Three-term incumbent Ronnie Veith and two-term incumbents Russ Neill and Mike Bennett were sworn in for additional terms following their re-election on April 5.
The board chose to keep Randy Henderson as the board chairman for the coming year. Veith remains as the vice chairman.
Board members voted to make the humanities course at Purdy High School a weighted class for the future. Principal Bob Vice made the recommendation at the request of teacher Adam Wilhite, who felt the program met the demanding requirements of a weighted class offering. Vice commended Wilhite for changing the course curriculum and agreed that more top quality competitors may join the academic team if the class was a weighted course.
An extended discussion about the merits of renewing membership in the Missouri School Boards Association followed Superintendent Jerry Lingo's announcement that dues would be $4,000 for the coming year. Board members Ed Mareth and Mike Bennett reported attending a meeting where an MSBA official made extended comments that left a very negative impression.
Lingo said the district used the MSBA primarily for policies and legal advice. Other board members agreed the district would likely pay more for legal counsel if the need arose. Board Secretary Stacey Williams said she had found local attorneys would not answer questions on school law, and she had received valuable advice on contracts and elections from MSBA staff,
Purdy also belongs to the Missouri Association of Rural Educators (MARE), which did not provide legal advice. The board voted to continue membership with the MSBA on a 6-1 vote. Ken Terry, Tracy Tate, Henderson, Bennett, Veith and Neill voted in favor and Mareth voted in opposition.
The board voted to accept the resignation of kindergarten teacher Cathy Marshall, who plans to retire. Marshall has been with the district since 2000.
In closed session, board members reviewed the performance of non-certified staff. Lingo said at the recommendation of the MSBA, the board no longer rehires non-certified staff each year but instead offers continuous employment unless individuals are notified to the contrary.
Upcoming events on the school calendar include the Fine Arts Evening with a vocal music concert and art show on April 26. The Friends of Music awards banquet and spring band concert are on May 3. The elementary school planned to celebrate the conclusion of state MAP tests with a cook-out on April 29.
The year-end awards ceremony at the high school will be on May 11 at 10:15 a.m. Baccalaureate will follow that evening at 7 p.m. in the high school gym. Graduation will be at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 14.
Enrollment at the high school increased by four students in the past month, Vice said. He hoped attendance would hold at 94 percent by year's end, but he did not expect to reach his goal of 95 percent.
Principal Janet Boys reported enrollment at the middle school had increased by two since February. Attendance in March had surpassed 97 percent, nearly 3 percent higher than a year ago.
In outstanding student achievement, high school students Jessica Ball and Viri Aldava won silver medals at the state Family Community and Career Leaders of America (FCCLA) Conference. The middle school math team took second at the Ozark 7 math and science contest. The fifth grade boys and girls both won the Purdy basketball tournament. The seventh grade volleyball team won the Purdy tournament and the eighth grade team took second.
Principal Jeff Swadley reported enrollment at the elementary school held steady over the past month, though he had expected some fluctuation. The flu dropped attendance to 92 percent in March.
There had been lower than usual attendnace at the spring parent-teacher conferences, down to 83 percent for the second grade. Swadley counts telephone and e-mail contacts and reported teachers told him a number of parents had given up their cell phones and could not be reached. He wondered if less phone use was a sign of the economic times.
The next board meeting will be on May 16.