Members of the Houston board of education met Tuesday night to discuss statewide assessment data, four-day school weeks and the upcoming graduation date among other matters.

Stephanie Barbagiovanni presented the assessment data and plan for 2023. The school district had a 100% participation rate, compared to 95% statewide. The district showed growth in all testing areas. Subjects with substantial growth included Algebra 1, third grade English Language Arts and math, English II and fifth and eighth grade science. 

Jon Turner presented information to the board on four-day school weeks. The board invited Turner to help build knowledge on the topic for upcoming calendar discussions. 

Turner, associate professor of special education, leadership and professional studies at Missouri State University, has conducted research to assess the growing trend in Missouri.

The board discussed possible changes to the upcoming graduation date since the sectional round of the state track tournament is scheduled for the same day. A decision was not made. 

Board members also learned that the school district has been awarded a Scrap Tire Surface Material Grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The funding covers the cost and delivery of scrap tire material for surfacing projects that use the material. The district plans to use the $38,416 of grant money to begin work after Dec. 2 on a pour-in-place footing for the Early Childhood Center’s outdoor playground equipment. The work is expected to take five days. 

In other matters, members:

  • Recognized Keaton Hinkle, middle school student of the month; Kristen Ely, cross country state meet participant; and students and advisors of the state championship Constitution Project team. 
  • Amended the director/coordinator list to add Tracy Hughes as gifted coordinator. 
  • Reviewed essays for the John Belcher scholarship, and selected an essay titled “Lessons Learned Outside of School” for the award.  
  • Approved the library/media services program evaluation as presented by Dara Gulick and Loran Richardson. 
  • Agreed that Tiger Fieldhouse should be used for more events and activities. 
  • Approved the 2022-2023 audit as presented by Mike Catlett, Catlett and Associates. 
  • Heard from George Sholtz complimenting the board on its rural values and local control. He also cautioned the board to address situations in which local relationships could be harmed. 
  • Recognized Dustin Hartman, member, for completion of Essential Certified Board Member Training. 
  • Heard that the anticipated cost of a lift station for the building trades site is $75,000. 
  • Discussed possible dates for a board work session pertaining to topics including calendar, budget and facilities; ideas to keep behavior school in Houston; the food service policy and non-discrimination statement. 

At 7:39 p.m., members adjourned into closed session.

The full minutes can be found here:

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