Ruptured pipe floods Penney High classrooms

Principal Tim Schieber arrived at school early Tuesday morning on the 13th to find an inch of water in the chemistry room, biology room and in the hallway. The water was a result of a pipe that had ruptured in Mr. Vollmer’s room. He said he worked at vacuuming the water for an hour and half until he had to move to other duties. He wanted the school board to know how willing and quickly the custodial staff took care of the crisis. Kenny, Billy Peggy and Charlene worked together and had the water off the floor by 9:30 a.m. “taking a very potentially distracting situation and making the distraction go away.”

In other school news, the board accepted the resignation of the UCP driver, Rita Hansen and approved early graduation for two seniors.

Superintendent Ford shared a letter with the board he received from the school’s auditor, who had resigned from his position due to his health. He had recommended a new auditor to the school and the District’s audit scheduled for mid-November will be done by John Gillum of Kirksville.

Representatives from the Student Council reported on the following: All Districts Choir is scheduled for this weekend, the Foreign Language Club will be visiting the Nelson-Adkins Museum of Art on Nov. 1, the National Honor Society had a successful carry-in lunch and are working on ordering tee shirts, FBLA will play donkey basketball on Nov. 4, and the Fall National Leadership Conference will be from Nov. 6-9. Cheerleaders are currently practicing for State and would like the board to attend their dress rehearsal. For dance, the students are loving their new tops, Junior class officers are preparing to work the basketball concessions stands for prom. FFA News – There were 27 freshmen that attended the Greenhand Ceremony, 30 members received their chapter degrees. FFA week consisted of the following: FFA Sunday, the petting zoo, drive your tractor to school day, and official dress day. FFA Week concluded with the FFA and FBLA Barnwarming. The students collected $60 on Hat Day and donated it to the local food pantry. Seventeen students are going to the National Convention, which is being held Oct. 27- 30. The school had several Missouri State Fair winners this year. Activities included livestock building, FFA building and AG mechanics. The high school band will play second at the Missouri Western State University homecoming parade and the band is competing this weekend at NW Missouri State University. Ten students are interested in performing at the NCMBA in Chillicothe.

The Vocational/Career Ed Program was given a score of 4 out of 5 by Mr. Burns. Strengths of the program: 1) there is a lot of activity in the Ag Program, as well as the Business Program and both utilize vocational enhancement grants, 2) TSA scores are higher than State and National, and 3) Five FFA members received the State FFA Degree. Concerns of the program: 1) Overloading of Ag classes, 2) student/teacher ratio for FFA activities, and 3) vocational grant money has gone down in recent years. Mr. Burns suggested hiring a second Ag teacher.

In a discussion of the outdoor classroom, Mr. Schieber said that the far side was not being utilized enough to justify monetary improvements. He said another problem was finding someone with enough time to write up a grant.

Ford informed the board that the school is required to spend 1% a year on professional development. This year the amount is approximately $28,320. One of the things they spend the money on is college reimbursement, others are for training, in services, and other miscellaneous items. The board approved the professional development budget for 2015-2016.

The Assessment Plan was brought before the board for approval. The plan is reviewed every fall and adjustments are made. Some strengths of the plan are screening for academic delays and the plan is very comprehensive. They go over lots of different methods to help kids and they have a very positive school climate. One concern of the plan is that it takes time away from instruction in finances. The State’s recommendation is to educate all stakeholders in transitioning from paper and pencils to online testing. In the future there will be a shortage of psychological examiners and test scores are not compatible due to lack of direction at the State level. One goal is to use the assessments to review and improve individual student performance. Another goal is that standardized assessments will demonstrate a 3% gain in the top two levels and decrease in the bottom two, as measured by State achievement.

Ford said the size of the elementary parking lot had been increased but they are having issues with the way people are parking. Sealer was put down to fill the crack in the middle of the main road. Total enrollment for the District is at 691 including the preschool. The preschool has 19 students. Monday Ford went to the Missouri Retired Teachers Association regional meeting in Chillicothe. One of the guest speakers was from the MSQ Company, who was very informative. A discussion circled around a defined benefit retirement plan compared to a defined contribution retirement plan and how many people would like to get back to the old style of saving. Friday he has a health insurance meeting with a broker on what they have to offer. Thursday he will be going to Jeff City to a House of Representatives committee meeting concerning the High School Activities Association. There has been a lot of discontent with MSHA because they still aren’t allowing home school kids to participate in activities.

The Caldwell County News

101 South Davis
P.O. Box 218
Hamilton, MO 64644
Phone: 816-583-2116

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