The Central School District Board of Education devoted the first half of its meeting on Monday night to acknowledging the accomplishments of several students and teachers.
Central High School seniors Nina Russell and Kaitlyn Moore were recognized as September’s Students of the Month. According to Principal Brad Coleman, Russell and Moore are expected to finish the school year with an associate’s degree, as well as their high school diploma. He said they are both “outstanding citizens.”
September’s Teachers of the Month, Mrs. Petty and Mr. Noble, were, in turn, chosen by Moore and Russell.
The board then recognized six high school students for their participation in Missouri Boy’s and Girl’s State programs last summer. Seth Dooley, Jacob Metcalf, Travis Stam, Kristina Byers, Abigail Courtois and Nina Russell all attended the week-long event to learn about and then build their own city, county and state governments.
During the program, students can choose to run for elected office or participate in other government or civic-related organizations in order to develop leadership skills and learn about the workings of government. One of the students described his experience as “a week to change a lifetime.”
Highlights from each Central school principal’s reports included updates on construction projects and enrollment numbers. Middle school Principal Mike Harlow reported that enrollment is up by 54 students over last year and that construction on the new classroom addition continues. West Elementary School Principal Keith Groom also reported an increase in enrollments.
Central Elementary School Principal Tim McCoy reported that more than 1,400 meals were served during the school’s three-day Grandparents Breakfast event last week and that the new Chromebook lab is up and running smoothly.
Principal Coleman reported that the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program has been reintroduced at the high school. The program targets students who are at risk of not graduating or who may need assistance going from high school to the job market. He stated that he and his staff are very pleased to be able to offer the program once again.
The remainder of the meeting was largely focused on teacher and curriculum development.
Coleman reported that teachers are being offered a list of courses to improve or develop various skills, including classes on “Google Docs” and CPR, which are being taught by other Central teachers who are experts in each area. Along with local professional development opportunities, teachers can also opt to participate in seminars and classes offered outside of the school district.
A discussion of the district’s reading curriculum was a focal point for much of the meeting. Coleman reported that the high school and middle school staff have teamed up to improve students’ reading skills and test scores by targeting areas in which students need to improve.
Kids who are lagging behind at the end of middle school, who are not testing at “grade level,” will receive remedial assistance to help them catch up immediately after entering high school. The goal, according to Coleman is to “help them be successful in college and after high school.”
Offering a brief review of the 2015 summer school term, Assistant Superintendent Troy Bollinger described it as an excellent opportunity to help meet the academic needs of students. Classes such as physical education and personal finance were offered, in addition to a preparation course for the ACT exam. For elementary students, summer school provided an opportunity for more hands-on activities. In all, more than 1,000 kids attended summer school.
At the end of the meeting, the board approved the budget for fiscal year 2016 without need for debate or discussion.
According to Superintendent Dr. Desi Mayberry, “This year has gotten off to a wonderful start. … I feel really good about the start of this school year.”
Amy Patterson is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3616 or firstname.lastname@example.org.