Trenton R-9 School District moving closer to building performing arts center

Trenton R-9 School District

The Trenton R-9 School District continues to move closer to the possibility of a performing arts center being built and several renovations to district buildings.

Superintendent Dan Wiebers reported to the Board of Education Tuesday evening that the district received nine requests for qualifications for architectural services, which was more than he expected to receive.

Several members of the board will meet Thursday to narrow down the firms to three based on a recommendation of Wiebers and a Missouri School Boards Association policy. A special meeting of the full board is expected to be called to select the architectural firm from those three.

Wiebers reported at September’s meeting that the district is eligible for a no-tax-increase levy for the projects listed in the request for qualifications.

Those projects included building a performing arts center connecting Trenton Middle School/High School Complex to the Music Building; renovating the S. M. Rissler Elementary School office, the middle school/high school Library Media Center, and underneath C. F. Russell Stadium for improved locker rooms; and moving the C. F. Russell Stadium restrooms to a new concession stand.

Wiebers previously explained the overall project would need four-sevenths approval from voters of the school district during the April 2019 election to move forward.

The board approved several Missouri School Boards Association policy updates.

One of the updates involved a new policy on virtual courses, which was created to comply with the requirements of legislative bills that created the Missouri Course Access Program.

Wiebers explained eligible kindergarten through 12th-grade students may enroll in a MOCAP course at the district expense once the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education approves it unless the district determines it is not in the best interest of the student to take the course. He said a parent or guardian who disagrees with the district’s decision may appeal first to the superintendent, second to the board, and third to DESE.

The law does not require the district to pay for virtual courses above and beyond full-time enrollment in the district. The district cannot collect state aid for a student beyond full-time attendance.

Wiebers noted that a student can be removed from a class after two weeks if it is determined he or she is doing poorly or has not done any work in the class. He said guidance counselors will monitor students’ progress.

The board approved two grant requests, one was for first-grade teacher Christy Gibler for $467.50 from the BTC Area Youth Benefit Corporation to purchase Fountas and Pinnell instructional materials for teachers at Rissler Elementary School.

The other grant request was from eighth grade Social Studies teacher Joel Hultman for $150 from the GEC Community Foundation for lighting, a teleprompter, and flash photography equipment.

Trenton Middle School Principal Daniel Gott and Assistant Principal Kasey Bailey presented information on Standards Referenced Grading. Gott reported the purpose of the grading policy is to better communicate to parents, guardians, and students ongoing achievement towards grade level and state standards. He said Standards Referenced Grading helps identify students’ levels of progress in regard to areas of strength and areas where improvement is needed.

Academic grades are based on a four-point scale with a four meaning Exceeding Standards Consistently, three is Meeting Standards Consistently, two is Approaching Standards, one is Attempting Standards, and NA means Not Assessed.

Bailey explained instruction is aligned with Missouri Learning Standards, and students are assessed in terms of meeting those standards. He said students can be reassessed on a standard, and mastery is the goal. Eight middle school classes are piloting the program this school year.

Superintendent Wiebers reported 39 individuals will receive an influenza vaccine from the Grundy County Health Department later this month. That includes students in grades five through 12 as well as staff members.

The district will take part in the Great American ShakeOut Earthquake Drill on the morning of October 18th at 10:18.

Wiebers announced that Trenton R-9 will be dismissed early October 18th for parent/teacher conferences. He said teachers at Rissler have scheduled conferences with parents. Parents can visit with Trenton Middle School and High School teachers in their classrooms October 18th from 2 to 7 o’clock. No school is scheduled for Trenton R-9 October 19th or 22nd.

Director of Special Services Tara Hoffman presented evaluations on the Special Education Program and Testing. She said there are 39 total staff and 225 students in preschool through 12th grade for the Special Education Program.

Hoffman shared information on testing with students in third through eighth grade to participate in the Missouri Assessment Program online testing. End of Course assessments for Algebra 1, Biology, English 2, and Government will also be administered online. The ACT will be administered for juniors February 26th.

The board entered into a closed session to discuss personnel.