Joplin School District leaders plan ahead for the new year

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With 2019 just three days away, leaders in the Joplin School District are already planning ahead for changes in the new year.

It’s everything from construction and technology to what kids are learning in the classroom. It even affects the school district headquarters and the students going to class there.

“Bring back our adult Franklin Technology programs right here to Memorial Hall and that’s exciting for us,” says Dr. Melinda Moss, Joplin R8 Superintendent.

The first floor project costs about a million dollars to rehab three classrooms and three labs. Work across town at the Joplin Early Childhood Center focuses on a single room.

“Expand the kitchen to a full service kitchen,” says Dr. Melinda Moss.

Grant money will pay for most of the 260 thousand dollar project to renovate the existing warming kitchen. Food for students at the JEC currently comes from the kitchen next door at Irving Elementary.

“As we serve more students it’s a good asset to have,” says Dr. Moss.

Student achievement is also under the microscope in 2019.

“We’ve got some curriculum initiatives in place to look at not only math and English, language arts, but we’re also looking at our social studies and science curriculum,” says Dr. Moss.

And which students go to which schools could be changing. A demographer study is underway to chart how the district population is changing.

“While we don’t have a tremendous student population growth right now, what we are discovering is that some of that population is shifting so to our south and east we’re seeing some growth and to our north and west we’re seeing fewer students,” says Dr. Moss.

If those changes are significant enough, it could prompt the district to consider changing the neighborhood boundaries for each school. Even the decision makers could be changing in 2019. Two school board seats are on the ballot in April.

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