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story.lead_photo.caption FILE: North Callaway Board of Education members discuss issues during an August meeting. Photo by Helen Wilbers / Fulton Sun.

Thursday evening's North Callaway board of education meeting will touch on everything from a planned homecoming bonfire to a $240,000 grant.

The meeting, which is open to the public, is at 7 p.m. in the Hatton-McCredie Elementary School gym (rather than its usual location in the high school's media room), according to the online agenda. It will open with a public comment period.

One topic of interest on the agenda: North Callaway has been approved to receive a $239,955 21st Century Community Learning Center grant. This is the fifth of five years during which North Callaway could receive money through the program, funded with federal money through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Since the 2016-17 school year, the district has received $1.56 million through the program.

This is actually North Callaway's second five-year run with the program. Since 2011, the grant has funded North Callaway's "Partners in Learning" after school program. Partners in Learning is open to all North Callaway students and takes place before and after school on each school day. Activities include everything from robotics to fitness and tutoring to the culinary arts.

The 21st Century Community Learning Center grant covers salaries, benefits, transportation and supplies for the program. Partners in Learning director Jason Smith will present an update on the grant during Thursday's meeting.

Also during Thursday's meeting, board members will hear an update on how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the 2020-21 school year.

North Callaway High School Principal Brian Jobe will discuss plans for an upcoming homecoming parade and bonfire, and there will also be discussion of face masks in the district. (The posted agenda gives no further details regarding the planned discussion.)

Additionally, on Aug. 27, the district was notified DESE has approved its "Alternative Method of Instruction Extension" (AMI-X) application. All districts hoping to use virtual learning if COVID-19 forces a school shutdown had to submit applications to DESE laying out their plans. Discussion of the district's plans for using AMI-X is on the agenda.

Board members will also hear updates about the district's social media use and policies; the North Callaway website; maintenance requests and work at various school buildings; the transportation department; and OPAA! food services.

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