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Summer school popular with Sikeston students

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sikeston School Board

SIKESTON -- A high summer school attendance rate contributed to student growth in math and reading and continued state funding for the Sikeston R-6 School District.

Dr. Marisa Bowen, assistant superintendent of curriculum and middle grades, provided a summer school report to the board of education during Tuesday's regular meeting.

The 20-day summer school was offered June 4-29 and was held in six buildings -- all of the elementary schools, and grades 5-12 were housed in the high school building.

Bowen said 822 of the 1,002 enrolled students were present on the last day of summer school. Average daily attendance was 87 percent.

To continue to receive some state funding based on summer school attendance, the district had to have 70 percent or greater average daily attendance. Beginning next year and through 2012 the average daily attendance must 65 percent or greater to receive funding, Bowen said. The required averages were determined by the district's 2005 summer school average daily attendance of 89 percent.

Sixty-five teachers were employed for summer school -- 48 were utilized for basic education or credit recovery and 17 were for enrichment. This summer the district saw 8.9 percent growth in reading and 9.35 percent growth in math. Growth is based on initial evaluation of test results, and these figures exclude high school and pre-kindergarten students.

In other business Tuesday, bids were awarded for building security and landscaping at the Math and Science Center.

Before approving the bid recommendations Superintendent Steve Borgsmiller asked the board to be contingent upon fund balances on the district's bond money.

"As you know, we're still working through some outstanding issues and the closeout on some of the contracts, and I would like to ask you for authorization at such time," Borgsmiller said.

"As soon as you can get those numbers -- and I anticipate those numbers will be very soon -- but until such time I don't want to wait. I'd like to have the approval that if we have the fund balances and things work out, then we can go ahead and proceed and get this worked up."

Borgsmiller added he knows the district will have the funds but he's just not sure of the extent at this time.

The approved bids were to Hi-Tech Communications to provide closed-circuit TV for $18,217 and alarms for $1,050. Evergreen Lawn Irrigation Co. received the bid to install the irrigation system for $7,196.

Board members also approved the bid to purchase a truck with a utility bed for building and grounds. It was awarded to Sikeston Motor Co. for $21,521. Previously the bid was awarded in May to another business and rescinded in June after the company was unable to supply the vehicle.

The board approved the sales of a 1994 78-passenger school bus to Farmers Transport for $2,288.88 and a 1996 78-passenger school bus to Satterfield Wrecker Service LLC for $3,100.

Brent Keefer, athletic director, recapped the district's sports for 2006-2007. There were 209 boys who lettered in a varsity or junior varsity sport -- up from last year's 184. The average is around 200 over last eight years. One hundred thirty-four girls letter in a varsity or junior varsity sport, which is up only one from last year. Fifteen local scholarships were awarded.

"We had our first Semo Conference Basketball Tournament. It was a big success. We had a huge crowd on championship night," said Keefer, adding the district has it contracted for the next two years.

Keefer also said the district won the Missouri State High School Activities Association's leadership school recognition for the second time in two years.

Borgsmiller pointed out Sikeston R-6 is one of only two schools in Southeast Missouri to receive the award that promotes sportsmanship and leadership; Jackson was the other district. Keefer also noted fall practice began Aug. 6.

Board member Greg Colwick told Keefer some parents at a recent meeting were asking if they were allowed to support the athletes by bringing them food, etc. before and after games.

"Any parents who want to support and bring drinks and anything for the kids is just fine," Keefer said.

Borgsmiller said individuals interested in supporting the athletes should contact Keefer.

Cindy Griffin, assistant superintendent of special education and elementary education, informed the board there were a total of 45 retentions in kindergarten through eighth grade during the 2006-2007 school year, which was down two from the previous year.

Twenty-eight of the retainees were in kindergarten, three in first grade, four in second grade, four in third grade, two in fourth grade, three in sixth grade and one in seventh grade.

Andy Comstock, assistant superintendent of secondary education and professional development, informed the board the district had three dropouts in 2006-2007.

Students are considered a dropout if they don't attend school for one year, he said.

The board approved the following employments for the 2007-2008 school year: Andrew Proffer, physical education teacher (grades K-4) at Lee Hunter Elementary; Elizabeth Headd, music teacher for the Fifth and Sixth Grade Center; and Jerrel Cloud, construction program instructor at Sikeston Career and Technology Center.