Slater Schools encouraged about achievement after news of KC accreditation

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Slater schools Superintendent Carol Maher told board members Tuesday evening, Sept. 20, she felt the district is headed down the right path, both as separate schools and a district as a whole.

"I feel good about the direction in which we're going," she said during the board of education's regular meeting.

The sentiment came after seeing the State Board of Education rescind accreditation of the Kansas City School District at a DESE meeting earlier in the day.

"It was a very sad thing to watch," Maher said. "It's a really sobering thought that 17,000 kids are going to a district that is not accredited."

She feels Slater is working to stay on top of student achievement. Maher learned at the meeting one of the commonalities between unaccredited districts is the belief that the quantity of programs offered outweighs the quality of how those programs are implemented.

"One thing we've tried to stay away from" is having a multitude of programs at the high school and elementary school without the capacity to put them into action, Maher said. "It's not the programs, it's people."

Later this week, students will be recognized for their creation of a school flag. Several participated in the challenge and, after faculty and staff narrowed the choices down to three, students voted for their favorite design. Maher hopes to announce the winner by the end of the week.

In other news, board members approved an amended budget for the 2011-2012 school year. The anticipated total revenue is $3,516,507 and expenses are expected to reach $3,504,233. If the district can stay close to this anticipated budget, they would end up in the black by $12,274.

Four half-days that fall on Fridays will be turned into full-day professional development time for teachers. Board members seemed in agreement that early-outs don't benefit students or teachers, who were scheduled for half-day professional development.

They also approved a tuition agreement with Marshall Public Schools. Tuition will amount to $1,850 per student per year for vocational school. There are 10 Slater students participating. Also approved was an FFA trip to Indianapolis from Oct. 19-22, with the condition that students are transported by the school to and from their charter bus. The trip will allow approximately six students to attend a national FFA convention.

Board members Joey Gochenour, Jayme England, Brenda Guthrie, Jodi Fuemmeler, Steve Taylor and Darla Arni were present. They went into closed session to discuss personnel and legal matters.

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