School board reorganizes

                                                                                                                                                      Photo by Shari Harris
The Licking R-VIII School Board Members for the 2020-2021 school year are, from left, front row: Vice President Rawly Gorman, President Roy Kinder, Debbie Cook; back row: Jeremy Rinne, Colton Lewis, Alan Quick and Secretary Jason Derrickson.
By Shari Harris
Co-Publisher

The Licking R-VIII School Board assembled for their June meeting on Monday, June 8. New board members Debbie Cook and Colton Lewis joined re-elected member Alan Quick, members Roy Kinder, Jason Derrickson, Rawly Gorman and Jeremy Rinne, and administrators Superintendent Cristina Wright, High School Principal Jarad Rinne, the new Junior High Principal/AD Mr. Doug Dunn, Elementary Principal Bradley Cooper, and secretary Jennifer Nelson.
The board voted to approve minutes from the previous meeting.
Supt. Wright reviewed finances and updated the board on the potential for reduced funding by the state for the next fiscal year.
Supt. Wright presented the election results and the board voted to certify the election results, verifying that Alan Quick, Colton Lewis and Debbie Cook were chosen by the voters to represent them on the board.
                                                              Photo by Shari Harris
Alan Quick was the only incumbent this year that ran for his seat again on the board. 
He renewed his oath Monday.
                                                     Photo by Shari Harris
Colton Lewis was one of three board members taking their oath 
at Monday night’s school board meeting.
                                                         Photo by Shari Harris
Debbie Cook was sworn in as the only female on the seven-member school board 
after winning her seat in the June 2 election.
Supt. Wright reviewed the need for board training to be done and collected contact information from the board members to allow them to receive mailings about the training.
Board member Jason Derrickson performed the swearing-in of Quick, Lewis and Cook.
New officers were elected for the board. Roy Kinder will be the new board president, Rawly Gorman vice president and Jason Derrickson secretary of the board. The Board nominated and voted that Ginger Nelson would remain Secretary and Treasurer to the Board.
The Board adopted an ordinance to follow the state statute regarding conflicts of interest involving the board.
The Board chose to continue their meeting times at 6 p.m.
The Board approved leaving meal prices unchanged for next year. Supt. Wright announced the school is investigating a program that would allow all students to receive free or reduced lunches. More information will be needed regarding secondary enrollment to determine if the program would be a benefit for the school.
Principal Cooper reviewed the school’s program regarding reading levels and retention. The COVID closure prevented spring screening of students to be completed, and the data from this year is difficult to compare as a result. The program will continue in order to identify students with needs in these areas. Supt. Wright pointed out that students will be reassessed in the fall to determine their level of retention and where learning needs to start.
The bullying report indicated one student at the secondary level was referred to the Juvenile Officer and one was already involved with the Juvenile Officer. A student at the elementary level was also referred to the Juvenile Officer.
Principal Rinne shared changes to the handbook with the board, including addition of public notices and virtual course guidance for parents and students. He presented the board with the schedule for next school year. New classes include Contemporary Issues and Business Communications. The Sociology and Psychology classes will be decreased from their prior college level. Changes will be made to College Communications, College English and College Literature. The required freshman science course will be changed to Physical Science. Standards for the high school biology class have increased and students will be required to take Physical Science prior to Biology. The school day has been extended, beginning at 8 a.m. and running through 3:15 p.m. Principal Rinne credited Counselor Joann Keeney for her work on next year’s schedule.
Supt. Wright reviewed the general maintenance underway over the summer, including painting, installation of wall unit air conditioners, developing another nurse’s office, tile work, replacement of a broken window, landscaping, scrubbing walls, replacing swing chains, trimming trees, power washing buildings, sealing and striping lots, and more.
Direct Service Billing was approved by the board, allowing the school to bill directly for services provided special needs children.
The Board voted to continue the LAUNCH program for computerized courses.
Supt. Wright requested that board members consider school improvement suggestions for the next meeting, with goals to be set in the August meeting.
Supt. Wright reported the school has purchased gloves and masks for students and staff use, as well as 20 more hand sanitizer stations and more thermometers. Seven sanitation guns have been ordered and will be used by custodial staff daily to mist buildings. The school will look into alternative programming if necessary if all students are unable to return to classrooms.
The Health and Wellness Committee have met and their report was tabled for this month; it will be discussed next month.
The Board voted to continue using Missouri Security Investment Program for their investments.
The Board continued their meeting in closed session.

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