Newtown-Harris Board of Education approve request for students and instructor to attend National FFA Convention

Newtown-Harris School Website

The Newtown-Harris R-3 Board of Education on October 11th night approved a request for nine students and Instructor Stephanie Oaks to attend the FFA National Convention. The students will leave on October 31st and return on November 3rd.

Superintendent Dr. Matt Copeland reported the FFA National Convention will allow students to hone their leadership skills. They will attend breakout sessions on agriculture, leadership, and service.

Substitute cook pay was established at $85.

The board approved policy and regulation changes from Missouri Consultants for Education. The approval encompassed 14 policies and two regulations.

Board members completed their annual board training refresher course and confirmed their understanding of the focal points for the upcoming school year.

It was announced that parent-teacher conferences would be held after professional development on October 23rd. Staff members will have professional development from 10 a.m. to noon and two hours to work and prepare their classrooms. Conferences will take place from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Elementary teachers will provide conference sign-up information. Secondary teachers will be in the gym and meet with parents. Copeland expressed the aim to achieve 100% parent attendance.

TNT BBQ of Kirksville will host a food truck during the parent-teacher conferences on October 23rd from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Newtown-Harris will provide meals for staff members from TNT.

The elementary school will organize a Halloween parade on October 31st at 2 p.m. Classroom parties will follow. Older students will participate in an activity after the parade.

On November 10th, from 11 a.m. to noon, veterans are invited to the school for a complimentary meal in honor of Veterans Day. A presentation and performance of patriotic songs by the Newtown-Harris Choir will follow.

The district is in search of a speaker for the Veterans Day program. Those interested should reach out to the school.

School board election dates were outlined. Candidates can commence filing on December 5th at 8 a.m., and the filing will conclude on December 26th from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Newtown-Harris has two board positions available.

The district engaged the Missouri United School Insurance Council regarding a claims report for the bus situation and payments. Copeland mentioned the district is escalating the issue to higher authorities.

Concerning the Clean School Bus Grant for an electric school bus, Copeland shared that Round 3 of federal funding seems to be approximately $50,000 below the previous round. Newtown-Harris is in Round 2, which projects an award sum of $395,000.

The district awaits an acceptance notification. Further details are expected in November.

The district is also anticipating Dig Rite’s evaluation of the site for the freezer project. Concrete tasks are planned for this week, with installation proceeding once the cement has cured.

Newtown-Harris applied for the Matthew McConaughey Green Lights Grant, aimed at rural, high-needs school districts focusing on building safety enhancement.

The district is concluding Round 1 of benchmark assessments for District Continuous Improvement/Multi-Tiered Systems of Support. Every student undergoes reading, writing, and math evaluations. Copeland stated the assessments will emphasize reading proficiency and lexile ranking, math problem-solving and proficiency metrics, and writing ability and grade.

Post-assessment, staff will scrutinize the data to guide upcoming instruction, pinpoint intervention areas, and recognize enrichment opportunities. The endeavor aims to position the district to bypass certain spring testing mandates.

The superintendent disclosed that over 400 school districts employ the Network for Educator Effectiveness teacher evaluation instrument. He elaborated that these evaluations focus on multiple feedback segments: cognitive engagement, teacher-student relationships, and formative assessments.

The primary goal of the evaluations is to foster a conversation between teachers and administrators, encouraging reflection on pedagogy and learning.