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Snow days shorten spring break and add three days to this school year

Thanks to the recent heavy snowfalls, Jackson R-2 students will have a shorter spring break, and most will attend for three extra days at the end of the school year. Graduation will remain unchanged; it will be  May 21.

Students will lose three spring break days (Wednesday, Thursday and Tuesday, April 1, 2 and 7). School will be in session those days. Spring break will now be Good Friday, April 3, through Monday, April 6.

School will be in session Friday, March 20, which was originally a day off for the MSTA business meeting and District Music Contest.

Students who are not graduating will attend three additional days at the end of the school year: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, May 26-28.

Superintendent Dr. Ron Anderson informed the Jackson R-2 Board of Education of these snow make-up days at the March 10 Board meeting.

In other action:

• Library evaluation: The Board approved the evaluation form for Library/Media Resources.

Currently the North/Gordonville / Millersville schools have 25 class visits per week to the library; Orchard has 28; South has 23; and West Lane has 25.

Keyboarding instruction is given to all students in grades 3-5 twice a week.

Board member Dan Stover asked if younger students are taught a different method of keyboarding since their hands are so small and their fingers might have difficulty reaching all the keys. He was told they use smaller keyboards on iPads.

Circulation at the elementary schools are (based upon three-year averages): North, 12,668; Orchard, 22,556; South, 20,701; West Lane, 21,319; and grades 6-12, 37,614.

At the secondary level, the libraries are used in the following way during school days:

• Computer lab: 24% at the middle school, 65% at the junior high, and 53% at the senior high;

• iPads or other tablets: 39% at the middle school; 22% at the junior high; and 37% at the high school;

• Other: 37% at the middle school; 13% at the junior high; and 10% at the high school.

Board member Bruce Thomas asked if students have technology available at home. Associate Superintendent Matt Lacy said the District is conducting surveys to learn what technology is available to students at home.

During a separate presentation, District librarians handed out iPads to Board members and to District personne and had them compete in a multimedia trivia game called Kahoot.

• Storm drainage: The Board accepted the low bid from ASA Asphalt of Advance for a storm drainage system at the Jackson High School stadium. The bid was for $58,872.62.

• Integrating Literacy: Kindergarten teacher Ra-cheal Bohnert and Orchard Drive Principal Shanna Wilson gave a presentation on integrating literacy throughout the school day. They use a multisensory approach because five-year-olds “move a lot,” Bohnert said.

Four kindergartners demonstrated their skills for the School Board. Games included writing words in shaving cream with their fingers, smashing clay balls as they sounded out words, catching a beach ball with words printed on it and saying the words aloud, and hopping on a mat with letters as they sounded out words.

• State wrestlers: The Board recognized seven JHS wrestlers who went to State (four attended the meeting). “It was a really hard season but a very successful one,” said Coach Steve Wachter. “Seven guys qualified for state and four of them are right here. We still finished undefeated in duals. We have 219 straight wins in duals for the JV team. We had a lot of fun, except for the injuries.”

• State girls swimming: The Board recognized Caitlyn Palmer, a JHS swimmer who was a state champ in the 50 freestyle.

• Art students: The accomplishments of 10 JHS art students were recognized by the Board.

• 5K fun run: Assistant Superintendent Dr. Beth Emmendorfer informed the Board about the Jackson R-2 School District Wellness 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run Saturday, April 25, at the junior high (Oak Street entrance). Registration will be 7 to 7:30 a.m. and the race will start at 8 a.m. Registration fee is $30 for adults and $10 for children (under 18). Proceeds will go to the Back Packs for Friday Program.

• East Elementary: Dr. Anderson updated the Board on construction progress at East Elementary. He said all that is needed to be completed inside are “odds and ends.”

Outside, there is “some site work to do. It will not take long once everything gets dried out,” he said.

• Next meeting: The Jackson R-2 Board of Education meets regularly at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at 614 E. Adams, Jackson. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 14.

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at

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