Friday, April 24, 2020
Superintendent Update
Mental Health and Our Students

Hallsville Family,

As we head into the sixth week of our county stay-at-home order, the concerning impacts of ongoing isolation present increasing risks to some members of our community. With each passing day, difficulties result in a compounding effect that can lead to significant levels of personal trauma. These include a wide spectrum of concerns, including a lack of adequate resources like food, unsafe environments, and mental health challenges, among others.

I would encourage each of us to practice continued vigilance in proactively and intentionally connecting with and supporting our friends, neighbors, colleagues, and family members. Let’s make it our collective goal to ensure no member of our community suffers in silence. We are fortunate, as there are many resources available nearby to help individuals and families in need. We will get through these challenging days together by checking on one another, offering support and encouragement, and connecting those in need with people who can provide assistance.

Please remember the schools are here for you. If you need help finding resources for yourself or others, don’t hesitate to reach out to a trusted teacher, counselor, administrator, or another member of the Hallsville School District staff. We are committed to supporting the safety, health, and wellbeing of our community.

J. Downs
Congratulations, Mrs.Nichols
New Elementary Assistant Principal

We are pleased to announce that Rachael Nichols has been selected as the new Elementary Assistant Principal for the Hallsville Intermediate and Primary School.  She will be working with the current assistant principal, Mrs. Jackson, who was recently named Hallsville Primary School Principal, to transition into her new role starting July 1.   

Mrs. Nichols is completing her ninth year as a first grade teacher at Hallsville Primary School.  For the past two years, she has also served as a grade level team leader and a leader on the elementary English Language Arts team working with teachers to adopt and implement our new reading curriculum.  Mrs. Nichols states, “I’m excited about the opportunity to remain a part of my students' lives even after they leave my classroom and I feel so blessed that I get to watch them grow up.” 

Rachael is a proud Hallsville Indian graduate, having attended the district preschool through twelfth grade.  She looks forward to continuing her educational career in the place where she grew up, as well as raising her three children here.  
Board Highlights
April Meeting

Below are highlights of items discussed during the open session of the Monday, April 20 Board of Education Meeting. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders, the meeting was open to the public via Zoom. The full agenda with document links is available on the district website , and the full Board Highlights can be found here

OATH OF OFFICE and ELECTION OF OFFICERS:  Newly elected Board of Education members, Jon Bequette, Shanda Nichols, and Craig Stevenson were sworn into office. The Board elected individuals into the following offices: President - Jon Bequette, Vice President - Bryan Wildenhain, Secretary - Nan Berkbuegler, Treasurer - Craig Stevenson. 

APPROVE BOARD RESOLUTION : Both the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Missouri School Boards Association (MSBA) have encouraged districts to take action to ensure that existing policies do not interfere with our emergency response to the pandemic and have a negative impact on students or the schools. As such, MSBA has created resolution language to allow for adjustments to procedures and practices to ensure the district meets the needs of students, staff, and the community while remaining in compliance with the policy.

APPROVAL BUDGET FY20 AMENDMENT : The board approved a second budget amendment for the current fiscal year. The purpose of the amendment is to provide the most accurate starting point possible for the draft of the 2020-2021 budget. However, during Governor Parson’s afternoon press conference on Monday, April 20 he announced withholding funds for the current school year. Due to this announcement, the budget will need to be amended again at a later date.  

COVID-19 : The COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges to every community across the nation, and our district is no exception. Student, staff, and community safety remains our highest priority; at the same time, we are focused on continuing to provide a quality education to every Hallsville child. Since the last board meeting, the county and state have issued stay-at-home orders, and last week the governor ordered closure of all Missouri schools through the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. The closure impacts every aspect of our functioning. Key areas were summarized below for Board review.
Student Learning: Our faculty, staff, and administration have done an incredible job of connecting with kids during this difficult time. Throughout the closure, teachers have been providing students with learning opportunities to reinforce, build, and enrich their knowledge and skills. These opportunities include a blending of online and paper/pencil resources, depending on the student’s age and access to technology. DESE has provided updated guidance on appropriate learning experiences for both districts and families. 

Breakfast and Lunch: The district applied for the Closed Enrolled Seamless Summer Option for food service; even though we would not typically be eligible for this method, DESE granted emergency approval. The district is serving reimbursable meals to 196 students eligible for free and reduced-priced lunch. Other students who come in need of food are also provided meals. We plan to continue meal service through May 21, so long as we still have enough healthy volunteers.

Staff:  Our employees continue to work and receive wages and benefits. Most employees are working from home. Some essential employees are reporting to work on-site on a traditional or modified schedule, depending on job duties and the needs of the district.

