The North County Board of Education met in regular session Tuesday night. The board discussed the progress of the primary and intermediate buildings projects.
North County Superintendent Dr. Yancy Poorman said they will be able to inhabit the new gym facility and the new classroom facilities on the west wing by semester break.
“At that point we will move from the multipurpose room to the gym for P.E. classes and the multipurpose room will then be converted and remodeled into the new full scale library,” said Poorman. “So we have to be out of that facility to keep the construction project on time. The other classrooms at the intermediate school will be finished shortly thereafter and the classes will move as they become available.”
People can see a lot of things going on at the primary building and the block walls are up, but inside there is very little finished yet. Poorman said it’s all still in the framing and concrete stages.
“March 20 is the target date for the primary here in Bonne Terre,” said Poorman. “There are two separate times on them, but people can go by and look to see that there is a tremendous difference in the amount of work. The intermediate is six classrooms, a couple new sets of bathrooms and the gym, but at the primary you are talking classrooms, three hallways, a multi-purpose room and offices. It’s a lot bigger project, so that is the difference in the timelines.”
Pam Kiser,representing the districts chapter of the National Education Association, requested to address the board concerning the school calendar.
“Recently our organization took a survey of our members and 85 percent of respondents felt that we needed to address our board about the most recent decision to turn sole creation of our school calendar (over) to Dr. Poorman,” said Kiser. “We have created a proposal that I would like to present to the board. The North County National Education Association proposes to the board of education that a school calendar committee be set into policy, so that a functioning committee is formed that includes teacher representation as well as participants in the annual creation of the school calendar.”
Kiser presented a three-part rationale to the board. She said the first one was that the teachers are the frontline voices of the students and when teachers are excluded, they have the intimate working knowledge of the process and some of the voices for the students may become lost.
“The school calendar affects elementary, middle and high school units in different manners at different times of the year,” said Kiser. “We feel like teachers need to be part of setting the school calendar in order for the district to best meet the needs of all their children at all the levels. Secondly, most districts utilize a calendar committee or policy of some sort. And lastly, the formation of the committee will allow teachers and administrators to work together. We feel that working together will strengthen our district and therefore strengthen what we are able to do for our children.”
The North County NEA requested that the board of education respond to the request by Nov. 20, which is the next regular meeting. The board took the request under advisement.
North County Financial Manager David Schoenbeck presented the audit for school year 2013-2014. He said the district received a clean audit. The board approved the audit report for the school year.
Associate Superintendent Chadd Starkey gave a transportation report indicating that they had 29 routes this month and the district has a total of 35 buses.
“Last year the transportation department passed with a 100 percent with the highway patrol and that is a big deal,” said Starkey. “They transported 2,314 students a day at least once a week and that is a lot of kids. They traveled an average of 2,179 miles a day and about 400,000 total miles for the past school year.”
The actual cost per mile last year was $3.70 and the total cost of the program was about one-and-a-half million dollars. The school was reimbursed $340,000, which is about 23 percent of the program cost.
Associate Superintendent Katie Bockman recognized Special Education MAP elementary teachers Earl Peterson, Susie Rokan, Joe Cox, Angie Zolman, Jessica Gremminger, Sarah Kaiser, Jenelle Kassabaum and Karen Shumate, for participating in all training and pilot testing last year. It was said that many districts did none of the training and pilot testing.
“The agenda for the workshop scheduled for last month was revised as a beginner’s workshop and because North County is ahead of the game compared to most districts we were advised to not attend the workshop and continue on our own with the newest training and testing,” said Bockman. “Our teachers are ready for Phase A of the Dynamic Learning Maps testing which began on Oct. 13. Their knowledge, focus and their work is just outstanding. We are really proud of them.”
She also went over a few announcements, including the student council at the middle school is having a food drive for the “Backpack Program.”
“The seventh and eighth graders are having a competition so when donating you have to choose who you are donating to,” said Bockman. “Donations are being accepted through Oct. 31 and items can be dropped off at the middle school. The middle school National Junior Honor Society is also hosting a coat drive. It’s becoming that time of year when our kids will need jackets or coats and (some) can’t get one. The coats donated need to be new or gently used.”
The UniTec Culinary Arts students are preparing to cook for the Desloge Chamber of Commerce. The group will be hosting, serving and cooking food for them on Nov. 4. Just recently the welding class built a handrail for handicap access at the VFW Post in Bonne Terre.
Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or email@example.com