The Rock Port R-II School Board of Education held a regular meeting December 16, 2021. Treasurer Afton Schomburg called the regular meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the board room. Others in attendance were Joanna Burke, Regan Griffin, Reven Herron, and Jared Meyerkorth. President Jeremy Davis and Vice-President Dan Lucas were absent. Also present were Elementary Principal Steve Waigand, High School Principal Donnie Parsons, Superintendent Ethan Sickels, Board Secretary Debbie Young, and the following guests: Rachel Jenkins, Trudy Herron, and Keith Bailey.

The agenda was adopted and the minutes of the regular meeting of November 11, 2021, were approved. Mr. Sickels reviewed the financial information for the month ending November 2021. The transfer of funds, November final check register, the December check register to date and the activity account checks were approved.

During communications, Rachel Jenkins and Trudy Herron gave curriculum presentations on the district’s grades 7-12 science program. Following the presentations Mrs. Jenkins and Mrs. Herron left the meeting. Mr. Sickels read thank you notes from Amy Skillen and Jenny Rueckert, and shared correspondence received from Tarkio Technology Institute.

Mr. Waigand reported elementary attendance for November was 95.1% (201 students). The third Energy Bus Rally was held November 30 and recognized students who were driving their bus with purpose (working hard)! The December/January Energy Bus Principle is “Fuel Your Ride with Positive Energy.” First quarter parent-teacher conferences attendance was 166/171 (97%). First quarter Accelerated Reader goals were met by 127 students. Each student meeting their goal received a free ice cream cone certificate from McDonald’s. Mrs. Ellis and Student Council members were thanked for decorating the main hallway again this year for the holiday season. The replacement playground slides were installed on December 8. They look great and the kids are excited to use them once the cement is set up and ready to go. The playground will be back to full capacity on December 13. Blue Jay Shop is in full swing again this year. Proceeds from the Blue Jay Shop support activities and projects that enhance the school experience for elementary kids. The December staff meeting was held on December 1. Play It Safe programs will be on December 13 and 14. The program will be led by Voices of Courage. The purpose of the program is to help students recognize, react to and report dangerous situations for themselves or a friend or other family member. Parents were given the option to opt out of the presentation. Several upcoming dates were noted, and faculty reports were received from Mrs. Bredensteiner and Mrs. Waigand, Mrs. Rueckert, Mrs. Spiegel, and Mrs. Geib and Mrs. Amthor.

Mr. Parsons reported high school attendance through December 10, 2021, is 94.1% (146 students). Winter season is in full swing. The Test-to-Stay program was reviewed with a huge shout out to Mrs. Farmer for helping with daily administration. The program has saved to date over 50 student days of in-person instruction. The FFA blood drive was held on December 1, and 45 units of blood were collected for our community. NHS students have once again beautified the school’s doors with wreaths. Mrs. Gaines and FBLA students have been coding with elementary classes. Several upcoming dates and activities were noted. Mr. Parsons reviewed data analyzing the trends in the high school and junior high enrollment vs. the participation in sports and activities.

Mr. Sickels noted the board of education filing period ends December 28, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. The terms of Afton Schomburg and Dan Lucas are expiring, and, currently, Mrs. Schomburg has filed to run at the April election. He reviewed the monthly program evaluation report on technology. Mr. Sickels stated the technology advisory committee has met, and he shared the updated technology plan for years 2022-2025. Mr. Sickels presented the 2022-2023 school calendar for the first reading. He stated the administrators are also studying the possibility of a school calendar with a four-day week. He reviewed the changes required for student hours as well as the teacher contract days and hours. A draft 2022 – 2023 calendar for a four-day week was also presented for the board to review. Mr. Sickels stated a four-day school week survey was distributed to staff, parents and students and those responses were reviewed. The possibility of holding a public meeting was discussed. It was determined Mr. Sickels should proceed with setting a date and time prior to the January regular board meeting for administrators to share details with the community and solicit additional input. The secretary will post the public meeting since a quorum of board members will be attending. Under board member reports, Reven Herron reported on the December TABS meeting.

The board proceeded to address several items of new business. Action was taken to approve the 2020-2021 audit. Consideration was given to the purchase of new high school and junior high science textbooks with action taken to approve the purchase of new textbooks for grades 7-9 science courses, high school anatomy, high school integrated chemistry, and for high school biology. Consideration was given to the purchase of food service equipment with action taken to approve the purchase of an Empura brand proofer for the kitchen from Restaurant Supply. Consideration was given to the purchase high school equipment with action taken to approve the purchase of a Selectivend Combo vending machine from Sam’s Club. Action was taken to approve amendments to the 2021-2022 budget, to approve updates to the 2021-2022 Safe Return to In-Person Instruction plan, and to approve MSBA board policy updates. Following a brief discussion of future business items, the meeting was adjourned.