The Purdy R-2 Board of Education voted to negotiate with the district's Community Teachers Association (CTA) as a bargaining agent, reviewed teacher performance and heard about programs during the March meeting.
The collective bargaining move followed a ruling by the Missouri Supreme Court dictating that there should be more negotiations between teachers and school boards. The Missouri Community Teachers Association has subsequently encouraged its chapters to move into the role of a labor organization.
The Purdy CTA passed a proposal on Feb. 25 asking the school board to formally recognize the teachers organization as the official bargaining agent for the faculty to be represented in negotiations by the salary committee. In the past, the CTA has represented the faculty informally in such negotiations.
The teachers' resolution included the following declaration: "All negotiations shall be conducted in the spirit of open cooperation and free sharing of information about the needs of all parties, with the constant end of achieving the best and highest good of the entire school and the community."
A faculty delegation appeared before the board as the proposition came up for a vote at the March meeting. Without asking further questions, board members voted to recognize the CTA as the faculty bargaining agent and to establish the formal bargaining process.
According to the CTA's own motion, the traditional practice of the board choosing to hire faculty and setting wages at its discretion, in line with the district's resources and ability to compete with other districts, would stop. Instead, negotiations with the CTA would begin as soon as possible after the March board meeting and conclude by the May board meeting, involving "as many meetings as necessary."
The CTA's salary committee, according to the motion passed by the CTA membership, will be determined by group membership. However, faculty members who are not CTA members may also be chosen to serve on the panel.
Sharon Crouch, who serves on the faculty professional development committee, told The Times that while the new negotiation arrangement may be new to Purdy, Cassville has used the same model for a number of years.
Crouch submitted a written report on professional development activity for the year, showing $23,387.33 in spending had been approved for the year. The money has gone to conference fees, transportation and lodging.
In response to a recommendation by the district's auditor, the board has encouraged the Professional Development Committee to spend down an accumulated reserve of funds. Consequently, professional development spending for the coming year has been targeted at $35,148.03. In addition to conferences, the new budget covers tuition requests, library resources, membership dues and in-service speakers.
Myra McGee presented a rundown on what her Family and Consumer Science classes have been doing. She displayed new models of the computer driven baby dolls that her students from eighth grade into the child development class take home for one to three nights.
"Most students know they are not ready to be parents. After they take them home, they know they're not ready," McGee said.
The new models have a memory that documents each time an incident that could injure a baby occurs. The dolls come in different ethnicities, plus extra equipment such as a car seat and diaper bag.
Family and Consumer Science is usually taken in the freshman year. So many students wanting to the take the class but couldn't in that time frame that three sessions were offered this year. Next year McGee planned to return to two, offering housing in the fall and marriage and family in the spring to replace the third section.
McGee had been able to get a professional development grant money to cover some class expenses. The grant required only a 10 percent match, she said, relieving concern expressed by board members.
This year, the Family, Community and Career Leaders of America (FCCLA) chapter which McGee sponsors has again been very active. McGee provided a list of nine community service projects in addition to national contests. A $1,000 grant from the Wal-Mart in Cassville further helped with expenses.
In competition, six FCCLA students have qualified to advance to state in four events. Nicole Terry was elected Region 11 state vice president in January, and will run for state president at the State Leadership Conference. McGee, Terry and any qualifiers for national competition will go to the National Leadership Conference in Nashville in July.
In response to High School Principal Bob Vice's complimentary comments about the quality of the program, McGee said, "I just have good kids, and I appreciate that."
Superintendent Jerry Lingo reported State Senator Jack Goodman had accepted an invitation from the CTA to speak to faculty about state legislation on education at 3:30 p.m. on April 3
Swearing in of new board members and reorganization of the board would be held at 6:15 p.m. on April 20, prior to the monthly board meeting.
Middle School Principal Janet Boys told board members the district is still under scrutiny for performance of its English language learners under the No Child Left Behind. The middle school is now off the list as needing improvement, but the district as a whole is in its second year on the list.
The district had to notify parents in writing of the classification, Boys said. A different test is being used this year to measure student progress.
Principals reviewed their use of in-school suspension for the board. Principal Vice reported 10 different students have put in 28 days of suspension, some only for a part of a day or a period.
Principal Janet Boys said she had placed four middle school students on in-school suspension this semester, mostly for physical acts or as a cool down period. Both continued to find the program beneficial.
|In their general reports, Vice indicated the National Honor Society installation had been rescheduled for 6:30 p.m. on April 2.||The junior/senior prom will be on March 28 at Hill Creek Lodge, followed by a trip to The Bridge in Joplin.|
High school enrollment remains down five from last year, Vice said, though year-to-date attendance remains a little higher. At the elementary school, enrollment is up by eight over last year.
Boys and Elementary Principal Jeff Swadley detailed the activities they have planned to motivate students for taking the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) standardized state tests, which run through the first three weeks of April.