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There was a lot of show and tell at the October 20 meeting of the Sturgeon R-V School Board.

Other than district employees, only one person was there to see it.

Those not in attendance missed the guided tour of what may be the only combination Ag Sciences and weight lifting building in Boone and Audrain Counties, if not the state.

R-V FFA and Ag. Instructor Taylor Bryant gives school board members a tour of the new facility.

After seeing the freshly-laid carpet, brightly-painted walls and various examples of shop and fitness equipment in varied states of assembly, board members’ voices echoed during discussion in the Sturgeon High School commons after the tour as they adjusted their voices to the spacious high -ceiling commons area.

They approved the payment of several bills including new HVAC at the K-8 building and a data backbone for the Ag weight building.

Christine Vaughn of the PTSO reminded the board that there were teacher forms available for PTSO teacher assistance. She also said the adopt-a-family program has begun and their annual Santa’s Breakfast would be December 4 at the K-8 building.

FFA advisor Taylor Bryant presented her summer and fall reports.

That included an economic impact report, including how much the members spend at local businesses. She also announced the chapter had won it’s 50-50 grant from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“We are very grateful and glad to see our members have increased,” she said the number of participants is approaching 90, including middle school members and participants who have not turned 21. She said the chapter is sending 16 students to the FFA National Convention in Indianapolis. She said COVID-19 precautions would be followed. “We have about 300 masks we are taking with us.”

AD Michael Smith gave his athletics report “I always look at school sports as an opportunity for life lessons in all ways.”

He also discussed HUDL, a sports film exchange system and MSHSAA.

He said HUDL would enable R-V to create a YouTube channel for R-V activities, not just sports, at least those which happen in the SHS gym, including band concerts and graduations.

The modification would cost the district $7,000 annually. Sturgeon R-V Superintendent Melia Franklin said they could use CARES OR ENSOR money to pay for the Hudl system because it could be considered COVID-related. The board unanimously  approved the expenditure.

Regarding MSHSAA. He said the organization has changed its constitution permitting sixth grade students to be allowed to play all junior high activities, “We’re talking scholar ball, band, track, basketball.” He said the change was in reaction to several small schools breaking away from MSHSAA due to the organization’s restrictions. “I look at this as a positive for our kids… Participation in activities is good for the students’ self-esteem.”

He said it would likely entail more expense in terms of officials and event support staff such as table workers. “But I want to look at it as more opportunities for our students.” He said inclusion of sixth-grade students would increase event revenue.

Smith concluded by asking the board to be open to the idea of adding junior high softball. He said 12 schools within a ?30-mile radius, already have it. He said it would entail a shortened season for the middle school students. “I just think it would help our high school program in so many ways… If I had a daughter coming up I would be pushing for this hard.”

Sturgeon R-V Superintendent Melia Franklin said they could use CARES OR ENSOR money to pay for the Hudl system because it could be considered COVID-related.

The board unanimously voted to purchase the HUDL system.

The informally agreed to table the middle school softball question.

In her report, SHS principal Jen Campbell said her enrollment has increased by at least three. She also said she was trying to “incentivize” the student of the month program.

In response to a question from board member Kevin Smith, she said they are trying to fill the vacant SHS counselor position. Franklin said she has applied for a newly-created DESE grant to assist with filling that position.

Carr said the delivery of their three? New school busses has been pushed back to February.

He reported due to a bus driver shortage he has merged the district’s five routes to four, creating an additional 15 minutes per route. “But it also puts us in a bind on trips and activities… We will continue looking for drivers. If you know somebody send them my way, it pays really well.”

He said if they found another driver the fifth route would be restored.

HE ALSO Announced the K-8 Halloween parade is back, scheduled for Oct. 28.

He asked the board to approve the school bus route report, which they unanimously approved.

Jamie Boyd, 6-8th grade principal proposed a homework recover-oriented Monday school from 8 am., to noon. “I don’t want it to be punitive in any way,” she said it would be for “students grade three and up.”

Boyd indicated there would be some exploratory discussions with parents during upcoming parent-teacher conferences.

Christina Ridgeway, special education director, said her student numbers were going up.

Franklin said some homeless issue had cropped up in the district and asked that Ridgeway be designated the homeless liaison. The board unanimously agreed.

They voted to extend a probationary 1-year contract to Beth Bailey-Windels, As a pre-K elementary SPED teacher

They also unanimously voted a change order on PROP Kids financing.

Franklin also discussed the district’s search for a kitchen freezer.

In conjunction with members of the R-V kitchen and maintenance staff Franklin recommended a $46,350 Bid from Harold Butzer Inc. of Jefferson city “Would you like to buy a freezer with me?” They unanimously approved the bid

They also approved a 2,400 grant audit, by a grant consulting firm. “To make sure we are spending our grants wisely and applying for all the one we could.”

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