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Board will interview architects for building project

BONNE TERRE — The North County school board will meet later this month to interview architects for the new elementary project.

During the regular monthly school board meeting Thursday night, the board officially approved CCS Group Inc. as the construction management group for the new elementary school project in Desloge. A formal letter of agreement for selection of architect, selection of contractor and completion of project was signed.

Alan Blair of CCS told board members that a request for qualifications and proposals had been given to about 10 architects. He expects to hear back from five to seven of them.

Blair said their responses are due back by the close of business next Wednesday. He expects to have the information available to the board the following day.

He said the board will need to narrow it down to two or three architects, whom they will then interview during a special meeting at 6 p.m. Jan. 27.

Also during the meeting, the board approved a policy pertaining to public comments from residents of the district and from staff.

In the policy, the board set aside 15 minutes for public comments at each regular school board meeting. Anyone who wants to address the board must sign the Public Comment Sign-Up sheet prior to the meeting. 

Groups of three or more should select a representative to address their issues with the board. The presentation is limited to no more than five minutes.

The policy states while the board is very interested in citizen viewpoints, the board encourages citizens to work through concerns/issues at the building or administrative levels before coming to the board.

Unless the item discussed is on the posted agenda, the board may not be able to legally discuss the issue and also may not have the complete information to make a decision.

The policy asks that comments remain courteous, respectful, and appropriate so the board may use the information provided to make quality, informed decisions that are in the best interests of the district.

It also states comments concerning individual staff members or students should be submitted in written form. Due to state and federal laws, the board will only respond to issues involving individual students or staff in closed session. To be placed on the closed session agenda, a person needs to make a written request five days prior to the next meeting. Unless an extension of time is granted, the person is limited to 15 minutes.

Board President Keith Bannister said this policy was approved to keep the public comments focused and on target, and not to discourage public input.

During the public comment part of this meeting, Paul Williams again raised his concerns about the faith-based tutoring/mentoring program that will be starting. Board President Keith Bannister explained that individual volunteers have to be approved and they can not talk about their church. Also, parents will authorize participation of their student.

Associate Superintendent Mike Henderson said they will soon reconvene the CSIP (Comprehensive School Improvement Plan) Committee, which will need community involvement. He said CSIP will play an even bigger role in the future of the district.

Superintendent Dr. Yancy Poorman asked the board to consider a policy for spectator conduct at school activities as a future agenda item. He said he has already addressed things that have gotten out of hand, but he’d like to have an official policy.

Currently, the last day of school is set for May 22 and it will remain that way unless there are more than four more snow days. The district has four dates built into the calendar that it could use before adding onto the school calendar beyond May 22. The board will set the graduation date next month.

In other matters, the board approved curricular changes for the next school year and changed the date of the February board meeting to Feb. 17.

Teresa Ressel is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 179 or at

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