Trenton Board of Education hears evaluation reports on multiple programs at Tuesday meeting

Trenton R-9 School District

The Trenton R-9 Board of Education heard evaluation reports on multiple programs on January 11th.

Trenton Middle School Principal Daniel Gott presented the Health Services Evaluation Report, which was submitted by school nurses Tasha McCall and Tyann Cox.

Gott said health office visits for the 2020-2021 school year included 33 for preschool, 4,237 for kindergarten through fourth grade, 1,581 for middle school, and 843 for high school. That is a total of 6,694 visits. The visits included preventative services, vision, hearing and health screenings, health education, emergency care and first aid treatment, daily medication, diabetic care, referral and care coordination of acute and chronic health conditions, tube feedings, parent contact, and conference calls, and supportive care.

Gott reported many hours were spent related to COVID-19, including conferring with the Grundy County Health Department about cases, contact tracing, quarantines, and isolations. He noted the nurses put in a lot of time and worked “above and beyond.”

Director of Special Education Tara Hoffman presented the Early Childhood and Parents as Teachers evaluation reports.

She said 111 three and four-year-old students are served by the Early Childhood Program. The numbers decreased last year with COVID-19, but she noted they have increased this year. There are nine openings, but she expects those to be filled by referrals.

The Parents as Teachers Program has 26 children enrolled from 20 families. Hoffman reported four of the families meet high needs criteria.

Part-time Parent Educator Connie Hoffman goes into homes of children from birth to three years old and provides support.

Superintendent Mike Stegman reported the district is scheduled to do SafeDefend system practice on January 31st. He thinks the training will take place in two parts.

He said the Postsecondary Counselor Grant the board approved last month will have $75,000 of total funding. There will be $30,000 each for this school year and the next. There will be $15,000 for the 2023-2024 year. It was previously reported funding for the Missouri Postsecondary Advising Initiative would be through the Department of Education.

The grant would be used for counseling students for college and careers.  Stegman wants it to be a sustaining program.

An update was given on the Trenton R-9 Board of Education election on April 5th. Candidate filing ended December 28th. Incumbent Jason Hostetler filed for the one-year term. Incumbent Dorothy Taul, Jeff Spencer, Toby Havens, and Joshua Shuler filed for the two open three-year terms.

Stegman said he sent a letter to the three candidates who had not been on the board before.

The Trenton R-9 Board of Education on January 11th approved the school district offering two grant programs to address the teacher shortage and turnover rate in the district. Instructional Coach Jill Watkins presented proposals for the Grow Your Own Teachers and Teacher Recruitment and Retention programs.

The Grow Your Own Teachers Program Grant is funded with Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds for $10,000 through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The money can be used over the course of three years or all in one year.

Watkins said the program will partner with universities and educator preparation programs as the district develops a program to address the teacher shortage. Grant funds will be used in one or more of three ways. Those include for reimbursement of up to $2,000 for current non-instructional staff and/or former students upon completion of alternative certification course work through a higher education institution in Missouri with state-approved alternative teacher certification programs designed for non-traditional students; reimbursement up to $2,000 for current uncertified teachers, non-instruction staff, and/or former students upon successful completion of alternative certification through the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence designed for non-traditional students seeking Missouri teacher certification; and for reimbursement up to $108 per credit hour for up to three credit hours for current Trenton High School seniors in Future Teachers of America and Cadet Teaching participants upon completion of the dual enrollment course Foundations of Education in a Diverse Society at North Central Missouri College.

Watkins noted there will be an application process for the Grow Your Own Teachers Program.

The Teacher Recruitment and Retention Program Grant is funded with ESSER funds for $49,000 through DESE. The funds for the grant include $9,267.37 of ESSER 1 money, $19,866.32 of ESSER 2 money, and $19,866.32 of ESSER 3 money. ESSER 3 allocations have not yet been released, but they are expected this spring. The money for the grant can be used over three years.

Watkins reported a survey was sent to staff members that covered needs, wants, and improvements. Results showed staff wanted improved compensation, increased time for productivity and self-care, increased administrator and behavior support, and improved curriculum development.

She noted funds from the grant could be used to pay a stipend of $490 to each of the 100 full-time teachers who create the curriculum. The stipend would not apply to part-time educators.

Watkins added that if the ESSER 3 funds are not released, the district can readdress the stipends.

The board approved a GEC Community Foundation grant application request from Trenton Middle School Counselor Melissa VanDusseldorp for $1,000. The grant would be used for the Character First curriculum for fifth graders. The curriculum features 36 character qualities written for students in middle school, and lessons provide discussions of a different character trait each week.

A special work session was approved for the board to plan for the rest of this school year and next school year. The session will be at the Trenton R-9 district office on January 24th from 5 to 7 o’clock in the evening. There will be no action items.

The board entered into a closed session for personnel matters.