Gerry Wass discussed the foreign language program and the new success he was having with Power Teaching, an approach that introduces ideas and then has students explain it to each other. Wass has found the method particularly effective in dealing with first-year middle school students.
The Purdy Recycling Program, started as a fundraising substitute for students learning Spanish, has grown into a major outreach program for the community. Wass said establishing the Recycling Advisory Committee had been a major step toward sustainability.
Recycling has been largely supported by grants as the effort has taken shape. Wass said grant money comes in pieces, often leaving the program owing the school money. Wass discovered the Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) has created an umbrella for school organizations that allows clubs to file for grants as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit entity.
Wass asked the school board to consider collaborating with CFO on behalf of the Spanish Club. The board decided to explore the option further before making a commitment.
Superintendent Gerry Lingo asked the board to think about how large it wanted the recycling program to get. He questioned whether Wass's primary duty could become running the program rather than teaching, and if the program could survive if Wass left. Wass said he is trying to be less involved in the program, but he believed recycling could support a paid administrator in time.
Renee Neill, coordinator of the AmeriCorps program, reported the state commission running the AmeriCorps program recently held its quarterly meeting at the Purdy school. Unlike past meetings focused on finances, this time the commissioners witnessed the program at work.
"They saw the energy, love and compassion of the Reading Coaches, and they were hooked," Neill said.
The commissioners met with Lingo and Elementary Principal Jeff Swadley and visited the recycling center. The group was impressed by the vision therapy offered in the trailer classroom, and all walked over the bridge in the park. Weeks after the visit, Neill said, the commissioners were still talking about their Purdy visit.
Changes coming to AmeriCorps include a new requirement that all Reading Coaches have a high school diploma. Neill said that mandate will take away her option of using high school seniors, subtracting $3,000 from the program. On the other hand, the award for education given to coaches will substantially increase and older coaches will be able to gift their reward to a child or grandchild.
The Purdy program currently has 15 employees, 10 working full time. The district invests around $50,000 annually in the program, Neill said. She shared charts showing student achievement due to the coaches' efforts.
|Board members approved the annual audit prepared by the Springfield-based firm of Davis, Lynn and Moots. Lingo said the report was one of the cleanest audits the district has had in years, without any citations for non-compliance.|
The year-end balance in the district's major two funds was up by $19,000, which Lingo felt was an accomplishment in a year of tight money.
Lingo reported the district had used three snow days this winter to date. Missed days would be made up, in order, on May 20, May 21 and Feb. 22.
Swadley reported the Cassville Walmart donated $1,000 to help the holiday Angel Tree program. The gift helped provide Christmas gifts for 20 additional needy children.
Principal Bob Vice reported homecoming will be held the week of Feb. 8. Royalty will be crowned before the varsity basketball game on Feb. 12 against McAuley.
The board will next meet at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 15.