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Hatton McCredie off school improvement list

North Callaway Assistant Superintendent Sandy Haskins had good news for the school board Thursday night when she gave her update on the district's Adequate Yearly Progress status.

"Hatton was in school improvement as of last Wednesday," Haskins said. "But Monday we were notified we weren't under improvement. They updated (their numbers) and Hatton now is not in school improvement -- they met in both communication arts and math."

With that adjustment, Auxvasse now is the only North Callaway school still on the school improvement list, although Haskins noted that the building has been placed on second-year delayed rather than into corrective action for its third year on the list -- a move she said the state is making with many other schools as well.

"They're just not going to put schools in sanctions if they're still doing well," she said, pointing out that the school's scores were up again this year, and the district still has achieved distinction in performance.

In other business during Thursday night's school board meeting, Superintendent Bryan Thomsen and Activities Director Terry Metcalf gave an update on North Callaway's pending need to find a new conference to compete in.

They said the district currently is considering joining the East Missouri District Conference (EMO) or the Clarence Cannon Conference.

"At this point in time we're waiting for a meeting with Clarence Cannon to see if they're going to add to their conference, at which point in time my recommendation would be to apply to both and see what happens," Thomsen said after a discussion regarding distances North Callaway students would have to travel for both conferences.

Board member Sandy Lavy also questioned what size schools are in the two respective conferences, indicating she would rather compete against similar-sized are larger districts because "I always want us to play teams that will make us better."

Whichever way the district decides to go, Metcalf said a decision needs to made soon to allow students the opportunity to compete in athletics and other activities such as choir, band and debate.

"Like he said, we need to find a conference. ... Because our students deserve to have that opportunity," Lavy agreed.

Also Thursday, Thomsen gave a presentation on what the district's budget may look like in the next two years.

"If you look at 2009-10, we had $12.3 million in estmiated revenue, but $11.5 million is what we actually brought in," he pointed out. "There's one factor in our deficit spending."

Thomsen also noted the numbers could have been worse, but expenses were approximately $192,000 less than budgeted after the district froze its budget partway through the year.

"We know that in the coming year the numbers are going to be worse," he said, noting current estimates put the state at only being able to fund 83.7 percent to 92.8 percent of the formula, resulting in even more drastic cuts in revenue for the district.

"We're trying to stay in front of those shortfalls as best we can," Thomsen said. "This year is going to be worse than last year, and the state is saying the following year is going to be the worst yet."

He said the district's only options to create a balanced budget are to increase revenues or decrease spending.

"The only way to make significant gains in revenue is a tax levy," Thomsen noted.

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