The Purdy School Board voted to start a marching band program and reviewed year-end issues along with two major programs at the board's May meeting.
After tabling a proposal from band director James Adams at the April meeting, board members revisited the plan to establish Purdy's first marching band and approved it.
Board President Randy Henderson reported Mareth Enterprises was still willing to cover the $23,000 cost of new uniforms. Band supporters and students had agreed to hold fundraisers to generate the estimated $4,100 for supplies that would be needed beyond the usual band budget.
Board members expressed concern about unseen costs, such as a stipend for Adams for the additional work, which has not been requested. Principal Bob Vice said if the program grew to where a two-week band camp prior to the start of school was needed, then a stipend should be considered.
Board member Ken Terry noted that students seeking band scholarships are immediately asked if they have marching band experience. The program addition would better position Purdy students for college. Superintendent Jerry Lingo recommended accepting the proposal, which then got a positive vote from the board.
Superintendent Lingo had hoped to bring health insurance quotes to the board for action for the coming year, but not all the providers had supplied numbers. Consequently action would not be possible before the summer break to help employees plan their budgets for the coming year.
Technology program reviewed
Technology provided a major focus for the meeting. Vice presented the board with an update of the district's 2006 technology plan, which had been deemed exemplary by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Objectives, such as identifying and securing resources to support education services, were ongoing. The board approved continuing the plan as outlined.
Business teacher Kay Wright offered a more concrete review of how students are using technology. This was the second year the computer applications course was offered at Purdy and the first year desktop publishing was offered for dual credit, Wright said.
Purdy is one of the few area schools with Future Business Leaders of America offered for middle school students. Middle school teacher Mark Trent also offers training on creating a design for the school's Internet web page, which can only be seen on campus.
Wright gave a rundown on the various activities undertaken by the FBLA chapter during the past year and a summary of their contest season.
Gifted program summarized
Donna Patterson presented an overview of the district's gifted program. She showed board members a clay animation piece made by students and a photo essay using images of outlandish hairstyles drawn from the Internet as examples of creative work.
Patterson reported 13 students in kindergarten through fifth grade and under were in this year's gifted program and six through eight. Each year these classes take on at least one major study unit, as well as working on computer skills, logic thinking, questioning skills and affective education. In high school, where 11 students participate, Patterson functions as a resource teacher, not running a separate program but helping students with their projects.
New staff hired
In closed session, the board hired several people to fill vacancies for the coming school year. Sarah Skiles was hired as a third grade teacher. A Missouri Southern State University graduate, Skiles comes to Purdy after working for three years at the Exeter School District. Michelle Aldridge, a recent MSSU graduate, was hired as a fourth grade teacher. This will be Aldridge's first teaching job.
Stephanie Fuller was hired as a high school special education aide, and Mica Propps was hired as a middle school special education aide.
Commendation was extended by Vice to Bob Dohn's Academic Team, which placed fourth in state competition, a noteworthy accomplishment for Dohn on the year of his retirement. Vice said three students in the graduating class would be completing their studies over the summer. Each had fallen a half-credit short of the graduation requirement and had already started work on the recovery process.
Vice told the board he had only four students with perfect attendance this year, compared to double that number last year.
For Teacher Appreciation Week, Middle School Principal Janet Boys reported teachers received calculators and snacks. Elementary Principal Swadley said his staff received complimentary shoulder massages by licensed massage therapist Wendy Cairus.
The AmeriCorps program had a party and reunion to recognize 10 years of reading coaches working for the Purdy School District.
Swadley reported efforts were on track to get 300 students signed up for summer school, at which point the district would make money. Swadley said 5 percent of students could enroll in the program, running from June 1 to July 2, giving young people a safe environment for activities during one summer month.