The Rock Port R-II School Board of Education held a regular meeting November 11, 2021. President Jeremy Davis called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the board room. Others in attendance were Joanna Burke, Regan Griffin, Reven Herron, Dan Lucas, Jared Meyerkorth, and Afton Schomburg. Also present were Elementary Principal Steve Waigand, Superintendent Ethan Sickels, and Board Secretary Debbie Young. It was noted that High School Principal Donnie Parsons was supervising the junior high basketball game.

The agenda was adopted and the minutes of the regular meeting of October 14, 2021, were approved. Mr. Sickels reviewed the financial information for the month ending October 2021. The transfer of funds, October final check register, the November check register to date and the activity account checks were approved. During communications, Mr. Sickels presented a certificate from MSBA to Reven Herron for completing the required new board member training.

Mr. Waigand reported elementary attendance for October was 95.1% (201 students). The second Energy Bus Rally was held October 27 and recognized students who were creating a positive vision. November’s Energy Bus Principle is “Drive with Purpose.” Students are behind the wheel of their bus (responsibility) and have a direction (setting goals); they need to put in the work to get there. The focus this month is on work ethic and taking action. They set a school wide goal of 9,000 Accelerated Reader points for the year. After the first quarter, they are at 1,809 points. Parent-teacher conferences were held October 28. Mr. Waigand expressed his thanks to teachers on the time and effort they put into making this an informative and meaningful time together as well as the parents taking the time to come in. Fall festival parties were held October 28. Students dressed up for Halloween and had a costume parade around the elementary hallways for parents and high school students. Given a few additional measures in place, they were able to return to the nursing home for the annual costume parade with the residents. It was a delight to see the joy and excitement on the residents’ faces when they saw the kids dressed up! McTeacher Night was on October 19. Approximately $550 was raised, and this money will be used for reading and math incentives throughout the year. Mr. Waigand reviewed the elementary NWEA math and reading scores compared to the 2020-21 MAP scores. Several upcoming dates were noted along with staff professional development.

Mr. Sickels reviewed the monthly program evaluation report on facilities and grounds. Updates to the nine-year facilities plan were discussed.

Mr. Parsons entered the meeting at this time. He reported high school attendance through November 6, 2021, is 95.08% (147 students). Parent/teacher conferences were held October 28. The Veterans Day assembly was held today with Mary Kahn as the featured speaker and special recognition for Mr. Thomas Herron. Fall post-season sports awards were announced: Volleyball All-Conference awards went to Kierstyn Jakub, Rylee Jenkins, and Chaney Vogler; Cross Country state qualifiers were Caleb Lucas (39th) and Aubrey Watkins (14th); Football All-Conference awards went to Colten Stevens, Micah Makings, Aidan Burke, Jarrett Hunter, and Dakota Evans. The winter sports participation numbers were reviewed as well as upcoming dates and activities. Faculty reports were received from Mrs. Jenkins, Mrs. Palmer, Mrs. Bebb, Mrs. Gaines, Mrs. Herron, and Mrs. Miller. Mr. Parsons reviewed the comparison of the junior high and high school NWEA scores to the 2020-21 MAP scores.

Mr. Sickels discussed the guidelines for implementing a “Test to Stay” option, which allows students to shorten quarantine times for close-contacts to a person with COVID-19. There are resources available to the district, which would offset most of the cost, and the administrators feel this program could be implemented as a way to keep as many students as possible in the classroom for instruction. The Atchison County Health Department will be utilized to help us with training and proper protocols as we begin offering the option to our students next week. Mr. Sickels reviewed the final terms for the refunding bonds approved in October and discussed the timeline of a potential bond issue. He gave a preliminary report on the 2022 – 2023 school calendar. Under board member reports, Joanna Burke reported on the October TABS meeting.

The board proceeded to address several items of new business. Action was taken to establish the board filing dates for the April 5, 2022 election, to approve the 2021 – 2022 MSBA board policy maintenance agreement, and to approve the MSBA board policy updates. Consideration was given to concrete bids for handicapped parking on the north side of the Vo-Ag building with action taken to approve the bid from Davis Concrete. Action was taken to approve the following certified and non-certified employment: Dylan Dittman, interim high school teaching contract and high school boys track; Carrie Driskell, junior high girls track; Shauna Farmer, high school student council; Dalton Jones, assistant high school track; Maddy McPhillips, high school girls basketball; and Donnie Parsons, junior high scholar bowl. Following a brief discussion of future business items, the meeting was adjourned.