Action taken by the Pierce City R-6 Board of Education at its June meeting triggered the beginning of a new free summer lunch program for youth.
The board approved applying for a grant through the Temporary Assistance for Need Families (TANF) Block Grant to fund a post-summer school meal program. On Monday, Central Elementary School cafeteria began providing sack lunches with a sandwich and fruit to students.
|According to Debbie Osterloh, one of the cafeteria coordinators, around 25 young people were served on the first day. Osterloh hopes the number will rise to 50 by the time the program ends on July 30.||Lunches are available to young people age 18 and under from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meals have to be eaten in the cafeteria. Students also get a blue ticket that allows them to go to the city pool free of charge, redeemable any day the pool is open.|
Debbie Hogan, board secretary, said the program is offered through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. A local match of around 20 percent is required with the $17,000 grant.
In other financial matters, the board authorized revising the 2009-10 budget to match actual expenditures.
The budget for the 2010-11 school year was passed with a few cost-cutting provisions. Three teacher's aide positions were open for next year. Board members opted to fill only two.
The extra-duty contract for Jeff Charles as coach of the golf program was not renewed for next year. Charles indicated he would forego the $1,500 payment and coach for no pay to keep the program going.
In past year the district has placed its Classroom Trust Fund money into its building fund to increase the money available for a future capital improvement project. For the coming year, the board chose to put all of the money into the teacher's fund to use on salaries.
As a further cost-cutting measure, the board was looking at cutting out a bus route for next year. Harold Clanton with H&M Transport offered a counter-proposal to continue service to all the bus routes at 2009 prices. Board members agreed and planned to revise the three-year contract with H&M Transport accordingly.
The remaining certified staff needed for the coming school year were hired.
Lindsay Pierce, from Mt. Vernon, was hired as an elementary teacher. Pierce is a recent graduate from Missouri Southern State University and this will be her first teaching job.
Randi Austin was hired to fill the other open elementary teaching job. She has taught for 15 years and comes to Pierce City from Stoutland.
Brooke Pierce was hired as the new elementary librarian. Pierce has a master's degree in library media services from Pittsburg State University and has worked for the past two years at Webb City.
Shannon Holloway, a recent graduate from Missouri State University, was hired as a full-time speech implementor. The district has had a part-time speech teacher previously, Hogan said, but the number of students needing services rose over 25 for next year, requiring a full-time person.
The board reviewed the building project, finding the music room, the art room and the superintendent's office complete. Warrantees and close-out documents are still due prior to final payments. The remodeling included an expanded concession stand and metal doors on the high school gym that have significantly reduced noise.
Much of the meeting was spent with Danny Lineberry, associate executive director of education and training for the Missouri School Boards Association. Lineberry provided training on the role of board members.
Lineberry said that board members' tools included the creation of policies, the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan, the budget, evaluation of the superintendent, the professional development plan and the open meeting agenda.
Most districts fall short not in student performance, Lineberry said, but in community involvement. If the district can get parents engaged by getting them inside the school building for six or seven hours in a year's time, including time at sports events, studies show students will do better.
High School Principal Steve Garner reported 41 students recently look the ACT college entrance exam. A total of 63 enrolled for summer school, compared to 104 last year. Current numbers indicate the high school Class of 2011 will include 60 students.
The next board meeting was set for July 22.