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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • District seeks community input

  • As the Neosho R-5 School District moves forward with a new superintendent and a long-term plan, the community is being asked to play a part in the direction the district goes.
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  • As the Neosho R-5 School District moves forward with a new superintendent and a long-term plan, the community is being asked to play a part in the direction the district goes.
    On Tuesday evening, Superintendent Dan Decker hosted the first of what are expected to become regular meetings of the Neosho R-5 Educational Excellence Committee, a group of Neosho citizens selected by the school district and invited to voice their input in the district's future decisions.
    "I feel like it's important as a school district to know what your community thinks," Decker said. "It's important as a school district to know what your community values."
    Decker said 200 invitations were sent out for Tuesday evening's meeting, and noted that the district tried to represent several groups, with invitations extended to community members, staff members, administration and students.
    Approximately 100 people showed up to the Neosho High School for the event, at which time they were provided dinner from the Newcomers Club, and given a half hour presentation by Decker on some of the issues in education and in the district.
    Decker pointed to overcrowding in the district's schools, grading, continued integration of technology into the classroom, possible business partnerships, and finding a way to assure that students are being taught on their level, as some of the topics the district could seek community input on.
    "What looks like it may work sitting in my office, because I researched it and this is what it said, doesn't mean that it's going to work here," Decker said. "So who better to know than the community and the people who have been here and made up this community for a long period of time, whether or not that's going to work here, whether or not that's going to be something beneficial for the community and the kids of the school district."
    Decker asked that interested attendees sign up, and also that they refer other community members they feel would be a good addition to the committee.
    He said the meetings will likely happen every quarter, though they can become more frequent if committee members request that.
    Decker said in the next meeting, he would look into splitting the participants into eight subgroups, with each focusing their attention on a different issue.
    Decker said after the presentation that among those topics would be grading, flexible scheduling, the one-to-one technology initiative, and a potential bond issue.
    He said the remaining topics would focus on areas the district scored low on in their patron survey performed last spring.
    "Those are areas that I want to focus in on what do we need to do as a district and as a community, how do we fix this?" Decker said. "So some of it's going to be, 'we've got these issues, how do we fix these?' What we need to do as a district to meet the community in the middle to repair that relationship with the whole community."
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