The Sedalia School District 200 Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution opposing Amendment 3, a measure on the November ballot that targets teacher tenure and mandates additional standardized testing statewide.
The resolution points out what many educators and school boards have openly criticized about the measure, including loss of local control over educational decisions and tying teacher evaluations, promotions, compensation and dismissals to student test scores. After the vote, board member Scott Gardner made it clear for the audience: The resolution encourages residents to vote “no” on the amendment.
Smith-Cotton High School Principal Wade Norton discussed the intention to hold Commencement for the Class of 2015 outdoors in the new Smith-Cotton Stadium at Jennie Jaynes Complex. The board approved securing the Mathewson Exhibition Center as a backup location in case of inclement weather, and Norton said seniors would practice Commencement at both locations. Board member Michael Stees noted that rain is not the only weather factor, as May can bring extreme heat, as well.
The board also approved two additional positions at the Pettis County Early Childhood Cooperative, a teaching position and a paraprofessional. Both positions are fully funded by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. PCECC Principal Grace Kendrick said the positions are needed because the co-op’s enrollment is growing and “we are seeing students with more significant needs each year.”
The board also:
-- Approved the annual food service report. It was noted that centralization of free/reduced meal applications has captured more eligible students.
-- Considered for discussion the middle school ELA and math objectives, presented by Carla Wheeler, director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment. Wheeler also presented the Professional Development Program evaluation.
-- Was presented information about a collection of grants and donations, many at Sedalia Middle School. Principal Sara Pannier reported that science teacher Michelle Steger secured recycling containers for magazines and office paper through the Center for Human Services for a project led by her Academic Focus class. Steger also won a $500 grant from Walmart to enhance the recycling program and a grant from PetSmart for purchase of a Chinese Dwarf hamster for her science classes. In addition, social studies teacher Kim Caruthers received a grant from the Missouri Retired Teachers Association for curriculum supplies.
-- Kendrick offered public thanks to the Sedalia Lions Club for its donation to the co-op, which provided new motor and sensory equipment.