Tutoring

The Houston School District will implement a tutoring program for students beginning in August.

The decision came Monday during a meeting of the Houston board of education.

The move was sparked by the death of the state career ladder program, which will go unfunded because of huge Missouri budget shortfalls. As part of their responsibilities for enrolling in the career ladder, many teachers received credit by tutoring students who need additional help to master their classroom studies.

With the loss of the career ladder program, the board wants to ensure tutoring will continue and even be enhanced in the future.

Regular tutoring hours will be 3:15 to 5:15 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. There also will be Saturday hours. With administrator approval, teachers can schedule sessions out of the normal time window, Dr. Dan Vandiver, superintendent, explained.

All teachers in the district – not just those who did it as part of their career ladder plan – can participate. Parents will learn more when the school year starts.

In other matters, members:

-Set the district’s annual tax rate hearing for 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 9. The debt service rate is expected to be 80 cents per $100 assessed valuation. The board approved a process Monday that allows it set aside funds in advance to pay off bonds as they come due.

Through the effort, the board has been able to keep the rate at 80 cents over the last three years. During that time period, the district has saved about $295,000 in interest and shortened the time frame for the district’s debt to be paid off from 2020 to 2016.

-New stipends will be created for teacher activities, such as student council, class and club sponsorships. Previously, those duties were handled by many under their career ladder obligations.

-Approval was okayed for payment to career ladder participants for last year’s school work. It will be paid contingent on the state’s portion arriving in local coffers.

-Reviewed job descriptions for all positions in the district. The matter will be discussed further in August by the board.

-Are discussing with the junior class sponsors the possibility of prom next year at Springfield’s Tower Club. It is believed it would provide a unique setting and encourage more to attend post-prom activities that would be at the Springfield YMCA. Input also will be sought from parents before a decision is made.

-Extended a two-year contract to Ward Photography as the exclusive photographer for the district.

 

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