The Purdy R-2 Board of Education firmed up plans for the district's new A+ Schools program and heard reports on various activities during its December meeting.
An assurance letter committing the district to the goals and financial obligations of the A+ program was approved and signed by the board for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The letter was sent with documentation of planning, implementation and evaluation efforts.
A two-page job description for the A+ Schools coordinator was also approved. Sixteen points were outlined, including providing assistance to students with their portfolios, maintaining a budget, collaborating with Crowder College's adult literacy program and maintaining a wide range of records. The position is a little more than a half-time position running 180 days a year.
The board approved a program budget estimate of $3,175 in addition to $22.699.34 for salary and benefits for the A+ coordinator.
In financial matters, board members renewed property insurance coverage through the Missouri United School Insurance Council for the coming year. The district got a credit of more than $6,000 after adjustments were made over the building additions completed a year ago.
Property and general liability premiums rose by more than $10,000 while worker's compensation insurance dropped by $6,424. The premium came to $82,903, including the board's liability policy.
The board agreed to commit the district to participate in the new federal Race to the Top program. To be eligible for grant money under the program, the board approved a resolution authorizing Superintendent Jerry Lingo and Board President Randy Henderson to commit to activities in the program. The resolution was requested by DESE as part of its application to get federal funding for the state.
Lingo reported to the board about the new district-wide notification system, now in place. The program uses several communication methods to alert patrons about events such as school closings due to weather.
Bob Vice, high school principal, reviewed the curriculum for communication arts and social studies. He pointed out creative writing, college prep English plus Spanish II and III are weighted courses in communications arts, and psychology/sociology and world history are taught as social studies weighted courses. U.S. history is available as a weighted course through the Missouri Virtual School.
Middle School Principal Janet Boys reported curriculum revision efforts at the grade levels she oversees are also focusing on communication arts and social studies this year. Teachers are continuing to align grade level and course level expectations to meet curriculum demands.
Elementary Principal Jeff Swadley reported 35 children received assistance through the Angel Tree program, sponsored by the elementary school and the National Honor Society chapter.
The Purdy Free Will Baptist Church provided 47 coats for students. AmeriCorps director Renae Neill, who oversaw the donations, said that in the 11 years the school has received coat donations, requests this year were up 60 percent.
"It's great to live in a community where so many different churches and clubs and have a way to meet the needs of our children," Neill stated. "I think this is what binds us together as a family and I am grateful to the school for allowing our church to use their facility to make this project happen."
The school board will next be held at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 18.