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Blfd. board works through short agenda

Thursday, October 18, 2012

BLOOMFIELD, Mo. - The Bloomfield School Board approved an English Language Learner (ELL) plan (required by Title III of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001) and heard a report on construction of the new Safe Room building at their regular meeting Monday night. The board worked through a short agenda which included a report by Superintendent Toni Hill that the school district has shown a gradual decline in enrollment over the past four years.

Elementary Principal Amy James presented the board with the proposed ELL plan. The plan outlines the way the district will provide English language instruction to students whose first language is not English.

"The purpose of our program is to ensure the ELL student receives equal educational opportunities and to provide English as Second Language certified and trained staff to implement program services," says the plan as presented by James. The plan goes on to outline how the program will be implemented.

Hill said the district does not currently have any students whose primary language is not English. She said the plan had to be in place in the event that a student enrolled in the district who would benefit from the plan.

There was little discussion, and it was approved by the board by a 5-0 vote. Present were Board President David Battles, Don Lafferty, Bill Robison, Ryan Mayo and John Newell. Not present were David Cooper and Trevor Pulley.

Hill told the board that the first of the large pre-fabricated concrete walls for the new Safe Room was erected Monday. The work was moving quickly, she reported.

Sides Construction of Cape Girardeau is the contractor at a cost of $1,615,949.75. The new building is to be completed by March 29, 2013.

Hill said the elementary school is using the baseball field for recreation, as opposed to the playground which is located adjacent to the construction site.

"It is going really well," said Hill. "I want to thank the administrators and staff for efforts while the construction is underway."

Hill also reported she received word that FEMA had granted a one-month extension to the district on construction of the new building. The district rejected the first bids because they were above the amount budgeted for the project. They made some modifications to the specifications on the building and then re-bid the project, which put them behind the schedule established by FEMA.

Hills presented the board with district enrollment numbers for the last four years. She said the statistics show a gradual decline in enrollment. The high school had an enrollment of 238 in the 2007-08, 232 in 2008-09, 211 in 2009-10, 196 in 2010-11 and 198 in 1011-12. She said the statistics also showed a decline at the elementary level. The elementary school had an enrollment of 339 in 2009-10 and 2010-11, but declined to 313 in the past school year. She said she was concerned about the decline at the elementary level.

The board voted 5-0 to approve changes in the way the Covington Scholarship is administered in the district. The board approved putting Battles and Newell on the signature card for the accounts, but Hill said the bank came back with changes. The board voted to put Battles and Newell on the account, in addition to Hill and Sarah Upchurch. The motion including removing the names formerly authorized on the account.

Hill reported that work was progressing on renovations at the high school. Work is underway on math teacher Dennis Graser's room and on an extension to English teacher Ann Bye's room. She said the exterior work on Graser's room was completed with the exception of one piece of metal. She said the area was "weather protected" now. She said Bye's class was meeting at another location while the work was underway. She said it should be completed in one month.

The meeting opened with first graders from Mrs. Schuerenberg's class leading in the Pledge of Allegiance.

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