Purdy school board reviews health programs

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Democrat Photo/Murray Bishoff Purdy Board honored For School Board Awareness Week at the Purdy R-2 School District, each board member received a certificate of appreciation, presented by Superintendent Dr. Steven Chancellor. Elementary school students prepared personalized jars filled with goodies for each board member. High school principal Bob Vice provided a voucher with his board report that entitles the holder to one free item from the Eagle Backer Store. Middle school principal Janet Boys showed board members one of the books donated in their names to the school library. Pictured, from left, are: board members Ronnie Veith and Ken Terry, Boys and Vice.

Purdy school board members discussed programs to enhance health for faculty and students during the board's January meeting.

Superintendent Steven Chancellor said the health risk assessment offered for faculty and staff at the beginning of the school year showed employees were most at risk for being overweight, having a lack of physical activity and poor nutrition.

Chancellor hoped that action by the wellness committee would help address the issue. Increased participation next year will help improve overall health, he added.

Democrat Photo/by Murray Bishoff Renewing the community Collaborative projects between the Purdy High School Spanish Club and the Purdy Renewal Project were discussed at the January meeting of the Purdy R-2 Board of Education. Gerry Wass, faculty sponsor for the Spanish Club, pictured above, showed the playground equipment the groups would like to purchase from Miracle Recreation Equipment for $5,000. Fundraising for the project was launched at a recent basketball game. The Purdy Renewal Project's motto is "Renewing community by uncovering hidden resources." Officers of the Spanish Club, Cynthia Salas, Leo Garcia, Jesus Pérez and Lino Pérez, discussed how the club hopes to collect 140,000 pounds in recyclables this year. One grant has been approved. Wass asked the board for feedback on whether the club is trying to do too much.

A vibrating plate exercising machine to provide activity for employees has been proposed, to go in the first trailer. Gerry Wass, the new wellness coordinator, said the apparatus has an oscillating plate with variable speeds that works the entire body. It would provide a complete workout in 10 minutes.

Wass said the machine would be ideal for teachers too busy or tired for conventional exercise. He hoped staff would come to use one piece of equipment and stay to use others. The Community Teachers Association offered to match up to $750 on its purchase if the rest of the money can be raised.

Wass led a discussion with the officers of the Spanish Club about its efforts on behalf of the school. As a new project last spring, club members grew radishes served in the cafeteria salad bar. Students liked the idea of growing their own food and supporting gardening by their peers.

Building on that effort, Wass said the club has developed five raised beds and another plot for a traditional garden. The students will have plants growing by the end of February. They want to concentrate on spring crops, rather than trying to keep plants alive during a hot summer. They hope to grow spinach, radishes, sugar snap peas, broccoli, kohlrabi and carrots. The middle school community class agreed to help.

"We want to have stuff that tastes really good," Wass said. "It will take a couple of years to get good at it."

"I think it's a great idea," said board president Randy Henderson. "There may be a time when we need to grow our own food. It will be a great incentive."

Despite the availability of organic fertilizers, Wass said too many organic operations have faced difficulties over contamination. He indicated the Purdy gardening would take no chances.

Board action

Board members agreed to move the next meeting to Tuesday, Feb. 12 to avoid a conflict with basketball district competition.

Chelsea Lanore and Zachariah Hughes were added to the substitute teachers' list.

Approval was given for the district to offer membership at a corporate rate to the Monett Area YMCA. Board secretary Anna Marie Erwin said teachers have talked about forming walking teams.

Chancellor reported the cost of boosting the district's property and liability insurance through the Missouri United School Insurance council (MUSIC) would cost $5,290 for a maximum of $15 million coverage, whereas the district presently has $2.5 million of general liability per incident for the calendar year.

Board members asked Chancellor to look at the statistical chances for needing more insurance. The district has until mid-March to decide on increasing coverage.

The board agreed to seek bids for its annual audit. Terms for three years of service, which the district had with Davis, Lynn and Moots, of Springfield, will be requested.

Administrative reports

Chancellor updated the board on the latest information from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) about the Missouri School Improvement Program stage 5. Under the new standard, if the R-2 District produced the same student scores as last year, the district would have a 90.7 composite score, enough to earn accreditation with distinction.

"That's something to celebrate," Chancellor said. "There are a lot of unknowns."

A total of 56 faculty members participated in action teams for the strategic plans. The facility and safety committees were meeting in January and another gathering of the community and communications committees was planned.

Customized charge cards managed through the superintendent's office had gone into use. Erwin reported the controls on the cards worked well and would help manage spending on credit very well.

Middle school principal Janet Boys reported how pleased she has been with the student advisory group formed with a boy and girl representing each grade level. Students discuss safety situations and proposed a "hat day" fundraiser.

Chancellor said he met with the students every other month. Their suggestion of adding a changing table for babies in the restrooms was an unexpected surprise and an inexpensive way to help the public.

High school principal Bob Vice reported three drop-outs have occurred this year, up from one last year, an unusually light year.

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