The North County Board of Education met in regular session Thursday and Associate Superintendent Katie Bockman discussed the increase in attendance just this past week in the alternative school.
“Those numbers continue to rise, however those kids are staying in school and continue to be educated which is the most important thing,” said Bockman.
Superintendent Dr. Yancy Poorman said they are exceeding what they had planned on with alternative placements.
“So we are already beginning to look at strategies and ways to possibly have two alternative schools,” said Poorman. “The lower grade levels are starting to utilize the alternative school more, which we didn’t plan on, so we looking at (a location for) having grades five through eight and maintain the one we already have for ninth through twelfth.”
Poorman said the students in the alternative school are still counted as active students and provided a quality education, but if they have no place to put them they can’t service them and they will be suspended.
“We have utilized (the alternative classroom) more and more with the fifth and sixth grade level to keep kids in and get an alternative placement instruction,” said Poorman. “If we don’t create enough spots or places for those, they too will be exempted from that and be high school suspension students and that’s probably not the best benefit of the student.”
He went on to say that they are looking at it long term and their plan is to assess what their numbers would be and what the cost would be for the second alternative program.
“When new construction plans are done and I have some accessibility of some of our portable buildings before we return them, we turn one of them into a small elementary level alternative placement and see how that works,” said Poorman. “If that works through the end of the year, then we will look at a more permanent facility and separating the grade levels for the next school year.”
The board discussed and approved the mid-year stipend and the amount will be determined by what they finalize after the findings and plan to maximize it. They also discussed changing December’s board meeting date, which will now take place on Dec. 11 at 6 p.m.
The board approved a resolution to authorize the issuance and sale of the general obligation refunding bonds. L.J. Hart & Company President Larry J. Hart said it authorized the sale of $3,485,000 general refunding bonds at an average interest rate of about 1.93 percent, compared to the series 2010B bonds, which carry an average interest rate of 3.3 percent.
“Through this refinancing the district will reduce the future interest expense by $221,134,” said Hart. “That $221,134 plus the approximate savings of $7,106,941 from the 14 previous refunding’s means that the district has saved about $7,328,075 of interest expense since 1992.”
This program makes it possible for the district to receive an “AA+” rating from Standard & Poor’s Corporation.
The board had a request for an additional club, “Hope for Humanity”, at the high school and approved the club.
Associate Superintendent Chad Starkey mentioned that the Missouri National Education Association or M.N.E.A. raised more than $1,600 for the backpack program.
“In addition to that, over at the primary they had a P.L.C. visit from the Regional Professional Development Center,” said Starkey. “A lady came up and evaluated how they are doing their P.L.C. program and received really good remarks. The feedback mentioned students centered the meeting and a lot of professionalism was shown, so we really appreciate that. Also, I’d like to mention all the Veterans Day assemblies were very respectful to our veterans and we appreciate all the input and veterans that came out.”
Bockman mentioned that the P.L.C. representatives have visited the middle school and high school in addition to the primary.
“District wide we have been pretty impressive and we have gotten positive feedback in every building,” said Bockman. “It’s nice to know that even people outside of our district recognize the hard work our staff is doing because with all the changes this year it has certainly not been easy and they are accomplishing a lot.”
Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or firstname.lastname@example.org