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Sikeston R-6 School Board changes monthly meeting time

Posted Date: 10/10/2019

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Credit and Link: Standard Democrat

In an effort to better accommodate its patrons, the Sikeston R-6 Board of Education will begin an hour later for its regular monthly meetings.

Starting with its next regular meeting which is Tuesday, the school board will start its executive session at 4:30 p.m. and regular session, which is open to the public, at 5:30 p.m.

“Our goal is to move the meeting time back a little bit to hopefully make it more accessible for our community and parents to attend,” said Sikeston R-6 Superintendent Dr. Tony Robinson.

For many years, Sikeston R-6’s regular board meetings started at 4:30 p.m. Board members amended the board policy BDA, which deals with board meetings, during their Sept. 18 regular monthly meeting, which will continue to be held on the second Tuesday of the month.

In other action by the board, an amendment to board policy JGA-1, which deals with corporal punishment, was approved. The policy was amended to state that corporal punishment will not be used in the district.

“We’re making the shift to become a trauma-informed school district, and in order to be in line with our efforts there as far as a school district, we made the change of not participating in corporal punishment for that reason as well as liability reasons for our staff,” Robinson said.

He continued: “Obviously, if parents choose to use corporal punishment, that’s a parent’s choice. It’s not that we are in opposition to it, but as far as the district, we made that change.”

The amended policy now reads: “For the purposes of this policy, corporal punishment is the use of physical force as a method of correcting student behavior. No person employed by or volunteering on behalf of the Sikeston R-6 shall administer corporal punishment or cause corporal punishment to be administered upon a student attending district schools. A staff member may, however, use reasonable physical force against a student for the protection of the student or other persons or to protect property. Restraint of students in accordance with the district’s policy on student seclusion, isolation and restraint is not a violation of this policy.”

Robinson said the district is beginning the ongoing, multi-year process to become a trauma-informed school district.

“We’re taking some steps to get our district team and building teams identified and trained, and then we’ll start training our teachers,” he said. “We’ll start district team training this year, and in the summer our goal is to conduct some teacher training. Then we’ll do some whole-district training where every staff member who comes into contact with students will have training.”

In a trauma-informed school, the adults in the school community are prepared to recognize and respond to those who have been impacted by traumatic stress. Those adults include administrators, teachers, staff, parents and law enforcement. In addition, students are provided with clear expectations and communication strategies to guide them through stressful situations.

In other district news, the superintendent noted districtwide enrollment has increased by a total of 80 students with total district enrollment as of Sept. 4 as 3,509 students.