Three Sikeston school board seats expire in April

Thursday, November 17, 2016

By Leonna Heuring

SIKESTON -- Positions held by three Sikeston R-6 board members will be up for re-election in the new year, with filing for candidacy beginning next month.

During its regular monthly meeting Nov. 8, the Sikeston R-6 Board of Education accepted the resolution for the election of board members during the April 4, 2017 municipal election.

The first day candidates can file is Dec. 13 at the office of board secretary Bryan Nickell at 219 S. Kingshighway in Sikeston. Board members whose three-year terms will expire in April are Amy Blanton, James Gleason and Deke Lape. Filing ends at 5 p.m. Jan. 17, 2017.

In other action, the board approved the English language arts curriculum.

Chuck Mayes, R-6 chief academic officer/curriculum and professional development, said there were minimal changes at the high school, junior high and kindergarten, and grades 1-6 were unchanged from last year.

"We've begun work on a major review of our ELA content, similar to what we did with math in the past. I've been meeting weekly with instructional coaches and some of our academic principals, reviewing our curriculum, comparing for the new state standards and revising," Mayes said, adding teachers have also given input.

During this process there will be some vertical teaming periodically to allow feedback. Hopefully, next year we should have an ELA curriculum that will have more revisions than in recent years and address the new state standards.

Board member Heather Drury asked if the district still teaches spelling after fourth grade.

After some discussion with other district administrators and teachers, Mayes said there are weekly spelling tests for third grade and up.

Drury asked for weekly spelling tests to be included in the districtwide ELA curriculum. She'd like each grade to have a list of spelling words to learn each week.

Board President James Gleason said he thought it was a good suggestion.

Superintendent Tom Williams asked Mayes to review and discuss with those in the district who are working on the ELA curriculum.

Mike Brown, R-6 director of building and grounds, made recommendations for awarding bids for door locks in various classrooms throughout the district and concrete at both the junior high and high school.

"Safety is one of the things we try to stay on top of as much as we possibly can," Brown said, adding some of the classrooms don't have a door latch.

Steward Steel came in as the lower price and also include the master key of the lock

Brown then explained concrete was needed at the junior high to create sidewalks.

"At the junior high they rearranged their dismissal to include students going out the north and east sides of the building, and the kids are walking straight across the grass even when it's wet and muddy," Brown said.

Sidewalks will be added going out both doors, straight to the street, he said.

The concrete bid at the high school was for the purpose of adding handicap access and a seating area at the football stadium.

"What I propose is we go on the on the south side of the pavilion where there's a little hill and follow the fence line that goes south to the north end of the bleachers and add a 20-foot section where they can stage wheelchairs to sit there," Brown said, adding the existing retaining wall there doesn't have railing, which would have to be added to be in compliance with code.

The board also appointed Bart Grant to the Education Foundation Board of Trustees for a term that began Nov. 8 and ends March 13, 2018. The position was available after Chad Crowe resigned his position on the board.

To view the meeting in its entirety, visit