NEOSHO, Mo. —
Superintendent Dan Decker on Monday explained to the Neosho Board of Education the procedure used to decide when to cancel school because of the weather.
School has been canceled 15 days this winter because of the weather. Decker said he, the transportation director and several other people are involved in making the decisions. The district also consults with local police agencies about road conditions.
“If we can’t get to at least 72 percent of our students, it doesn’t pay for us to have school,” Decker said.
He said that when the temperature gets below 10 degrees, that brings other problems. He said the buses don’t run as well when the weather is so cold.
“Not all parents dress their kids warmly,” Decker said.
Board member Steven Douglas, a Newton County sheriff’s deputy, defended the administration, saying he’d rather hear complaints than for any child to be harmed.
“Just because roads are great in your neighborhood doesn’t mean the roads are great in the hundreds of miles our buses travel,” Douglas said he has responded to complaining parents.
Board member Jonathan Russell attended the meeting via conference telephone call from his hospital room. He is recovering from complications from the flu. A few times, he asked his colleagues to speak directly into their microphones so he could hear.
“He’s doing much better,” said board President Brett Day.
Scott Harris, district technology director, reported on technology improvements in the district. He said Google Chromebook laptop computers were being distributed to all high school students Monday night and throughout the week.
He said improvements have been made to the wired and wireless Internet infrastructure at the high school and administration building, and that would continue at every school in the district.
“We’re having to change what we’re doing as teachers and educators to accommodate for digital kids,” Harris said.
The board approved opting out of paying the federal prevailing wage to workers on local projects that receive no federal funds. Tim Crawley, district operations director, said the move would save the district 15 percent to 35 percent on the projects. The vote was unanimous.
A RESOLUTION STATING THE DISTRICT’S POSITION on Common Core State Standards was to be presented at Monday night’s meeting, but it wasn’t ready, said board President Brett Day. The resolution will be addressed either at a Tuesday, March 4, informal session or at the next regular meeting, which is slated for Monday, March 17.