The Perry School Board met on Monday, Dec. 11 for a regular session. A few days prior to the session, the School Board met for a work session pertaining to budgeting for the next three-years.

School Board members discussed priorities and future projects pertaining to PCSD during a work session on Thursday, Dec. 7. Board members were joined by Director of Building and Grounds, Kevin McLaughlin during the discussion.

The meeting was the second leg of a work session aimed to review the three-year facilities plan. Previously, the Board met during a time frame before the Nov. 17 school board meeting to discuss priorities.

Items discussed included transportation, instructional, maintenance, and technology needs.

On Thursday, the Board decided to cater to the following projects: vehicle transportation $106,000 dollars; auxiliary vehicles - $32,000 dollars; technology advances and maintenance - $150,000 dollars; elementary projectors - $40,000 dollars; wiring assessment maintenance at the middle school - $10,000 dollars, LED lighting at the high school - $86,290 dollars; $15,000 dollars for furniture updates and maintenance, and practice field irrigation - $15,000 dollars.

During the Monday session, the following items were discussed in length by board members.

Update on the Dewey Field Project by Mike Murphy of Larson Engineering

“We met on Dec. 7 with the select group and we got through some of the bidding documents but we still have some work to do for the further development and that was helpful,” Murphy said.

The next meeting will be held on Dec. 19 at 9 a.m. which will show a 50 percent document, Murphy says, which will include the project manuals and specifications.

“The next time I’m here for the Jan. 8 school board meetings, I’ll be asking permission to go up for bids for your project,” Murphy said. “We’re right on pace, just need to keep developing information, we’ve reached out to the City to show them some of our site plans, ask them questions.”

Board approved early graduation for 11 students

“It started out with 6 people with early graduation, then it was 8 and now I think it’s at 11,” Superintendent Clark Wicks said. “This goes through a process with counselors and Mr. Marburger, the parents are also involved with the letter and with their commitment and understanding of this.

Board approves $569,649 dollar application for modified allowable growth, drop out prevention, and at-risk

Tammy Valline, Perry High School Counselor, presented on modified growth, drop out prevention, and the at-risk application within the school district.

According to Valline, students typically fall into the at-risk category under these circumstances: attendance, connection to school, low achievement in reading or math.

“The specifics of what each one of those are kind of depends on what level we’re looking at,” Valline said. “The State says that to be considered a potential dropout, they have to meet at least two of these factors; they can still be ‘At-Risk’ if they just have one and they still can benefit from one of those supports.”

Valline says the drop-out rate has been declining, falling to a 1.9 percent last year for the district.

“We’re pretty proud of that, we know there’s still some work to be done,” Valline said. “Last year we had 10 students identify as drop-outs, and we noticed in the last couple of years that our Latino drop-outs is a little bit higher than other groups and we’re spending some time to look at why that might be.”

The Board approved the application, which will help fund programs to aid to the staff involved in specific programs, later resulting in assisting students.

Valline meets once a month with other counselors to discuss situations in the district involving at-risk students.

“We meet here at the high school once a month and talk about a variety of topics just kind of depending upon the year, a lot of our communication happens at that time,” Valline said. “For example, if we have a family who maybe struggling and has siblings in different buildings we can maybe [use] some of the services; sometimes there’s different agencies that will move in and out of the county or the area, and so we have them come in and present what services they have available and how to access them.”