The Madison County Chamber of Commerce was visited by representatives of Marquand-Zion R-VI and Fredericktown R-I school districts at its monthly luncheon Aug. 2, at the Fredericktown United Methodist Church.
Fredericktown R-I Superintendent Brett Reutzel reported staff has been busy preparing for the start of classes and have a lot of required training to do.
"There's a lot of different things that are required of us by federal guidelines," Reutzel said. "It's really a busy time for us."
According to documents distributed by Reutzel, R-I staff will have a development day Aug. 13 to cover some of these requirements such as signs of suicide training, dyslexia training, intruder training and more.
Reutzel showed the group copies of the 2018 Legislative Summary, a nine page document outlining the changes made for the upcoming year.
Reutzel explained that while the changes are needed, they do take away from other preparations and create unique challenges at the beginning of the school year.
"We've had a great summer," Reutzel said. " Improvements have been made to the intermediate school and drop-off and pick-up will be a little different."
Reutzel said the HVAC systems and lighting in the intermeidate school were also upgraded.
"We are excited to get the school year started," Reutzel said. "You're always glad to get out, but in a sense you're always glad to be back. I always tell students you are 0-0 on the first day."
Marquand-Zion High School Principal Sabrina Doublin said the R-VI staff is also going through a busy time completing the same training as the Fredericktown School District and finishing up improvements to the school.
Doublin said the school parking lot is new this year. The school also added a new roof and is seeing enrollment increase.
"We've had a lot of exciting things going on," Doublin said.
Doublin said she was looking forward to the (Aug. 4) Stuff the Bus event and seeing the two schools work together for one purpose.
"I think it is great that we can work together as two schools who want to do the best for our kids," Doublin said. "It is a fantastic opportunity to help out your county schools. Together is how we will make a difference."
Doublin thanked the chamber for inviting the schools to talk and expressed how much all of the staff enjoy doing what they do.
Madison County Chamber Vice President Allison Boyer then announced the addition of two new members: Workforce Development Board of Southeast Missouri and Gateway Motors.
Boyer also discussed the upcoming Freakytown event Oct. 27. She said she spoke with the Fredericktown City Council July 30 and received approval to close the streets around the courthouse for the event. She also said the Madison County Commissioners gave permission to have signs placed around the courthouse promoting Freakytown.
"Freakytown gives county-wide kids a safe place to come trick or treat," Boyer said. "It also gives local businesses a chance to promote their business and get involved."
In other chamber business, Boyer said the board has discussed becoming more involved in community development projects in the future.
Boyer ended the meeting by thanking Lalo's Mexican Grill and Fredericktown United Methodist Church for being the lunch and venue sponsors for the month.
If you would like to host a chamber luncheon or "perk before work" event, contact the chamber at 573-783-2604 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations of Kleenex and Clorox wipes were collected from those attending the event and split between the two school districts.
The next meeting of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce will be at 11:30 a.m., Sept. 6, at Beaver Valley Golf Club.