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Purdy R-2 Board members discuss libraries and lunches

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Reports on school libraries, food service and Parents as Teachers were shared with members of the Purdy R-2 Board of Education during the group's October meeting.

Dianna Laswell, head of media center resources, reported the libraries have added 1,036 new books since last year. Although she can no longer count some non-fiction and reference books more than 12 years old on the tally for state compliance, Laswell said the district's inventory grew by 885 in August, twice the number added in the previous year.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) wants the district to have 7,952 reference and non-fiction books. At present the district has 4,748 and is making gains annually, Laswell said. Falling short of the required total bears no specific penalty but remains a priority in the Comprehensive School Improvement Program, principals said.

To help teachers with additional resources, Laswell is pursuing a $3,000 grant from Dollar General to buy a video projector and DVD player and projector. She would also like to get a document camera that can display books like an overhead projector or hook into a computer and display contents like a Smart Board.

Shirley Burdette, food service director, said the number of meals served at the district has increased significantly over the past year. Breakfasts increased by 1,051 and lunches rose by 2,246, for a total increase of almost 12 percent. Burdette was pleased to see the number of full-priced or reduced-price meals increased over the number of free meals served.

Angie Swadley, in her second year as the Parents As Teachers coordinator, talked about making visits to 32 families last year and hoping to see 46 this year. The state would like her to see 62 families. Her biggest challenge has been to find families with young children to visit.

Swadley sees each family five times over the course of the year, for a total of 422 visits last year. She gets help from teachers screening children for physical development comparable to their age. Swadley also suggests activities parents and children can do at home to stimulate thinking and development. Board members liked a flier Swadley had prepared for distribution in public places inviting families to contact her.

Personnel action

Board members voted to name staff to several key positions for the year. Carol Swadley was named the English language learners coordinator and as the migrant coordinator for the district for the 2009-10 school year. Nancy Doubrava was named the homeless coordinator for the district.

Administrative reports

Superintendent Jerry Lingo told board members the September enrollment count for state funding purposes showed the district was only six students under last year's tally, a significant improvement over the opening of school.

An offer had been extended by Sam Harris, who owns property adjacent to the school campus to the south, to sell the district seven acres for $250,000. Lingo said he did not see how the district could afford the cost. Harris agreed to talk to his sister about breaking the acreage into a smaller amount.

High School Principal Bob Vice reported orders have come in from all over the nation for the manual prepared by Gerry Wass and the Spanish Club on how a school group can run a community recycling program.

"This recycling program may well become a model for the rest of the country. It's another good reason to be proud of the youth in Purdy," Vice said.

Elementary Principal Jeff Swadley said the annual Computers in Education campaign raised approximately $1,000. The AmeriCorps reading coaches had a very successful canned good fundraising drive for distribution to needy families. A total of 245 people attended Grandparents Day.

Upcoming activities include a Red Cross blood drive on Nov. 4; the Veterans Day Assembly at 1:45 p.m. on Nov. 11; the school carnival on Nov. 13 from 6 to 8 p.m.; and the school talent show at 7 p.m. on Nov. 14 in the elementary gym.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 16.



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