EDUCATION MATTERS #30
By Dr. Ben Yocom – Milan C-2 School District Superintendent
Are you ready for spring? I am! Fortunately, our weather throughout the last few days of February has given each of Sullivan County residents a beautiful glimpse of the coming warmth! Throughout my career, I have had multiple individuals ask me why I constantly pay attention to the weather – well, it’s easy – human behavior is often strongly impacted by the weather. For example, if/when the weather is nice and warm – students (and staff) rarely want to be inside and that can definitely have an impact on the school day. Having said all of that, I would much rather have nice and calm temperatures. Overall, I think we have all had a very manageable winter…
Things, as usual, are hopping at Milan C-2! The high school basketball seasons ended during the week of February 20th. If you have been following both the teams, you will know that BOTH groups enjoyed significant improvement from last year to this year. The girls’ team nearly tripled their win total from last year and the boys obtained their first winning season in several years. All participants (players and coaches) worked extremely hard and their hard work definitely paid off! Thanks for your support! The Winter Activities Ceremony will take place on Tuesday, March 7th, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the Milan Community Center.
Spring sports/activities will be off and running very soon. Baseball, Track and Golf have all started official practices and their first contests will be on March 21st for baseball (home vs. Green City), the 28th for Track (at Putnam County) and the 30th for Golf (at Scotland County). Check the schedules and make plans to support the students!
Our local Future Farmers of America (FFA) had its first competition on Friday, March 3rd at Bucklin. Our students and sponsors continue to work extremely hard within this program. The local Campus Bowl teams are also achieving GREAT success. Through three (3) meets, the HS Campus Bowl team is undefeated and the Middle School team is performing at a high level as well! Our Future Business Leaders of America are also ramping up for a strong contest season as well. The band-choir participants are also busy preparing for upcoming performances and contests. Needless to say, we have a lot of activities our students can participate in! Feel free to stay connected with the various activities through the calendar on the school’s website – www.milan.k12.mo.us.
Remember – as of March 1st, 2017 – the text-caster notification system is NO longer being used. The district has partnered with a new platform to provide mass communication – Alert Solutions. If you have NOT been signed up, please contact the school to do so.
Lastly, you may or may not be aware of the Charter School legislation present in the Missouri state legislature. Specifically, House Bill 634 addressing Charter Schools will be debated on the House floor on Tuesday, 3/7/17 or 3/8/17 – with a vote to come shortly after the debate. The revised bill has changed the language to only allow Charter Schools in “First Class Counties”. Sullivan County is classified as a “Third Class County” due to having an assessed valuation under $600 million. My concern with the expansion of charter school eligibility is the negative impact the expansion will have on Missouri’s ability to fully fund public schools. The Public School Funding Formula is a complex system designed to equitably fund all schools – adding more schools (Charter schools are technically independent Public Schools with little accountability) will do nothing but take funds from existing schools. The aforementioned formula has not been fully funded since its inception in 2007 and while efforts throughout the state have been made to fully fund the mechanism, adding more schools will NOT help. If the Charter School expansion is necessary, it should be funded in a completely separate method and should not ‘take’ from current schools. My plea to each of you is that you become informed and conclude on your opinion on the issue. In times like this, I’m often reminded of the great Benjamin Franklin quote –”Public investment in education is worth the cost.” I firmly feel that public education is the ‘bedrock’ of our future and we must be informed about the status of public education within our state.
Remember, school WILL be ‘in-session’ on Tuesday, 3/21 (as a makeup day); school will NOT be ‘in-session’ on Monday, 3/20 (the staff will have professional development activities). Please feel free to contact the school with questions/comments or concerns – my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, it’s truly a GREAT DAY TO BE A MILAN WILDCAT!