Newtown-Harris Board of Education finalizes dates for prom, senior trip and graduation

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The Newtown-Harris R-3 Board of Education approved a senior trip request, key dates for seniors, and the prom date on November 9.

The senior class is set to visit New Buffalo, Michigan, from May 6 through May 10. They also plan a day trip to Chicago.

Prom is slated for April 26 with the seniors’ final day to be May 3, and graduation scheduled for May 5.

Discussion of a Veterans Day celebration took place. Veterans are invited to a complimentary meal at Newtown-Harris on November 10 from 11 a.m. to noon. Post-lunch activities will feature a musical trio from the high school performing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the high school choir singing two pieces.

Chaplain R. Carter Pearce, who served in the United States Army and Arkansas National Guard from 2007 to 2017, will speak at the event. Pearce, who concluded his service as Brigade Chaplain for the 142nd Field Artillery Brigade in Fayetteville, Arkansas, now manages human resources at Simmons Foods and serves as the interim pastor at First Baptist Church of Green City.

Vietnam veteran Rich McKinney is set to present a musical tribute to the various military branches.

The Music/Band Program announced several upcoming performances. On November 21 at 2 p.m., elementary students will perform musically and engage in a sing-along for Grandparents Day. The Grundy County R-5 gym in Humphreys will host a Christmas concert on December 6 at 6 p.m., featuring both Newtown-Harris High School and Grundy R-5 band members. The Newtown-Harris Winter Band/Choir Concert is scheduled for December 13 at 6 p.m., and a “Winter Wonderland” Christmas concert on December 20 will showcase students from preschool through sixth grade.

School board election dates were set from December 5 at 8 a.m. to December 26 from 4 to 5 p.m. The district will fill two vacancies. Superintendent Dr. Matt Copeland announced that one incumbent intends to seek re-election, while another will retire at the end of their term.

Community members interested in board positions should contact Dr. Copeland at 660-794-2245 or on his cell at 660-341-3844.

The Missouri United School Insurance Council concluded its investigation into the bus fuel issue, with no definitive cause identified by the inspection agency, Semke. The district received a reimbursement check for $21,105.07 for the February claim.

Dr. Copeland clarified that Rush Trucking’s claim of gasoline contamination in the diesel fuel was inaccurate.

This marks the end of the insurance process with MUSIC. The district intends to utilize the bus as a trade-in towards an electric bus grant.

Dr. Copeland communicated with Lion Electric regarding the Clean School Bus Grant for an electric bus. No developments were reported, and the district awaits federal government feedback.

The freezer project concluded on November 6. Stacy and Nevin Hamilton completed the assembly after Aron Neff connected the electricity.

Funded by the 2022 National School Lunch Program Equipment Assistance Grant, in collaboration with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the freezer project cost totaled $20,750, exceeding the grant award of $16,726.61.

The school is engaging with vendors regarding the School Safety Grant to enhance main door access, doorway security, camera coverage, and window protection. Further information will be available upon receipt of vendor quotes.

Nine FFA members attended a national conference in Indianapolis, focusing on leadership and agricultural industry insights. Ag instructor Stephanie Oaks led the delegation.

The Missouri School Air Rifle Program’s net assembly, crafted by Aron Neff, has been positively received by the community.

A professional development session highlighted the district’s academic objectives as outlined in the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan. Current goals include attaining 80% proficiency in English Language Arts and math, with STAR assessments guiding student interventions.

A community survey will be launched to gauge district performance and identify improvement opportunities.

Dr. Copeland emphasized that open enrollment remains a critical concern, with potential legislative changes threatening special education, transportation, and extracurricular programs.

Kim Gaines, a retired superintendent, will represent area superintendents in Jefferson City, succeeding lobbyist and superintendent LeRoy Huff.

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