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Pierce City R-6 board receives update on food service program

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Members of the Pierce City R-6 Board of Education reviewed the district's food service program at their October meeting.

The district boasts two fully staffed kitchens, eight full-time cooks, two kitchen staff, one cashier and one food service director. Meals are prepared for students and staff members. Students and staff pre-pay for their meals and are issued a lunch card, which is used to deduct from their accounts.

Meals are prepared for 739 students, of which 365 receive meals free of charge, 113 receive reduced fee meals and 270 pay full price for meals.

Approximately 85 percent of enrolled students eat breakfast on campus with 69 percent also eating lunches.

Meal planning calculates adequate calories and nutrition for specific age groups, as well as making adjustments for students with special needs.

Last year, staff prepared a total of 49,582 breakfasts and 117,070 lunches. This year, staff have prepared and served 27,230 lunches, which averages about 605 lunches per day.

In other business, board members also reviewed the district's assessment plan, which involves academic achievements of students and abilities of students moving toward college and career choices. Tami Gripka, elementary counselor, Courtney Garner, middle school counselor, and Jackie Nelson, high school counselor, presented information on the program.

Educators are continuing to take steps to determine where the district's curriculum fails to meet expected criteria of MAP (Missouri Assessment Program)  scores. Instructors in the district continue to train and research tools and educational resources available in order to assist students in reaching their educational goals and meet district expectations.

In his report to the board, Steve Garner, high school principal, noted enrollment at the high school totals 209 and a 97 percent attendance rate since school started in August.

College bound students made day-trips during October to Pittsburg State University is Pittsburg, Kan., City Pointed Beauty Academy and College of the Ozarks.

Crowder College interviewed seven freshmen for participation in the federally funded Upward Bound program. That program assists students in high school in acquiring the skills necessary to complete high school and continue their education in college.

Garner reported that Crowder College would also enroll A+ students in online dual credit courses for the second semester.

A total of 38 students participated in the College Day Fair hosted by Monett High School in October.

Gayla Degraffenreid, middle school principal, reported that results are back from the MAP test administered in April, and teachers were collecting and utilizing data to determine areas of focus in their current instruction. Teachers are also forming comprehensive teaching strategies in an effort to make the learning environment more productive for students.

A guided study hall has been added to the middle school curriculum, and students struggling with subjects will have the opportunity to study with a tutor or mentor.

Over 60 percent of Middle School students attended a movie and pizza party in Springfield in October as a reward for their high scored on the MAP tests. Students who attended scored in the proficient or advanced levels of Communication Arts, math or both.

DeGraffenreid reported attendance for the year was at 96 percent and enrollment for middle school totaled 175.

Teresa Abramovitz, elementary school principal, told board members that enrollment at that campus was at 312, with attendance for the year at over 96 percent.

Math Night was a success, according to Abramovitz. A total of 182 students and their parents signed in and walked through a time machine. Faculty was dressed in clothing from the past and decorated their hallways for the same era.

Abramovitz reported that early dismissal for students on Wednesday allows teachers to collaborate and discuss professionally what steps are needed to be more consistent in grading, making sure curriculum is aligned from one grade level to another and seek ways of improving areas that are lacking. She said monthly in-service sessions were also beneficial to instructors.

Superintendent Russ Moreland told board members that students in Ag II had submitted some proposals for flowers to be planted in the flower beds in front of the new addition. He said that students had worked with a local greenhouse to determine which plants would best be suited for the region and climate.

Moreland also reported that Pierce City R-6 will host next year's district softball tournament and is looking into the possibility of building a new concession stand, restroom and storage facility for the softball field. He advised board members that the facilities were necessary if the district was going to host future district and state play off games. He said that he hopes to accomplish the plan through concession stand monies and donations.

The district now has a full time technology director and Moreland said they no longer need a monthly service contract with MDC Technology Group in Monett.

"We have been very happy with the services MDC has provided, but we no longer need them in this capacity," Moreland said.

Moreland said the district will continue to utilize MDC but on an as-needed hourly basis.

In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, the next regular meeting of the R-6 Board will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18 in the superintendent's conference room.

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