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Bearcats serve as role models for elementary kids

The Orrick Board of Education met Monday, Dec. 15 for the regular monthly meeting. Orrick Elementary Principal Keri Cavanah announced an activity in the works to benefit both elementary and high school students.
The plan is to create trading cards showcasing Orrick juniors and seniors involved in all sports, including football, basketball, volleyball, golf and track. The cards will include boy and girl athletes, as well as academic leaders in student council, and junior and senior class presidents. Students that agree to participate in the trading card activity will sign a contract and make a pledge to be drug and alcohol-free for the entire school year. Upon signing this contract, the cards will be printed and placed in a bag filled with trading cards and will be distributed to selected elementary school students at the Bearcat PAW PRIDE assembly. Along with their name, the students’ hobbies will also be listed. If, at any time, these students are caught using or possessing drugs or alcohol, they will then be asked to go to the elementary school and talk to the kids about why they made that choice. The rationale for this plan is a win-win situation: The elementary students will have a positive role model in the high school “idol” of their choice, and these upperclassmen will have the honor and privilege of living up to their trading card status, Cavanah said. Any questions in regard to this program should be directed to her.
Also in her report to the board, Cavanah discussed the elementary school’s Reponse Intervention program which assists students who need additional help outside of the day-to-day classroom. High praise was given to Aerin O’Dell, elementary school counselor, for supplying the in-depth data for this program to be successful.
Cavanah and Dover told the board of the school’s annual Christmas concert on Monday, Dec. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the high school auditorium. There will also be Orrick’s answer to American Idol on Tuesday, Dec. 23 at 7 p.m in the high school auditorium.
It was also announced that a blood drive would be held at the high school on Friday, Dec. 19.
Dover told the board the school’s canned food drive for the needy netted a total of 1,900 cans, with 800 coming from the elementary and 1,100 donated from the high school. Roger and Denice Thomas were thanked for the loan of their truck for transportation of the cans to the food pantry.
Dover also told the board the student council plans to adopt a family for Christmas with each grade level making a monetary contribution. The name of the family is to remain anonymous.
He also told the board the luncheon honoring students selected as Students of the Month would be Tuesday, Dec. 23.
One of the highlights of the meeting was the discussion of student achievement. High School Principal Brock Dover announced the December Students of the Month. The students are Joe Kaufman and Amity Parks.
Dover also announced the new inductees into the Academic Hall of Fame. They are: eighth grader Kailyn Dowell for math, eighth grader Ethan Nichols for math, 10th grader Johnathan Sumpter for math, 11th grader Nick Lafferty for communication arts and 11th grader Garrett Chapman for communication arts.
Dover also said that Joe Kaufman was selected Kansas City Star’s Athlete of the Week and won the Channel 38 The SPOT Hy-Vee Athlete of the Week.
Dover said the junior high attendance rate for the month of December was 94.8 percent, while the high school attendance rate was 93.7 percent.
A lengthy discussion developed over whether the school district’s Professional Development Committee (PDC) should be elected by the staff or be appointed by the administrators. It was stressed that this committee needs to be comprised of strong teachers. The concern was given that oftentimes a strong teacher is also a busy teacher serving on multiple committees and truly epitomizing the term “multi-tasking,” and not wishing to shirk their responsibilities by refusing to serve. Because of this, the same teachers serve on multiple committees. The PDC determines how one percent of the state-funded money is to be spent. Cavanah stated that she felt the administrators really needed to be more involved in this process than they previously have been because the PDC is one of the most important groups in the school. After much debate, it was voted and approved that the administrators will appoint the members of this committee. Appointed members will be selected no later than Jan. 31 and will be in a training process from Jan. 31-March 31. The members begin their service on April 1. Current PDC committee members will remain in place for this school year.
In other news, Cavanah said she met with the physical education department in regard to the curriculum for the Missouri Achievement Profile Assessments for the year. She will follow up with them again in March. It was stressed that the lessons learned in physical education need to be learned activities for a student’s lifetime. The curriculum needs to encompass K-12 students. She will be working with the elementary school teachers one grade level at a time, and will stress the learning, activities and assessments, and directions as to how these assessments should look and why. She said there will be detailed curriculum, objectives and assessments.
Superintendent Marcus Stucker in his report stated the district is financially on par, as far as expenditures and receipts are concerned. He said the district is at 30 percent on receipts this year, compared to 32 percent this time last year. He reminded the board the filing dates for the two school board seats are from Dec. 16, 2008 to Jan. 20, 2009. The terms of Roger Thomas and Marvin Griffin will expire.
Stucker also said the school district will again participate in the Christmas card program, where Orrick merchants are given $15 Bearcat Bucks to be used at participating local businesses.
Also discussed and approved was the MUSIC Insurance renewal as well as the MUSIC liability policy for the district.
The board then voted to adjourn and go into closed session. The next meeting will be at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2009 in the school library.
Those in attendance were: Superintendent Marcus Stucker, High School Principal Brock Dover, Elementary Principal Keri Cavanah, Board Members: Karla Waters, President; Roger Thomas, Tim Twyman, Paul Werle, Karen McGlothlin, and Art Endsley. Not in attendance was board member Marvin Griffin.

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