Student achievement, budget top Cape board agenda

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Everything from meeting with officials of neighboring school districts to improving student achievement was on the floor for discussion Monday at a study session of the Cape Girardeau School Board.

During the session, board members discussed a variety of issues that could impact the school district in the near future, including the possible formation of a Committee on Student Achievement.

Board president Sharon Mueller said such a committee might be made up of parents and educators to develop new ideas for improving student achievement within the district.

Board members also discussed holding an annual summit with surrounding districts such as Jackson to share ideas and further relationships.

A stakeholders meeting, which would be facilitated by the Missouri School Boards Association and include members of the community and the school board, is also a future consideration.

The board must decide how $2.2 million will be cut from the district's budget at their January meeting. Recommendations are being developed by a school/community task force currently gathering in a series of meetings.

"How can I, as a board member, make decisions on this budget issue if I don't know what my own community wants?" Mueller said.

A stakeholders meeting, Mueller said, would allow the board to hear firsthand what constituents would like to see happen.

Considering review

In light of the budget cutting process the task force is currently working on, the board discussed taking a close look at positions in the central office.

"If we have an ounce of fat in this office, we need to find it and get rid of it," Mueller said.

Among the suggestions made were shadowing a central office employee for a day to understand exactly what that person does.

At the same time, said board member Dr. Steve Trautwein, they don't want to make anyone feel like they have to justify their jobs.

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