Bernie Schools break from Malden Alternative School

Thursday, November 12, 2009

BERNIE, Mo.,--Bernie School Board members voted this week to relinquish their ties to the Malden Alternative School beginning with the 2010-11 school year. Instead, the district will conduct their own in-house classroom for students assigned to in-school suspension.

"We have the space to do this, and I believe we can house the program right here for nearly the same amount of money that we pay out at this time," superintendent John Boyd told the board during their regular monthly meeting this week.

The in-house program would eliminate the need to bus students to Malden for disciplinary measures and would provide an opportunity for immediate disciplinary action, rather than having to tolerate a waiting period for the student to be accommodated at the Malden location.

"We'll be looking into hiring someone, perhaps a retired teacher for the position of instructing these students here at Bernie," Boyd said.

The decision as to how often the suspension class would be in session, along with other details regarding the changeover, will be discussed at a later date, Boyd said.

Bernie Schools are in search of nominations for the district's Hall of Fame. Criteria for the honor calls for the nominee to be a graduate, former employee or community supporter of the Bernie School District. In addition, the nominee must have been separated from the district for at least a five-year period.

Criteria also calls for the nominee "to have contributed to the welfare of humanity to an unusual degree."

Each January, the Board of Education selects one individual for inclusion to the Hall of Fame from nominations submitted. Nominations will be accepted until the board's January meeting.

Following some discussion on the matter, the board voted to amend a board policy that awards high school math credit to eighth grade students who begin an advanced math track by taking Algebra I during their eighth grade year. These students, the board stressed, would be able to take an additional three math credits between ninth and twelfth grades.

The board then heard from Elementary Principal Tommie Ellenburg regarding the District Improvement Plan. Emphasizing the focus on the subjects of mathematics and communication arts, the board approved the district's plan.

In other business, the Bernie Board of Education:

* approved a tentative graduation date of May 16, 2010.

* approved program evaluations for the Assessment Program and the Health Services Program.

* accepted a high bid of $811.01 from Calvary Baptist Church in Campbell.

* approved the name of Melissa Beard to be added to the nurse's substitute list.

* accepted a contract with Pepsi to supply beverage products to all activities on the property of the Bernie School District.

* announced the filing dates for school board candidates to begin Dec. 15, 2009 and to end on Jan. 29, 2010. The terms of David Blevins and Ronnie Owens will be expiring.

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