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Purdy students to explore Europe

Monday, October 24, 2011

Purdy history students can earn up to one history credit by participating in the Essence of Europe educational tour planned for June 12 through June 29, 2012.

Board members gave their blessing to upperclassmen earning one history credit toward graduation requirements at their October meeting.

The tour will encompass many famous European landmarks in Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France and England. Local guides will accompany the group during their 17-day stay, providing additional insight into the many historic stops along the way.

The $4,130-per-person price tag includes two meals per day, round-trip airfare, 17 overnight stays in hotels, eight sightseeing tours led by local guides and three led by the tour director and three walking tours.

Cities included on the tour include: Frankfurt, Heidelberg, and Munich in Germany; Venice, Rome and Florence in Italy; the Lucerne region of Switzerland; Colmar, Alsace and Paris in France; and London, England.

In other business, board members were presented a report on federal programs.

Janet Boys, middle school principal, said the district receives Title I funding, which supports the Title I program at the elementary and middle school levels, as well as the preschool program. Areas of focus are math and communication arts.

Another federal program the district participates in is the Title I C Migrant education Program, which supports migrant students whose transient families work in eligible fields of employment. Those students also receive free or reduced lunches.

Additional federal funding comes to the district from Title II for training and recruiting high quality teachers and principals. The program also focuses on class size reduction.

Federal funding for language instruction for limited English proficient and immigrant students is also received by the district. That program supports professional development, equipment and instructional materials for the school.

Finally, the district receives a rural education initiative. According to Boys, that program helped fund laptops for high school students.

Jeff Swadley, elementary school principal, presented an attendance incentive program for teachers in the district.

Swadley said there was a direct correlation between teacher attendance and student learning, citing primarily that teachers have the lesson plans already worked out and know the progress their students are making, whereas a substitute teacher often lacks that information.

Swadley recommended recognizing superior teacher attendance by allowing them to earn up to an additional $100 per quarter, starting in January 2012.

Teachers would be expected to meet certain criteria, which includes having no absences in the quarter designated as personal leave, illness or bereavement, and teachers not leaving school during the day beyond their planning time. Excused absences for professional development or duties will still see teachers eligible for the program. Absence forms will be filled out for all teacher absences to document attendance regardless of whether a substitute is hired or not.

Swadley said according to his calculations, approximately 40 percent of the district's teachers would participate in the program.

"They are allowed 14 days," Swadley said. "Some are going to take all 14 days, while others only take two days all year. We want to reward those that show up."

To make the program essentially pay for itself, it would eliminate 154 substitute teachers at a rate of $70 per day for the year.

In his report to the board, Bob Vice, high school principal, said that the FCCLA Fall Leadership Conference was scheduled for Oct. 23 and 24 at Osage Beach, A total of 42 Purdy High School students are scheduled to attend.

The district will host an appreciation luncheon for Purdy District senior citizens at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5 in the high school cafeteria. The luncheon is held to express appreciation to seniors for their long-term and continuing support of the Purdy School District. FCCLA members will cook, serve and provide decorations and entertainment.

The high school vocal music department will present "Crazy for You, the New Gershwin Musical" at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18 and Nov.19 in the elementary gymnasium.

The Fall Sports Athletic Banquet has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 8 in the cafeteria.

The FFA National Convention is slated to take place Oct. 19-22, with the FFA Barnwarming and Chili Cookoff to follow on Friday, Oct. 28.

The annual Veteran's Day assembly will take place at 10:15 a.m. on Nov. 11 in the high school gymnasium.

Vice also commended Melanie Heston, Katherine Wise, Dana Cunningham, Alissa Graham, Esmerelda Perez, Madison Vice, Kaitlyn Carpenter, Russell Gonzales, Nat Alden, Phillip Roller, David Thomas and Marco Zuno for being named participants in the 2011 All-District Honor Choir.

In his report to the board, Swadley said the district's annual Grandparents' Day celebration on Sept. 16 was very successful. Veva Lee, Lesa Spencer, Eileen Harris, Jim Hendrix and Hermie Gumabon were winners of $20 gift certificates to Utopian Bean.

Swadley also said Stones Prairie Lutheran Church had generously provided for the district's backpack nutrition program. A total of 40 students are participating in the program this year.

In her regular report to the board, Boys said the PTSO Carnival has been scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 4.

A talent show is will be held at 7 p.m. on Nov. 12.

The middle school will have quarterly parties for sixth through eighth grade students who meet designated criteria. Students will have to make sure there is no missing homework in any of their core classes, have no detentions or out of school suspensions for the quarter and have no grades lower than a C-.

Students of the Month for September included Mason Schallert, Zoe Brown, Edith Garcia and Kristin Johnson.

Jerry Lingo, superintendent of Purdy School District, told board members of the upcoming Missouri School Board Association meeting and asked for a list of those planning to attend.

Lingo also told board members of the upcoming Celebration of Schools event taking place on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin. Dr. Arthur Mallory will be the guest speaker.

Lingo read a letter of congratulations from Senator Jack Goodman, 29th District, commending the district on achieving its A+ designation.

The next regular meeting of the Purdy R-2 Board of Education will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 21 in the office of the superintendent.

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