Nineteen certified teachers who are provisionally employed received contracts to return for another year. Sarah Garbee, a middle school communication arts instructor, and Lance Yarbro, a high school math teacher, were moved from provisional to tenured status.
Superintendent Jerry Lingo said the district had no resignations.
In other personnel action, the board approved having two track coaches instead of one. Gary Jurgensen was given an extra duty assignment as middle and high school boys coach. Stephanie Ray will shift her duties to coaching the girls. Lingo said with 27 high school students out for track and 24 middle school students, more help was needed.
Jurgensen will be paid $1,000 for his help with the high school students and $600 for working with the middle school athletes. Lingo said if one of the teams has an afternoon meet, the other team will practice in the morning that day.
The board voted to rehire Stacey Williams as board secretary and Marsha Williams as district treasurer and superintendent's secretary. Salaries for both will be set later.
Shelby Terry was added to the substitute teacher list, and Sheila Bounous was hired as a substitute cook.
Board members talked at length with Jennifer Schallert, co-athletic director and assistant basketball coach. Schallert and Coach Grant Young requested the board officially retire the #23 jersey worn by Addy Roller in recognition of setting four state basketball records.
According to Schallert, retiring a jersey has never been done before in Purdy, nor is there a common standard for such an honor. Board members recalled other Purdy students who set state records over the years. Schallert suggested setting two state records over the course of a high school career as criteria for future consideration.
Board members agreed and voted to officially retire Roller's jersey. Schallert said she would complete studying state records by the board's April 16 meeting and report if any other Purdy athletes deserved similar recognition in hindsight.
Katie Whitehead, guidance counselor for the middle school and high school, updated the board on her activities. She provided a 180-day follow-up on the 2011 graduates. Seven fewer students than expected went to college, while six more than expected went into the job field. One out of five graduates became unemployed or not in school, while only two had anticipated that course.
Pre-ACT test scores showed 38 percent of sophomores who planned to go to college scored below the readiness benchmark. Whitehead said these students would have to take remedial English and math classes in college that would not count for a degree.
To correct the problem, Whitehead planned to give test booklets to teachers in core subjects to determine where students are struggling on standardized tests. According to statistics, Whitehead said 40 percent of math errors on the ACT are due to reading comprehension, not computation errors. English teachers will offer two new courses next year on literature to enhance reading comprehension.
Whitehead plans to continue offering the ACT tests twice a year and giving a workshop taught by a professional from Ozarks Technical Community College to help improve student scores.
Students are presently busy applying for scholarships by the April 6 deadline. Whitehead said one has been awarded an impressive multi-cultural scholarship through Missouri State University.
Elementary counselor Gary Jurgensen reported that the hardest part of his and principal Jeff Swadley's job is contacting the Missouri Department of Children and Family Services in critical situations.
"Our Barry-Lawrence County Investigation and Assessment Unit officers have stated they know their job will be easier [here] because when they come to Purdy, we have our ducks in a row," Jurgensen said.
Myra McGee, family and consumer science teacher, reported having 60 in her classes this year. Class offerings are very similar to past years.
Sarah Ly, president of the Purdy High School FCCLA Chapter, and Susan Yang, secretary, gave their competition presentation on the chapter showcase manual. They described a promotional brochure they made to recruit younger students and activities through the year.
McGee said FCCLA has more younger students this year and only three officers. Eight were going to the state convention, where three would compete in StarEvents for the right to advance to national competition in Atlanta, Ga.
The board will next meet on April 16.