The Slater School Board had a large audience of parents and students during their meeting on Tuesday, April 20, 2010.
The Adventure Author Book Club which recently traveled to Warrensburg for the Children's Literature Festival gave a presentation to the board, talking about the authors they met and showing the posters and cereal boxes they made for after the event.
"We had a phenomenal day. It was wonderful," said Mrs. Schaefer, one of the teacher sponsors of the event.
Another group of parents and students, led by spokeswoman Becky Pointer voiced several concerns to the board.
One of the concerns was over $1,400 that band students raised through various fundraisers, which Pointer said was now "frozen."
"Is it normal to freeze the funds from school groups?" she asked, adding that the group wants answers.
Later in the meeting, Superintendent John McEachern said that he had asked the band director Jim Mize, whether a request to buy bongo drums for an upcoming program was a necessary expense, adding that the drums could be possibly be rented from VoxBox in Marshall or borrowed from other teachers in the school.
Another issue was over a field trip that the students were told they would be able to take with the funds.
"They earned the money, they were told it would be for a field trip," said Pointer. "If nothing else make out money orders for the kids that busted their tails off earning the money."
McEachern said that trip was a moot point, as he was told the date of the proposed trip conflicted with another school event and that is why they were not going.
"None of this had been discussed with administrators," he said, adding that no request for a field trip had ever been sent to the high school office or put on the calendar.
Pointer said she was also concerned about rumors that several good teachers are leaving the school district.
"It is my understanding that we have some excellent teachers that are leaving," she said. "If we're losing good teachers there is something wrong."
Board president Rick Hays told the group that they would "take everything you said under consideration and we will deal with it."
The group also expressed displeasure with losing band teacher Mize.
"I thought we had a good one when Mr. Mize came," said Pointer, adding how sad she was that he and his wife were leaving. "The kids were so enthused."
Mize and his wife, Ragena, the elementary principal, resigned in February, effective at the end of the school year. This was their first year at Slater.
Hays said the board was also concerned about the future of Slater's band.
"The board is also very concerned with band too. Several years ago we had a good band program here," said Hays.
He also told the group that they would discuss the fundraising issue in executive session.
"We have to follow proper procedures," he said. "But it hasn't fallen on deaf ears."
In other business the board approved participation in several federal programs including Titles I, IIA, IVA and V.
McEachern also discussed the preliminary 2010-2011 budget, telling the board he hoped they would be able to break even and "maybe even add a couple of percentage points" to the board's unrestricted reserve funds.
In board items, they discussed the extended day program. For the 2010-2011 school year instead of having the extra 20 minute session at the end of the day, it will be added into the day schedule.
Class for all students will start at 7:48 a.m. and dismiss at 2:51 p.m., said McEachern. The first 20 minutes will be used for the targeted instruction.
The board dismissed into executive session but did not take any votes, according to McEachern.
Contact Marcia Gorrell at firstname.lastname@example.org