SIKESTON -- With 2003 just around the corner, Sikeston R-6 District representatives took some time to discuss the progress of particular programs as well as update school officials at the Board of Education meeting Tuesday.
One of the biggest updates throughout the year for Sikeston schools has been technology.
"What we've been trying to do over the last year is to address some efficiencies. We're also trying to make things a little bit easier for the teachers, make things more available to them to try and solve some of their problems," said Terry Schaefer of the District Technology Services.
Schaefer said the Technology Services have tried to consolidate things over the last couple years. Since last year seven Netware servers were consolidated into three servers which enables the district to be more standardized, he said.
Technology Services have upgraded all 1,500 networked personal computers to Microsoft Office, either Office XP or Office 2000, he said. Backup software for student records and shared drives were installed.
"We've also completed the installation of the Elementary Library automation of card catalogs. I think it's been an MSIP (Missouri School Improvement Plan) goal for quite some time now, and it became a realization this year," Schaefer said.
Other updates include computer task requests now submitted via e-mail and stored on Exchange Server, making it easier for technicians, and Network access was developed. By loading programs on the district's server, it enables school members to log in through the system at home.
Chairperson of the District Technology Committee Marsha Norton said the committee is compiling a district technology plan. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is requiring them to submit a plan at the end of March, she said.
The last technology plan submitted to DESE by Sikeston Public Schools was three years ago, and since then, the criteria has changed.
"This process is long and involved and will be reviewed by DESE," Norton said. "District Technology also formed a new community that is currently looking at goals," she added.
Other noted issues Tuesday:
* The school board accepted the resignation/retirement of the following employees: Vera Glueck whose retirement will go into effect Oct. 1, 2003; and the retirements of Susan Comer, Susan Nothdurft, Jennifer Randall and Claudia Richards, all effective at the end of the 2002-2003 contract year.
* Sikeston High School cheerleaders were recognized for receiving third place in the MCCA Championship held Nov. 16 in Columbia.
* Assistant Superintendent of Middle School Curriculum Kathy Boldrey discussed the new guidelines to the 2001-2002 annual school report.
* Superintendent Steve Borgsmiller noted that since two snow days were taken last Wednesday and Thursday, the first snow make-up day will be the Monday following Easter vacation. He also said Sikeston Public Schools will dismiss at noon Dec. 20 to begin their Christmas vacation and resume Jan. 2.
Assistant Elementary Superintendent Sharon Gunn discussed the status of several programs:
* Goals have not changed over the past year for Title I, a federal program for 3 and 4-year-olds up to fourth grade. Funding has increased, Gunn said.
* The Gifted Student program has expanded by adding high school students this year.
* The Young Children with Development Delay program is "growing by leaps and bounds," Gunn said.
* Parents as Teachers program currently serves 391 children ages 3 to 5. Gunn said goals have changed and challenges do exist with getting families who absolutely need the education and assistance involved.
* Enrollment for the Early Special Education Placement Rates is decreasing due to slight school enrollment drop and changes in criteria for identifying a learning disabled child.
* Bulldog Academic Resource Center will change from fourth and fifth grades to fifth and sixth grades when the second semester begins.
Laura Hendley discussed academic indicators of the Perkins III. She talked about the importance of preparing vocational students academically and the Missouri Assessment Program.
Ron James discussed alternative schools and said a goal is to improve and/or eliminate the potential for disruption in schools and to raise reading and math scores. He also said he tries to promote parental involvement.