Northeast Nodaway activities survey

RAVENWOOD, Mo. — The Northeast Nodaway R-V Board of Education directed administrators on Feb. 19 to go back to the drawing board on a district policy that could prevent a student from going on the senior trip if they have been convicted of possession of drugs, drug paraphernalia or alcohol.

The policy was brought to the board’s attention initially to reconcile a difference between the wording in the high school student handbook and the version in the school board policies. The board’s policy, which trumped the one in the student handbook, says that a student who has been convicted of possession of alcohol, drugs or paraphernalia during their senior year may find their eligibility for the senior trip “at risk.” Whether the student is found ineligible is at the discretion of the principal.

The student handbook’s policy differs in that it does not require a conviction, only a charge or arrest, and the timeframe is expanded to both the student’s junior and senior years.

At the school board meeting on Feb. 19, board members said they found both policies to be too unforgiving, and would prefer the provision be removed or significantly altered.

“I don’t think it should be in there at all, because kids make mistakes,” said Vice President Katrina McIntyre. “I mean, I guess if they come to school drunk or have alcohol in the school, that’s different — it happened here. But what happens when they’re with their parents, or on their parents’ time — kids make mistakes.”

Superintendent Brenda Dougan said that currently, the district does not prevent students with drug or alcohol convictions from going on other field trips, but the senior trip has traditionally been viewed as a more exclusive privilege.

Administrators will come up with new draft language for the policy to be considered by the board at a future meeting.

Student activity survey

High school principal Luke Cox reported the results of a survey of students in grades 7-12 asking what activities they plan to participate in next year.

Cox said the survey was voluntary, and so likely did not capture every student who is interested in participating, but should provide a general idea of interest.

Teacher salaries

Representatives from the Northeast Nodaway Community Teachers Association presented a salary and benefits proposal to the board during last week’s meeting.

The proposal calls for a $200 increase to base teacher pay, and the conversion of segregated sick days and personal days into one category of “flex days” or “paid time off.”

According to the Missouri State Teachers Association, the current minimum base pay for teachers at Northeast Nodaway is $32,300.

Other Northeast Nodaway notes

  • Prom, the senior trip to Branson and graduation are all expected to be held in conditions “as normal as possible,” Cox said.
  • Eight students were in quarantine due to COVID-19 as of the board meeting held on Feb. 19, all from contacts made outside of school.