District 200 School Board members heard from Sedalia School District Foundation President Deidre Esquivel at Parkview Elementary School, 1901 S. New York, on Monday night.

Esquivel noted that a $3,420 grant for 15 dual-credit students was approved recently for low-income, homeless, at-risk, first-generation, college-bound students in the district. “We're really excited about having 15 more students who can take dual-credit classes who might not be able to (otherwise),” she told the board.

The SSDF scholarship application is now available online at sedalia200.org on the counselor's page in two different formats. Esquivel stressed that it is a “very blind application” this year. No names are needed on the application form, she said.

The Harlem Ambassadors fund-raiser is set for March 25. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for students and $15 for reserved seating. “We're currently contacting the PTAs and some other civic organizations for sponsorship of the event, as well as sponsorship of the school program if they would like a program at their school. “Their program consists of their athletes taking about the choices they made to pursue their education in a substance-free (environment),” Esquivel said. “We're excited if we get a couple of schools that are interested in that program.”

The SSDF is partnering with the Food Bank of Central Missouri to be part of the August 2017 Sedalia Water Department flyer. “That will go to every home in Sedalia and we're telling them about the tailgate party,” she said. We think it will be a good partnership.”

The seven-member board also heard from the Sedalia Community Educators Association (SCEA).

A total of four $250 scholarships will be handed out to employees at the December meeting for furthering education. This year, the nominating process for Educator of the Year will be opened up to community members as well as District 200 staff, according to Andrea Young, SCEA president.

“Anybody in the community can fill out a form and nominate a teacher (They have until Jan. 1). Then SCEA will look through all of those (nominations) and we will decide a building winner. They will then go on to be interviewed by outside people and they will pick the district winner, rather than the SCEA. Building winners will receive a $50 grant to use in their classroom, while the Educator of the Year will receive a $350 grant to use in their classroom,” she said.

The SCEA end-of-the-year banquet will not be held this year. However, a reception will be held to honor all retirees (educators and associates) in District 200, Young noted.

Parkview Third Grade Teacher Laura Peck and Second Grade Teacher Melissa Johnson gave a presentation POPW Launch program that began in September. They were accompanied by four Parkview students – Cole Johnson, Brooklyn Coonce, Jaelynn Parker and Josie Peck.

Kindergartners studied design (structure and function), 1st graders studied light and sound as it relates to communication, 2nd graders studied and tested different materials and their properties, 3rd graders studied the science of flight as it relates to stability and motion, while 4th graders studied kinetic energy and what happens when things collide.

Peck and Johnson attended a three-day training seminar at Tan-Tar-A this past summer, it was noted, in preparation for the Launch program. And all teachers attended eight hours of professional development after school, which included participating in a full module as a student, Johnson said.

According to Peck, she heard comments like “I want to be an engineer when I grow up.” And Peck noted that she was learning new things along with her students.

Johnson noted that the Launch program fosters teamwork and perseverance in solving problems, as well as increase students' vocabularies and integrates technology into the classroom. And above all, it makes learning fun.

She was impressed with the success of the program. “It's worth (the cost) 100 percent,” Johnson said.

Superintendent Brad Pollitt agreed with Johnson, saying the Launch program is worth the money.

The board also heard from Grace Kendrick about the Parents As Teachers assessment and evaluation. She said that all the requirements from DESE (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) have been fulfilled, and that two new parent-educators have been hired. There is a need for bus drivers and monitors, however, Kendrick told the board.

Smith-Cotton senior Alyson Shaw was named the recipient of the Belcher Scholarship at Monday night's meeting. Shaw also serves as the executive director of the Community Cafe, it was noted.

Carla Wheeler, director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for the district, talked about the annual performance report (APR), which District 200 scored a 91.1 % on recently, making if fully accredited.

Wheeler noted that of all the areas that the district is graded on, attendance is always the hardest to achieve. But District 200 scored a 9.5.

According to Superintendent Pollitt, having "90% of our students at school 90% of the time is big." He added that the APR is a very delicate system and raising the district's score by even one or two points may be difficult, but is very important to try.