The Monett R-1 Board of Education looked at several facility strategies for improving services at Monett schools during its September meeting.
The board voted to purchase the property at 618 Ninth Street, on the previous block south of the E.E. Camp Gymnasium on the west side of the street, across from the south building at Monett Middle School.
Superintendent Brad Hanson said the land would be used for school purposes. The district previously purchased the lot across the street on the adjacent corner and removed the house.
Hanson said the district will probably remove the house. The land will be considered as part of the puzzle in resolving the traffic flow and parking situation at the middle school.
A one-year review of the construction at Monett Elementary School was assessed. Hanson said a few issues were identified that still need repair or attention. Board members also looked at the lighting and ceiling tile upgrade at Central Park Elementary.
"We're pleased with how everything is holding up," Hanson said. "There's always something to address. For the most part, the board is very happy with the work."
Hanson expected to have a recommendation from the engineer assessing the ground source heating and cooling system at Monett High School to present at the Oct. 22 board meeting. He anticipated the report would provide a plan for what steps to take next.
During the board's annual retreat on Sept. 12, the district's comprehensive school improvement plan received a review. Hanson, outgoing superintendent Dr. John Jungmann and the board walked through all the campuses looking for improvements to make. The want list will be prioritized and brought to the October meeting, where plans for next summer and the coming year will be selected.
"This process helps us to keep all our ducks in a row," Hanson told The Times. "We looked at enrollment trends, capacity at each building and when an addition might be needed."
In looking at the education process in general, Hanson reported the Southwest Center for Educational Excellence, based in Webb City, is considering applying for a federal Race to the Top grant.
The Department of Education previously only offered such grants to states. Missouri's application was rejected. Now the process is being opened up to individual school districts.
The Southwest Center, Hanson said, asked for a memorandum of understanding and a letter of support from the R-1 District to go with its application. Board members agreed, since the district already partners with the center in professional development of faculty and administrators.
The purpose of the grant includes: outlining literacy improvement for all students by increasing educator effectiveness; using of data to guide instruction; decreasing achievement gaps across student groups; personalizing learning for each student; and technology implementation.
If the grant is approved, Hanson said the board would then decide how to proceed, depending on the requirements involved.
Board members voted to hire Cheryl Rone, of Marionville, as a special education teacher. In looking at the numbers of students since school started that need special education assistance, it was determined either another teacher or special education instructor was needed for kindergarten through second grade.
Rone previously worked for the Weaubleau School District and has recently worked for the Burl Behavioral Health Center in Springfield. She began her duties around Oct. 1.
Transportation routes for the year were approved. Bus routes remained at a total of 18 with some minor adjustments, Hanson said.
Russ Moreland, director of the Scott Regional Technical Center, reported enrollment grew to 547, up 15 from last year at this time. The biggest growth has been in the Junior ROTC program.
The marketing program, which was changed last year from business procedures, grew from 22 to 27 students. Computer aided machining also saw enrollment rise from 21 to 25.
The board opened bids for the cost of flu shots for students in the health occupations class, a requirement for students working in nursing facilities. Bruner Pharmacy in Monett submitted the only bid and received the contract.
Goals set annually by the administrative team were reviewed, targeting similar achievements to past years. Hanson said administrators are targeting providing quality feedback to faculty following their regular classroom walk-throughs.