Advance school board holds March meeting

Thursday, March 13, 2014 This Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 view of County Road 309 southeast of Advance reveals the reason Advance was out of school 17 days this school year. Though major highways and city streets were clear, country roads had not begun to thaw enough to accommodate school buses.

A report by two members of a teacher-led improvement committee met with the approval of the Advance RIV Board of Education at their March 10, 2014 meeting Monday night.

All members of the board were present as resource teacher Diane Lawson and social studies teacher Terry Bryeans explained the work that the faculty has been doing since September, 2013 to prepare students for their future after graduation. The team is focusing on a number of academic, career, and personal goals, which will then be translated into measurable objectives.

Lawson explained that the project is designed to promote "positive communication between students, faculty, and the community." The Advance Board of Education listens to a committee report given by teachers Terry Bryeans and Diane Lawson.

Superintendent Seiler acknowledged that the Advance School System had missed 17 days, due to ice and snow and would have to make up ten of these days.

"We'll be going to school every day, except Good Friday and March 21, when we have a speaker coming in," explained Seiler. "I thought sure we could have school last Friday, but I drove the roads and saw that some of them were still ice-covered."

Area schools have expressed concern to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) that they need more time to prepare for the M.A.P. test, because of the time missed for the weather.

"They said that we can give the test on the last day of school, if we want to," advised Seiler. "We're working now to fit everything into the remaining schedule for the year, but the final date for the end of school is still May 23."

In his superintendent's report, Seiler reported an enrollment of 412, down from 449 last year.

Retiring board member Harold Miles asked if Advance would change sports classifications from 2A to 1A.

Principal Shannon Garner explained that the classifications were based on more than a school's enrollment.

"They divide the schools in an area into groups--5A to 1A," said Garner. "It is likely that Advance will be 1A next year."

Seiler reported that the annual recognition banquet for area schools will be April 15 at the Semo University Center, and he would like for all board members to be there, if they could.

"There will be no recognition of schools earning a 'Distinction in Performance' this year," reminded Seiler. "The State wants to do away with that distinction and make it much harder to achieve. They haven't decided yet what they want to do--possibility they'll require the teaching of a language in elementary school."

Seiler reported that revenue is up about $100,000, but one-time purchases are also up, and the school district has made raises on the salary schedule.

"A few years ago, Advance was fourth from the bottom of the 55 school districts for this area. Now, we're about halfway in the middle," Seiler explained. "This makes us a little more competitive."

In other information: Two bids for a new school bus have been received and a third is expected; school officials have met with architects on the proposed expansion of the Vo Ag building; bids are being sought for work on the gym floor; and board members were given a stack of policy changes to read through. One policy of note is that MSIP-5 will require 95 percent of students to be in attendance 90 percent of the time. The gym P.A. system replacement is awaiting bids.

Board member Hiram Jones asked for a list of buses and their condition.

In Shannon Garner's elementary report, he included the following: Enrollment, 244 (last year 248); Elementary music Program is April 3; Grandparents Day is 2 p.m., Friday, March 14; End of Quarter is March 18; spring pictures are March 19; awards assembly is March 28; Pre-K and K screening is March 25-27.

In Mrs. Shana Kight's high school report, she included the following: Enrollment is 171; Advance will continue to offer dual credit through SEMO and Three Rivers next year; sixth and eighth grade orientation will be rescheduled; Baseball Jamboree at Kelly this weekend; first games at home March 24; Jr. High VB started Mar. 10; cheer tryouts April 17; ABC Banquet May 13.

FCCLA State Convention March 29-April 1 in Columbia; Taylor Olin is Regional Officer; FFA State Convention April 17-19 in Columbia; HS Choir to compete in District Music Festival March 20-22 at River Campus; STUCO Easter baskets to Senior Center April 11.

Report cards to be mailed home March 20.

Students who excelled at Sto. Co. Scholastic Meet: Kaylee Wisdom (grade 7) third in Social Studies; Alanis Below (grade 8) first in Declamation; Holly James (grade 7) first in Declamation; Natalee Lorch (grade 8) second in Language Arts.

Five students from the local science fair were chosen to represent Advance in the Regional Science Fair on March 11 at the Show Me Center: Alanis Below, Morgan Roper, Clay Sauceda, Sara Burton, Leah Balin, and Megan Simms.

Both band and choir will be competing in the District Music Festival, March 19-21 at River Campus.

FCCLA is selling pizza kits for funds to send Taylor Olin to Nashville this summer.

Sophomore Class is selling rolls from Logan's Roadhouse.

BETA winners: Cade Long, second in Jr. Math; Crey Miles, second in HS Math; Presley Delay, second in Art competition.

Board members praised the JV and Varsity basketball teams, as well as the Varsity Cheerleaders on a successful season.

"We especially want to thank the Advance Booster Club for their financial assistance that allowed all of our Pep Club to attend the ballgames," said Mrs. Kight. "We appreciate it greatly!"

This meeting marked the last for 12-year board member Harold Miles, who is retiring. At the next meeting, Nanie Hawkins will take over his seat. There will be no election, since Hawkins was the only candidate for the open seat.

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