A new tourism-fueled law passed by the Missouri Legislature last year will mean a later start and finish to the Salem R-80 school year.

Under the law, Missouri school districts cannot start classes more than 10 days prior to Labor Day, pushing the start date back to Aug. 24. That’s up to two weeks later than usual for R-80.

With normal time off for Christmas and spring break, school would not end until May 25, Superintendent John McColloch told the school board Thursday night.

He offered an alternative for members to consider before approving a 2020-21 school calendar at their February meeting. It’s a plan proposed by Dent County rural schools.

By adding 15 minutes to each school day, with the same breaks as in the past, school would end on May 14, seven school days earlier than May 25, he said.

He called it an interesting scenario that would have to be discussed with teachers, the rural schools, and the Rolla district with regard to RTI students.

For many years, school districts were required to hold classes 174 days a year, but that has been changed to 1,104 hours to be divided up as districts see fit. That figure includes 60 makeup hours for snow days.

The board heard reports from building principals.

William Lynch Elementary

• Students of the Month: Greyson Sutterfield, Brandy Potts, James Odom, Reagan Harris, Kasem Capps, Damian Briceno, Bryson Counts, Maddox Decker, JW English, Zachary Forbes, Eavie Wynn, Hailey Hall, Daxton Hutchings, Dillon Emory, Kylie Miller.

• Our December Spotlight Assembly was Jan. 10 with members of the SHS Basketball Team being our guests of honor.

• Our January Spotlight Assembly will be Jan. 31.

• The next WLE Advisory Committee meeting will be March 5th at 5 pm.

• We earned our sixth PBS party for the year. We had a PJ Day on Jan. 13.

• We celebrated meeting our behavior goal of reducing incidents of disrespect in the classroom for the month of December with a dance party in the gym.

• The Construction Trades Program is working on our Safe, Clean, Respectful Learners project funded by a grant from the Rural Health Initiative through the Dent County Community Foundation. We are so grateful to that program and the grant for making this resource available to our families.

• Our second Safe, Respectful Learner field trip will be this month. Details are still being completed.

• Current enrollment: 271: PK-60, K-118, 1-93. Our proportional attendance rate is 90.87%.

Upper Elementary

• We had 94% of our students here 90% of the time through the month of December. We currently have 332 enrolled.

• Our December Students of the Month include: 2nd grade-Adalynee Destinfanes, Kailey Jiminez, Jett Nichols, Marcella Aspinwall, Owen Parker, Emma Grauf, Kate Letchworth, and Ella Bass; 3rd grade-Tanner Goad, Bailey Haines, Ryan Geary, Grace Ballard, Sophia Decker, Dylan Jennings, Jhiana McGhee, and Drake Smith; 4th grade-Olivia Metcalf, Kolton Evans, Colton Mink, Bodin Stenhoff, Aubrey Richardson, McKinlee White, Calley Wren, and Cullen Edwards; 5th grade-Zoey Elliott, Hailee Mendenhall, Linkyn Atkinson, Courtney Mendenhall, Patience Tankersley, Addi Stewart, Sorcha Sharp, and Bella Easter.

• We are honored to have The Salem News/Catherine Wynn writing a feature article on our Christmas card collection in Ms. Sims’ room and the pen pal connection with a soldier from Eminence that connected with Mrs. Letchworth’s 5th graders.

• Our buiding participated in a DACL walkthrough with DESE MMD today. We are learning more about developing assessment capable learners.

• Mrs. Phelps and our 5th grade teachers have started rehearsals for Annie Jr. The performance dates are March 12 at 6:30, March 13 at 6:30 and March 14, with two performances 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

• The Dent County 4th/5th Grades Quiz Bowl tournament date will be Feb. 25. Teams include Salem, R-1, R-2, R-4 and Bunker.

• We have started the process of MAP practice tests within the last week. We are looking forward to practice testing on our Chromebooks in the classroom setting, as that’s what the students and teachers all feel they will perform best.

• We celebrated our classroom 150 ticket earners, individual student 100 ticket earners and our Students of the Month for December in an assembly last week. The students were recognized and a fun game including some of those students followed.

• We’d like to wish Quincey Steelman, Camron James and Phoebe Adlaon the best of luck as they participate in the All State Kid’s Choir Jan. 22.

Middle School

• Students of the Month are Carter Foster, Cassie Scott, and Riley Darby.

• Enrollment is 237

• 90/90 attendance is 91.6%

High School

• Malia Terrill gave the board liaison report.

• Students of the Month are Slayton Parker and Isabella Knaack

• Under 90/90, SHS had 91.7% of students attending 90% of the time.

• ACT Work Keys is Feb.10-13 for all 11th grade and select 12th grade students

• ACT Testing is April 7. FFA Service Project Day is also scheduled.

• EOC Assessments are planned the second and fourth week of April.

• Enrollment is 553 with 11 students graduating in December, compared to 10 last year.

• A Construction Trades Advisory Council update and Ag-Ed Advisory Council update was given by Dustin Howard