Thursday, April 18, 2013

Stewart's Resignation Leaves Vacancy on C-4 School Board

By Mary Wilson
Before the reorganization meeting and the swearing in of the newly-elected members, the Grandview School Board honored outgoing members Ann Fisher and Bob Stewart.
Fisher, after not filing for reelection, served a total of twelve years on the Grandview Board of Education. Stewart, leaving the board after two years of service, submitted his letter of resignation due to moving out of district.
Cindy Bastian was reelected to the board, and new member Michelle Shackelford was elected. After being officially sworn in, the two took their seats and the board then votednon the lead roles.
 Stepping down as Board President, Rachel Casey nominated Bastian as President. Grandview C-4 School Board
leadership includes Bastian as President, Leonard Greene as Vice President and Paul Alexander as Treasurer.
Due to Stewart’s resignation, and only two incoming board members, there is now a vacancy. The district is accepting letters of intent from those who live in the district through April 26. In order to be considered for the
position, these letters must include information regarding the candidate’s experience and background.
More information on the application process can be found in the legal notice posted on page 2 of this week’s Advocate.
After the board reorganization, Bastian accepted her role as President and continued on with the regular meeting. Superintendent Ralph Teran, along with administration, recognizednGrandview High School National Honor
Society members for their achievements at conferences in March.
The Grandview chapter of NHS attends the convention every year, and remains active in the state organization.
Linda Whitford, who is retiring at the end of the year, has been elected to serve for a three-year period as the Executive Director of Missouri’s National Honor Society.
“That’s a great accomplishment, and a great statement about Ms. Whitford,” said Assistant Superintendent Lisa Walker. “It shows her dedication to this organization.”
Last month, the board approved the hiring of a new Director of Instructional Technology, Scott Sizemore. After a brief introduction indicating Sizemore was the standout candidate for the position, he met with the board to discuss his experiences and plans for the future of the district.
“I’ve spent the last ten years in Belton, and the last two of which I spent helping to integrate technology into the classrooms,” said Sizemore. “The bottom line is: I want to support teachers in the classrooms and students in the classrooms. My approach is to try and bring the resources to the teachers and make it easier for them to find the things that they need to effectively integrate the technology that the district provides them into the classroom.”
Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) testing began on Tuesday this week. According to Teran, the teachers in the district have been going to extreme measures (Harlem Shake at Martin City Middle School) to get the students excited and ready for MAP testing.
“Teachers were doing everything possible to pump the kids up and get them ready,” said Teran, “even if they had to make a little fun of themselves.”
The district as a whole is looking forward to verification of the steps they have taken to ensure they continue to meet Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) standards.
“So much is judged on what happens with the assessments,” said Teran. “In my opinion, it’s unfair because so much more of what our team does can’t be measured. I think the whole area of assessments, in some ways, has gotten out of control. My opinion, mine only, but nevertheless, it is what we’ve signed up for and we have to figure out a way to meet the accountability standards and also make a compelling case for how we can do that in a variety of ways.”
An evaluation was given for the district’s gifted education program. District programs are evaluated annually to determine progress toward meeting goals and to make recommendations for improvement. The gifted program, or Focus, serves students in grades K-12. The program for exceptionally gifted children (PEGS) serves children  in grades 2-8.
The strengths of the program found in the evaluation included student recognition and receipt of scholarships, grants and awards, as well as increasing awareness across the district. A concern was the availability of funding to support the program, along with increasing teacher-to student ratios for the program.
The district technology committee provided a summary of the District Technology Plan for the next three years. The current District Technology Plan on file will expire on June 30.The State requires districts to have a Board and State approved technology plan in order to access e-rate and technology grant funds. According to the overview, the plan developed includes expansive technology initiatives that will place Grandview C-4 students, staff and parents at the forefront of today’s educational information and technology reform innovations.
The board voted to approve a five-cent increase in school breakfast and lunch prices for the 2013- 2014 school year. Due to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, legislation mandates that school nutrition programs move towards charging paid meal category students at a price that is on average equal to the difference between free meal reimbursement and paid meal reimbursement. Schools that charge less than this amount are required to gradually increase their prices over time in order to remain in compliance with the mandate.
The board also approved meeting dates for the 2013- 2014 school year. The next regular meeting for the
Grandview School Board will be Thursday, May 16 at 6:30 p.m.

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