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Van-Far school board discusses safety for walking trail

Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Much discussion was held regarding the walking trail proposed by the City of Vandalia during Van-Far’s School Board meeting held Thursday, December 15.
According to meeting minutes, Van-Far Superintendent Chris Felmlee asked the board to consider donating .33 acres of land to the city as an easement so the city can construct and maintain a walking trail.
Van-Far board member Charlie Scrogin said he was against the project due to safety hazards of students crossing Highway 54 and the blacktop on Route P.
Board member Pete Nasir said if the school would make the commitment and approve the donation of the land, the city would come up with a plan to resolve the safety issues. Scrogin felt the safety concern should be addressed before going any further with the project.
The matter is expected to be revisited at the January meeting.

Elementary Guidance Counselor Robin Jennings reviewed her program evaluation with the board and noted that she presents instruction in all classroom Pre-K through 6th grades weekly.
Curriculum includes social skills, career building, and anti-bullying. She reported that she meets with seven at-risk students weekly and another five students for crisis intervention. Group meetings include topics such as social skills, behavioral strategies and emotional needs.  She has organized an attendance club for students that miss school frequently, through no fault of their own.
These students report in with Jennings each morning upon arrival to school to give them a positive start to their day.
Jennings sends out a monthly news letter to parents and serves as the tier two and three coach for PBS. Jennings also makes daily calls to the parents of students not in attendance.
Van-Far’s Jr./Sr. High Counselor Jackie Waller reviewed her first evaluation with the board as she is a first year teacher. She reported attendance of 50 at her parent night in September.   Twenty contacts were made with parents during parent teacher conferences in the fall. She told the board that much of her time is spent going to the classrooms to talk about post secondary planning. Students have already taken the ASVAB test and PLAN test this year.  The ACT test has been administered twice to 43 students.

Read the rest of the story in our December 21 issue or purchase an electronic edition.