Purdy School Board approves summer school

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Purdy R-2 Board of Education approved holding summer school for the coming year if funding is offered by the State of Missouri. Purdy's summer program is run by Edison Learning, a private company.

"Even if we break even, we're miles ahead," said Superintendent Jerry Lingo.

Through Edison, summer school has been a money-making proposition for the district. Lingo said the program helps prepare students for learning as well as providing additional work for cooks, aides and others who otherwise would not have work for the month.

The key to continuing the program will be the Missouri General Assembly's approval of summer school funding. Two years ago legislators proposed cutting off summer school, only to have many districts, including Purdy, press to keep the program.

Under the funding formula, Purdy must maintain average daily attendance by at least 38 students. On a 24-day schedule, it takes six students to make a full day's attendance. Purdy had 236 attend summer school last year, well over the required limit.

Lingo said Edison lowered the cost for the coming year and will pay for 100 percent of the bus cost, except for gasoline, saving the district almost $7,000. Edison only proposed a one-year contract, recognizing many districts face limited funds and would be reluctant to sign a longer contract.

Personnel action

Board members voted to accept Renee Venable as an addition to the substitute teacher list.

A separation notice was authorized for food service worker Tina Warren, who turned in her notice, effective immediately, on Nov. 23.

Filing dates for the April 3, 2012, election were approved. Candidates can sign up to run beginning at 8 a.m. on Dec. 13. The last day to file is 5 p.m. on Jan. 17, 2012. Seats held by one-term incumbent Ken Terry and three-term incumbent and current board president Randy Henderson are open.

Board members approved participating in the National Hazard Mitigation Plan for Barry County with reservations. Several board members found the language of the executive summary document vague and expressed concern that policies may be changed by a state oversight panel.

Henderson said participation would allow county responders to use school facilities in a disaster situation and would give school officials representation on implementation. Lingo said the county needed all its school districts participating to receive state aid, which convinced board members to approve participation without delay.

Administrative reports

The principals reported attendance ran around 96 percent in October. Attendance was also high for fall parent-teacher conferences.

Jeff Swadley, elementary principal, said efforts had begun for the annual Angel Tree program, which provides gifts to students from disadvantaged families. Last year, donations supported 30 children. Swadley said the number facing serious need has swelled to 65 children.

Janet Boys, middle school principal, reported an Internet Task Force met with middle school students about the dangers of posting information and photos on social networking sites.

Boys had 60 students from sixth through eighth grades who qualified in the first quarter for the 100 Percent Club. Students who qualified turned in 100 percent of their assignments and had no grades below a C minus and no discipline referrals.

Vice reported taking recipients of academic letters for the 2010-11 school year on a field trip to the Mediacom Skate Park in Springfield, followed by lunch at a Monett restaurant.

The high school musical "Crazy About You" was the most ambitious project Vice had seen in his 10 years at Purdy. The production had 80 participants and 16 set changes. Board members who saw the show shared their praise for the effort.

In upcoming events, the elementary Christmas program will be held at 7 p.m. on Dec. 1 in the elementary gym. The high school's holiday royalty, Mister and Miss Merry Christmas, will be crowned in an assembly at 2:45 p.m. on Dec. 9 in the high school gym.

The next board meeting will be on Dec. 19.

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