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by Patty Cheffey
Palmyra R-I students will be getting new Apple devices, thanks to a newly awarded grant.
The Palmyra R-I Board of Education approved using Electronic Connectivity Fund (ECF) grant money to not only pay off the current Apple lease, but also to purchase new Apple devices as well.
Also during the meeting, the board heard a report on the recent board retreat/work session on Dec. 4, approved a student application for the Belcher Scholarship and hired several individuals.
Devises purchased by the recently awarded ECF grant include new iPads for students and staff.
“The grant will provide a new iPad for every student in the district so there will be around 1,180 student iPads purchased as well as a little over 100 for staff,” said Superintendent Kirt Malone. “The old iPads are scheduled to be purchased by a third party vendor (Second Life Mac) who refurbishes and resells them through other channels.”
In other business, the board reviewed the retreat/work session.
According to Malone, the session, which took place Dec. 4, was facilitated by Roger Kurtz, retired executive director of the Missouri Association of School Administrators and a former school board member for the Jefferson City School District and focused on the draft CSIP document and current goals.
“The latest iteration of the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP 6) is focused on continuous improvement for all schools, the preparation of each student for life beyond high school and promoting practices that lead to healthy school systems,” he said. “MSIP 6 will take a closer look at what districts are doing to implement effective practices and sustain improvements, while increasing the focus on individual student growth.
“Areas of focus in the CSIP include leadership, effective teaching and learning, collaborative climate and culture, data-based decision making, alignment of standards, curriculum and assessment, and equity and access,” Malone added. “CSIP plans run in a five year cycle with annual reviews each year.”
A few examples of strategies and activities include school board training, adopting and updating policies, promoting and maintaining a high-quality nutrition program, implement professional development, provide curriculum to meet the needs of the students and provide a post-graduation five year follow-up survey, Malone explained.
In new business, the board approved the application from Tim Wellman, senior, to submit as Palmyra’s representative for the Missouri School Board Association Belcher Scholarship.
The board also hired several individuals during the meeting, including Risa Porter, elementary school para-professional’ Sarah Bryant, elementary school para-professional; Tony Green, bus driver; Ashley Corbin, part-time custodian; Tim Barnes, high school custodian; and Marianne Walotka, high school assistant FCCLA sponsor
The Board also accepted the resignation of Stacy Conrad as high school Student Council sponsor effective the end of the 2021-2022 school year.
In addition during the meeting, the board reviewed the Back to School Plan concerning COVID strategies for the district, noting current strategies and practices will stay in place.
The board has posted those updates and changes to the school’s website, and most changes refer to the removal of references to the Marion County Health Department’s actions.
The board also heard a second reading and approved MSBA policy update 2021C and approved the updated substitute list.