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by Patty Cheffey
A meeting on Sept. 6 will give the public an opportunity to be involved in the new Comprehensive School Improvement Plan.
The R-I Board of Education approved that date for the meeting to review key parts of the plan and encourage participation from the community during their meeting last week, at which they also set the date for the tax rate, heard an update on the OPAA Food Service Program and took care of back to school issues.
The meeting on Sept. 6 will begin at 6 p.m. and will be held in the high school cafeteria.
“We will break the CSIP plan up into categories on Sept. 6,” said Superintendent Jason Harper. “Those will include leadership, effective teaching and learning, collaborative climate and culture, data-based decision making and alignment of standards, curriculum and assessment”.
The district needs to include various stakeholders when making long-term decisions, Harper noted, and those include parents and community members.
“Every cycle of the Missouri School Improvement Plan program adds various requirements to the local comprehensive school improvement plans” Harper added. “We have added literacy goals, social-emotional goals and equity and access goals as required by DESE (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.”
DESE requires schools to have their plan submitted by Oct. 1
In other business, the board set the date of Monday, Aug. 22, for the tax rate hearing, at 6:30 p.m.
The public is welcome to attend the hearing, which will be held in the R-I board room.
Lee Gosney spoke to the board about the OPAA Food Service Program.
OPAA has all staff returning for the 2023-2024 school year, and the kitchens are ready for the upcoming semester.
It was noted, student participation in the lunch program was down last year, but that was primarily due to the end of the federal free breakfast and lunch program for all students. The 2022-2023 school year saw the return of the pre-pandemic free and reduced meal requirements.
Although numbers were down, Gosney said she was comfortable with them, but OPAA will continue to do a variety of promotions to encourage more participation. Her staff also builds quality relationships with the students.
With just a few finishing touches, all three buildings will be ready for staff and students to return to school in the next two weeks.
“We are really in good shape right now,” said Harper, noting the district is still looking to hire two parent educators for Parents as Teachers, as well as a new district social worker. “All certified staff and coaching positions are filled.”
The board approved Kinsey Cissna as the non-discrimination/harassment, ELL, and 504 coordinator for the district.
They also approved Matt Thomas as the homeless, foster parent and migrant coordinator for Palmyra R-I.
Also taking care of some back to school issues, the board approved the local IDEA Compliance Plan. This plan gives the school district a guide to remain in compliance with state and federal special education laws.
David Barbee was hired as high school custodian.
The board accepted the resignation of Amanda Comer for her social worker position.
Mr. Harper gave a quick report on the DESE Cooperative Conference that he attended recently. He attended sessions involving legal issues, school finance, tax rate calculation and various school grants. The keynote speaker was Michelle Gielan who presented on building a positive culture.
The substitute teacher list was approved as presented for the 2023-2024 school year.