” he added. “This is doesn’t water down or change the criteria for selection we just hope this will increase the number of individuals who are nominated for selection.”
Pollitt and Food Service Director Rowena Nickell presented the food service report.
The district is in the fourth year of a five year contract with Opaa, the food service provider for Sedalia 200.
“Last year the district served 628,616 lunches which was an increase of 7,162 lunches from the previous year,” Pollitt told the board. “The breakfast program saw a decrease of 6,333 meals last which was expected since the sixth grade moved to the junior high and were no longer counted in the Community Eligibility Provision.
CEP is a USDA program that allows all students in grades pre-kindergarten through fifth grade to receive a breakfast and lunch at no charge.
Revenue for the food program last year was $2,210,805 and expenditures were $2,466,132 according to information supplied in the board packet.
The loss is “quite negative” Pollitt said and accounts for 90 to 95 percent of the loss of funds in the food service program.
“Last year we increased both the breakfast and lunch prices by ten cents,” Pollitt remarked. “We have been very, very slow in raising the prices of our meals.
“The big question we have to answer and not tonight, is are we going to continue with the CEP program,” he added. “We can’t continue to sustain that loss each year but we need to consider if we do away with the program what affect will it have on our kids?”
The board voted to accept the food service program report but will consider the future plans of the program later this year.
The board also heard reports from Assistant Superintendent Dr. Nancy Scott on the districts Title One Program and from Grace Kendrick, principal at the Pettis County Early Childhood Cooperative.
The Title I Program is a federal program that was enacted to ensure all children have “fair, equal and significant opportunities” to learn.
Currently the district serves a total of 2,343 students in grade pre-kindergarten through fourth grade according to Scott.
“We did not make any significant changes to the program for this year but we are continuing to implement and focus on intervention strategies for our students,” Scott said. “Each student receives 30 minutes of ‘Tiger Time” intervention.
“We also gave common assessments to gauge the progress of the students toward the benchmarks or standards that are taught,” she added. “Our percentage of students reading on grade level increased in grades one through four and our MAP scores went up significantly.”
Scott credits the improvement to the curriculum being fully aligned and the hard work of both the students and staff involved.
The board voted to approve the hiring of an additional para-professional for the Co-op based on increased enrollment and the number of those students who have significant needs according to Kendrick.
The position is fully reimbursed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Kendrick said she monitor closely the student to staff ratio at the facility adding that if the position is no longer needed it will no longer be filled.
At the end of the school year the Co-op served 215 students throughout the six public school districts in Pettis County.
“Currently we have the potential for another 34 students who may qualify for services prior to First Step referrals in February,” Kendrick said. “Currently we have 184 students and with the additional 34 I anticipate our numbers will be higher than last year’s final number.”
“We typically receive several referrals in the early spring as a result of screening throughout the six schools we serve,” Kendrick explained. “I may need to come back to request additional teachers and staff in the near future.”
The Co-op has accepted 11 transfer students this year from other school districts both in and out of state who now reside in Pettis County.
In other actions the board discussed the possibility of creating the position of a student advisor who would be present at board meetings.
Some members of the board learned about the program from other districts at the Missouri School Board Association meeting last month and some wanted to discuss the possibility with the board as a whole.
The student would serve in an advisory capacity reporting to the board about student needs and concerns and answering questions board members may have.
The board agreed to seek more information and will make a motion concerning the position at their next meeting.
• Voted to approve the final change order for the building addition for electrical fixtures and camera boxes in the amount of $5,620.05.
• Heard an update on the district’s curriculum from Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, Carla Wheeler.
Wheeler informed the board that the district is already doing much of the work to align the curriculum with the Missouri Learning Standards.
“We will update math and English this year. The science standards will go into effect in 2018-19,” she said. “Social studies will be in the 2019-2020 school year.
“We will see little change in our math and English Curriculum and our work will be more of an update rather than a complete overhaul,” she added. “Teachers in the other areas are also working with the standards but those will be tested in later years.”
• The district’s attendance rate is 90.35 percent as of Oct. 13.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.