The Purdy R-2 Board of Education made plans for the 2010-11 school year by rehiring its administrators and adopting a calendar during its February meeting.
All of the district's three principals were rehired for another year. Salaries will be set at a later date.
In open session the board accepted the resignation of high school science teacher Don Terry, effective March 30. Terry is presently on an extended leave of absence and requested early retirement, contingent on the approval of disability, so that the district could hire a replacement.
The school calendar for the 2010-11 year was approved, staying fairly close to the timetable used for the past two years. Superintendent Jerry Lingo say the Community Teachers Association requested more input on the schedule and got to see the breakdown in advance.
Under the plan, classes will start on Wednesday, Aug. 18 and conclude on Monday, May 16 if no snow days were taken. Unlike past years, all the snow days were scheduled consecutively in May, from May 17 to May 24.
The calendar would provide a full week off during the third week in November, shortening the October break at the request of teachers. The Christmas break would run for eight days rather than two full weeks. Graduation would be on May 14, 2011.
Summer school was scheduled to start on May 23. Principal Jeff Swadley, who supervises summer school, said teachers uniformly disliked starting summer school in June last year.
Lingo told the board the January membership count was not favorable for the district. The student count was down 26 from the previous year.
While the high school gained three over the previous month, Swadley said the departure of another family lowered the tally by five children. The family moved to Republic so the father could seek work, Swadley said.
"I've spent some time diagnosing the situation," Lingo said. "I think now it's boiling down to not having employment and people have to seek it elsewhere. The problem is jobs and housing. I don't see a quick fix. I hope we've hit bottom. I think we have a great school."
Board members returned to the proposal made in January to join the Rural School membership under the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. Working under the not-for-profit umbrella of the Community Foundation would enable the Spanish Club to seek grant money for its recycling program.
"I recognize the effort that has been made to make the recycling program a success and the community service it has rendered," said Lingo. "In no way do I want to bring the program to a halt.
"I have concerns about a partnership with the Community Foundation," Lingo continued. "We cannot commit additional money to the program at this time due to the national economic picture. The Community Foundation will want the program to expand. I can't see that happening now. I think we need to take time out, step back and get a better feel for what's happening in our economy."
Lingo reiterated his support for the recycling program and his belief that the Community Foundation was a good organization. No action was taken on the matter.
Nancy Doubrava, the new school counselor, gave her first report to the board on the guidance program. She said at her request students can take the ACT college entrance exam in Purdy for the first time in April. She hoped more would take the test locally and students from other districts could come for the test as well.
Doubrava introduced a six-week session on divorce for middle school students who have had family break-ups. She felt the experience was helpful though perhaps not long enough to address the feelings that surfaced.
Doubrava showed board members the results of a survey she conducted to see what last year's graduates were doing. More had gone to technical college than expected and two less had gone to four-year schools.
Lingo reported the school buses passed their annual inspection with an 89 percent, a lower number due to a spotlight and tail light going out between the morning and inspection time.
Swadley reported the St. John's Lutheran Church-Stones Prairie congregation had committed to supporting the school with a food program for economically stressed families comparable to the Food for Thought program in Monett.
A committee of five had been assembled to choose around 15 children that would be served, including siblings. Swadley expected 50 to 75 children would qualify, making selection difficult. The service would start next school year.
In other personnel action, the board accepted the resignation of Amanda Bowen as a custodian and hired Connie Willman as a cook for the remainder of the school year.