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Slater Board of Education hears budget update, Red Ribbon Week activity report

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Slater Board of Education members discussed the district's audit report during their meeting Tuesday evening, Oct. 20.

Superintendent John McEachern said since the 2008-2009 fiscal year, the district's net assets have decreased by $95,368. Income from property tax had decreased by $107,508, income from sales tax had decreased by $12,337, and total earnings had decreased by $39,000, leading to a decrease of $184,933 in total revenue. Expenditures were up $56,431 from 2008-2009 levels.

"Are we totally caught up? No. But we're getting there," said McEachern.

Members heard the themes for the days of Red Ribbon Week, to be held from Monday to Friday, Oct. 26-30. The overall theme is "Pawsitively drug-free Slater Public Schools," said McEachern.

He continued, saying that Monday's theme is "Don't let drugs turn you inside-out," during which students may wear their clothing inside-out to show that drugs will not turn them.

Tuesday's theme is "Team up against drugs," for which students may wear their favorite sports jerseys. Wednesday's theme is "Red and positively drug-free," in which students wear "as much red as they can to show that they are drug-free." Thursday's theme is "Being drug-free is no sweat," and students will be encouraged to wear sweat pants and shirts "to show that they're drug-free." On Friday, the theme will be "Wildcats are pawsitively drug-free," and students may wear purple and gold.

A parade will be held with children in kindergarten through eighth grade at 2 p.m. on Wednesday from the school down Main Street and then back to the school to "celebrate that they are drug-free," said McEachern.

McGruff the Crime Dog will visit classes of preschool through third-grade students on Friday.

All week long, there is a "Born to be drug-free contest," where students have an opportunity to identify Slater Public School teachers by their baby pictures.

Marshall Police Department drug detection dog Boomer and his handler, Officer Steven Stewart, will visit the schools during the week, said McEachern, adding that he may ask Chief Mike Donnell to have Boomer sniff around some lockers "just to let them see that he's busy." McEachern clarified that Boomer cannot enter classrooms nor can he sniff the air around students.

The board accepted a bid of $14,572 from Blind Pony Nursery for mulch for the playground. The mulch will be wood and rubber in "earth tones," said McEachern. This bid includes delivery, but an installation fee of $350 will also be applied.

Other bids received were $21,860 from Page Lawn Care and Landscaping and $23,080.82 from Lowe's.

McEachern said he had budgeted $25,000 for the project.

The board voted to accept a $4,000 gift from Chad and Tricia Smith, who toured the school recently. Chad Smith is a graduate of Slater High School and wanted to give back to the school, said McEachern. Though the Smiths cannot designate what their gift goes to purchase, they requested that it be used to purchase a mobile SMART Board, including laptop and other necessary equipment, for the high school, which costs approximately $3,300, and that the remainder go to the Needy Student Fund, which is used to purchase hats, gloves and coats, said McEachern.

He added that the Smiths had expressed a desire to make this an annual gift.

The board accepted a bid for bread from Sarah Lee, which McEachern said would save the district 67 cents per loaf at $1.50 for Iron Kids bread.

Contact Geoff Rands at marshallreporter@socket.net

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