Superintendent Richard Asbill began the meeting by talking about how the district is being impacted by the heat and drought conditions in southwest Missouri.
"The weather has had a huge impact on our ground source heating and cooling system," said Asbill.
Asbill asked staff members to follow several procedures in order to help keep classrooms and buildings as cool as possible after students return to the school next week.
"Keep your blinds closed," said Asbill. "Also, please leave your thermostats alone. Changing your thermostats could cause the system to not only stop working in your room, but could shut a whole wing down."
Asbill said the district is planning to begin a process called "pump and dump" where fresh water is released onto lawns around the school buildings in order to help cool the district's ground source unit.
Cassville staff members participated in professional development training last Thursday and Friday. They were also treated to a lunch provided by the Cassville First Baptist Church.
"We appreciate that opportunity that they started for us several years ago," said Asbill.
Staff members planning to oversee extracurricular activities during the 2012-13 school year were also required to attend a meeting on Friday afternoon.
Asbill took a moment to recognize the district's maintenance and custodial staff members for work completed during the summer months.
John Sullivan, Cassville School Board president, handed out his traditional lollipop awards. Staff members recognized include: Sandy Fitzpatrick; Mary Richmiller; Shari Rhea; Connie Christen; Lance Parnell; David Large; and Steven Henbest. Several maintenance and custodial staff members also received lollipop awards.
Sullivan recognized Samantha Cosper, high school FACS teacher, for receiving the Missouri Young Educator of the Year Award in the ACT division.
"The board is going to be in closer contact with the staff this year," said Sullivan. "We will also be conducting anonymous surveys throughout the year to see what we need to do differently and what we can do better."
Sullivan said board members would attend at least building level meetings several times throughout the year.
"We appreciate all that everyone does everyday of the year," said Sullivan. "I don't know where you would go to find a better staff than this."
Asbill took a few moments to announce several position changes that will be made at the district this year. Steve Mann will begin serving as high school speech and debate teacher, and Kevin Miller, Janet McNeill and Donna Youngblood will move from the high school to the middle school.
Netta Ellis will move from the elementary office to the middle school office this year. Jonell Corn will move from the high school office and begin assisting in the middle school library and cafeteria. Lacey Johnson will serve as a primary school secretary instead of an aid.
Karen Periman will begin serving as a Title I teacher this year. Stacy Williams has joined the R-4 District as a central office secretary and bookkeeper, and Miranda Fredrickson will begin working as a secretary in the high school office.
Mindi Artherton, Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce executive director, attended the meeting to present the district's four new teachers with gift bags of items donated by local businesses.
"As chamber director, one thing I get to do is brag on you guys," said Artherton. "I speak from experience and from knowing many of you personally, you will not find a better school district."
Artherton said that 29 local businesses donated to the new teacher gift bags this year. New teachers who received gift bags were: Catina Johnson, seventh grade social studies teacher; Geri Wilson, first grade teacher; Savannah Essary, second grade teacher; and Jimmy Hinson, high school agriculture teacher.