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Goals, objectives discussed at school board

The Fredericktown R-I School Board met for its monthly meeting Sept. 18 to discuss bus routes and the goals of Kelly A. Burlison Middle School.

Superintendent Brett Reutzel said he wanted to try something new by having one of the building principals give an update on their goals for the school year at each meeting. 

Kelly A. Burlison Middle School Principal Ken Lunsford stepped up to be the first to try Reutzel’s new idea. His report began with listing the three goals of the school and then explained how they planned to work on them.

“Goal number one is to continue to increase our levels of support in academics and behavior,” Lunsford said. “This will be done by continuing to train staff on classroom management strategies and expectations, assess and evaluate classroom management, implement on enrichment class per grade level, implement a reading program that coincides with ELA grades six to eight and implement an IXL program in math.”

Lunsford said the other two goals of the school are to continue to promote a positive school culture or climate and to increase technology utilization and access for student success.

Lunsford also discussed the building improvement plan for KABMS and what objectives and strategies they currently have in place.

Objective one is for attendance to maintain or exceed ninety percent of the student body.

Lunsford said this objective has been met for the past five years with attendance reaching 95.48 percent according to 2017 data. 

“Attendance is monitored on a daily basis by a school based social worker and attempts to contact parents of absent students are made,” Lunsford said. “We continue to enforce and review the attendance policy, students in violation will join the Attendance Court Experiencing Success Program and monthly rewards will be established for the highest attending grade level for each month.”

Objective number two is for building administration to identify the leading student monthly behavioral target using office discipline referrals and to decrease that number by 40 percent the following month.

Lunsford said the number of office referrals jumped from 571 in 2016-17 to 848 in 2017-18. Leading behaviors included attendance, cell phones and disrespectful and disruptive conduct.  

The final objective is to meet or exceed state academic performance standards in communication arts and math in grades six to eight.

In other business, R-I Director of Transportation Scott Sikes informed the board bus routes have been going smoothly.

“We have 18 routes plus two Unitech routes, so 20,” Sikes said. “We have done away with a couple of routes and put a couple together over the years.”

Sikes said the closure of Z Hwy has worked out fine and they are currently preparing for a closure at the bottom of CC and will be ready once a definite closure date is set.

“It seems to be going pretty well,” Sikes said. “Sometimes we get complaints because we don’t stop places, but the state manual that DESI puts out recommends that your bus stops be every six to eight blocks and we stop every block and some drivers like to stop more than that.” 

“We do the best we can to accommodate,” Reutzel said. 

In other business the board approved the final pay applications for the intermediate school addition and new lighting and HVAC upgrades.

Reutzel then made numerous updates to the MSBA Policy including GBCBB-AF1. After these changes were approved by the board Ruetzel said the school’s MSBA policy is now up to date.

Graduation was set for 4 p.m., May 19 in the High School Gym and Prom will be on April 27.

The board then discussed the future of Career Ladder, an incentive program for teachers who have been in the district for five years or longer.

Reutzel suggested looking at phasing out the program and using the funding for other purposes.

“In my four years as superintendent, we have spent one million dollars on career ladder, give or take,” Reutzel said. “Now I am not saying they didn’t earn it or that students didn’t benefit, but that’s a lot of money.”

Reutzel said it would not be a short-term fix but could “grandfather” in the current members and no longer offer it to any going further.

“A million dollars could do a lot,” Reutzel said. “Whether you want to talk about facilities, technology, continuing to offer stipends, money on the salary schedule or continuing to pay for full insurance.”

Reutzel offered all the information to the board and then asked the members to take some time to think about it and ask questions before making any final decisions.

Teachers in Career Ladder are required to fulfill so many hours of extra teaching time. Reutzel said some fulfill their time with extra curricular events and making sure those events are covered is something to think about.

In his superintendent’s report, Reutzel gave an update on the budget saying he is confident right now.

Reutzel went on to update the council about the soccer field renovations being completed by the Fredericktown Foundation.

“Dirt has been sort of spread now and they will continue to lay good dirt,” Reutzel said. “The original bid was modified to allow for better dirt.”

Reutzel said the foundation has asked the board to go ahead and gather information regarding plans and costs of a concession stand.

“Rain delayed the project awhile, but now the project is moving on fairly well,” Reutzel said.

In other news, Reutzel said he had been in discussion with LJ Hart regarding adding the ballot measure to remove the sunset to the April election.

“LJ Hart showed what other ballot measures we had in the past,” Reutzel said. “Three past issues in 97 and twice in 98 were shown that asked for a bond to build a new elementary school.”

Reutzel said this shows that this is not a new issue, but that it has been looked at for the past 20 years.

“This is still very early but we want to ensure the community understands what we are asking for,” Reutzel said. ” I want it to be a good general election with a good turnout. I don’t want it to just fly under the radar.”

Reutzel said he would like it to be on the April ballot and is working toward planning a town hall meeting to answer questions the community may have. 

The next meeting of the Fredericktown R-I School Board will be at 5 p.m., Oct. 16 at the district offices.

Director of Transportation Scott Sikes gives an update to the Fredericktown R-I School Board. 

Director of Transportation Scott Sikes gives an update to the Fredericktown R-I School Board. 

Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at vkemper@democratnewsonline.com

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