Safety is on the minds of everyone as children enter the school buildings and questions of security are brought up. The Winfield School District has already started to draft potential options for each building to help them become even safer than they are. The high school has a head start as they just completed a new entryway to the main office. That entryway will be the only way into the school during school hours. By building this new vestibule, everyone who comes to pick up their kids, visits, or comes in for information will have to sign in at the main office and will not be able to walk through the hall without the office knowing about it. The school district will be looking at a video camera system for the entryways and a buzz system to be let into the school. Recently all the buildings had assemblies on safety and intruder drills. They have also asked that local law enforcement and the D.A.R.E officer to have a larger presence in the schools so all the students, faculty and staff feel comfortable.
The high school is also moving forward and is now in the beginning stages of a new DART (Drug Alcohol Reduction Team) program. There will be a committee of students who will be working towards keeping the community a clean and safe environment. Other districts in the area have started a similar program and they hope to meet over the summer and brainstorm ideas to keep the communities drug free and provide students with activities to keep them busy.
Looking into the future, Winfield has done some research on the new technology that will be available for the district. In just a few years the standard for testing will be shifting from paper and pencil to strictly computer testing. Due to the growth of technology, the district is budgeting and applying for grants to purchase more iPads and Samsung Chromebooks to fill the classrooms. The district is planning on taking older laptops, which are now being used in the classrooms, and putting a barcode on them so they can be checked out for students to take home if they do not have access to a computer in their home.
Winfield is also discussing the use of the WiFi in all the buildings. Since the main source of Internet throughout the district is through WiFi, there are glitches and sometimes problems with the speed and readiness of the Internet. As of now, the main signal is held at the high school, which means the signals must pass over Hwy. 47 to get to the other schools, which can cause problems. A fiber optic bid was approved to move forward with purchasing fiber optic hookups to be the main source of the Internet access. They plan to keep the WiFi as a backup in the system.
All of the buildings are working on recording data for the first semester to see the improvements that have been made. Discipline is down and attendance is holding a steady rate at approximately 95.7 percent. Three hundred and thirty three students are still holding on to their perfect attendance. On the last ACT, 20 students received a 21 or higher on the test.
The ballot language for Prop KIDS for the April election was approved. The language reads: “Shall the Board of Education of the Winfield R-IV School District of Lincoln County, Missouri, without an estimated increase in the current debt service property tax levy, borrow money in the amount of Eight Million Dollars ($8,000,000) for the purpose of providing funds for the construction, equipping and furnishing of classroom additions and renovations to the existing Intermediate School facility; the site development, construction, and equipping of a bus maintenance facility; and the site development, construction, and equipping athletic facilities at the high school featuring competitive and practice athletic fields, lighting, and other improvements on land already owned by the District; to the extent that funds are available, the completion of other safety, remodeling and repair improvements to the existing facilities of the District; and issue bonds for the payment thereof? If this proposition is approved, the adjusted debt service levy of the School District is estimated to remain unchanged at $0.95 per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation of real and personal property.”
Many students and staff were recognized during the Dec. 18 board meeting, they were: High School Staff: Sharon Bader for her years of leadership; High School Students: High School DART Team, Alex Kersting; Sydney Rose; Amberley Davis; Camrallita Cruz; Travis Osborn; Danielle Tipton; Zach Ellebracht; Brian Thomas; Lauren Weber; Warriors for Warmth clothing drive: Tana Neels; Intermediate School Students were recognized for raising almost $650 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital through the Math-A-Thon: (3rd grade) Domanick Callaway; Brayden Elmer; Hannah Duvall; Lilyan Wehmeier; (4th grade) Bellamy Hoelting; Blake Dwiggins; (5th grade) Ella Davis; Ryan Altman. Primary School Staff: Marissa Dodd for her Outstanding Performance. Middle School Staff: Tiffany Heggemann for exemplary service and support of our students at Winfield Middle School.