Curriculum and Assessment: The changes demanded by the school closure will have an impact on fourth-quarter curriculum delivery and a trickle-down effect on instruction this fall. District faculty, under the guidance of administration and our teacher-leaders, have begun a process to systematically document content that will likely not be mastered this spring, so we can make adjustments to the fall curriculum. Summative assessments for the 2019-2020 school year have been canceled by the state. 

Graduation, Prom, and Summer School: There are many unknowns about events and programs typically scheduled from now through the summer. We continue to develop plans to meet the needs of our students and communities while maximizing safety and complying with county and state directives. DESE has convened a workgroup to work through the details on summer school from the state perspective. 

Shutdown and Cleaning Campus: Facilities were deep cleaned in March using checklists that exceeded the requirements established by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Because students will not be returning to school this spring, plans are in development for the safe packing up of classrooms so the operations department can move forward with summer cleaning ahead of the usual schedule.

Athletics & Activities: Following Governor Parson’s announcement of state wide school closure for the remainder of the school year, the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) announced the cancellation of all remaining events for the 2019-20 school year. This cancellation will include all extracurricular activities in our District. This is a difficult time for everyone involved, but we remain optimistic that our programs will return to an active status in the near future. 

PRESENTATION OF 2020-21 PRELIMINARY BUDGET: Mr. Hoffman, Certified Administrator of School Finance and Operations (SFO) & Jefferson City Public Schools – CFO/COO, and Mr. Downs presented preliminary information on the 2020-2021 (FY21) district budget. Included in the presentation are revenue and expenditure assumptions that can be found here . The district is also tracking budget changes in the current school year due to COVID-19. These changes can be found here
Bond Construction Updates

The April 2020 report presented to the board outlined updates on the construction progress for gymnasium and second-grade classroom wing. SMWilson has started interior finishes for both the gymnasium and classroom additions. They are currently working on overhead lighting, HVAC registers, ceiling grid and flooring. Mechanical system startup is in progress and they will continue with temporary heat on the inside of the buildings in preparation for the remainder of the finishes. At this time, the only delay in construction is the fabrication of the gym bleachers.  The company responsible is located in Michigan and due to COVID-19 and the state’s strict stay-at-home orders, the company is currently not producing these items.  SMWilson is in weekly communication with the company and is updating any schedules as needed.  There are no known delays in the classroom addition. 
The board approved two change orders regarding asphalt and landscaping services. These items will be funded with the allowances established by the Board upon adoption of the GMP Amendment, and both came in under the budgeted allotment.

Additionally, SMWilson has requested Board approval of pay application #9, also included in the update. Klingner has reviewed and approved the pay application and will certify with a signature in advance of the Board meeting.

Yearbooks Still Available
Purchase online

Hallsville High School Yearbooks are still on sale! You can purchase online at and enter the code 23923. Yearbooks are $40. The high school books will be available during registration in August 2020. Seniors or senior parents will be able to pick up books during registration or in the high school office.

Elementary yearbooks have already been ordered, and we are waiting to see when they will be delivered and available for distribution.   If you did not order a yearbook and would like to be included on the waitlist, please complete this form .  Heidi Lenon, Yearbook Advisor, will be in contact with you at a later date if books are available. 
Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten registration for children who will be 5 years or older on or before July 31, and will be entering kindergarten in August 2020, has been postponed.  More information for families will be available in May and will be posted on our district’s website and social media, as it becomes available.  If you have any questions, please email
Census 2020 
Boone County Counts

The Census Bureau is challenging everyone to help ensure a complete and accurate count in 2020!  This count impacts federal funds that our community and others receive for special education, classroom technology, teacher training, after school programs, school lunch assistance, and more.  For every adult and every child that is not counted, our state will lose $1,300 in federal dollars every year.  That adds up to $13,000 per person over the next ten years! You can learn more about the census and the impact on Boone County at Boone County Counts .  Help us complete this challenge by filling out your census today at .
Emotional Well-Being 
Focusing on our students and families

During these challenging times, we are reminded of the importance of taking time to focus on ourselves and family. This may also include focusing on your child(ren)’s mental health and well-being. 
With support from the Boone County Children’s Services Fund, several MU Centers and organizations recently partnered to create a free, searchable database of social service providers in Boone County. The database, , provides access to local social services (including telehealth services) such as childcare, food, housing, job training and counseling. Collaborating MU Centers and organizations include the Missouri Prevention Science Institute , Family Access Center of Excellence of Boone County , Boone County Schools Mental Health Coalition and the Center for Evidence-Based Youth Mental Health .

The MU Bridge Program is continuing to work with school districts in Boone County to provide psychiatric evaluations and treatment for school-age children who are experiencing emotional and behavioral health issues.  

Family Resources

City of Columbia The City of Columbia has set up a webpage outlining the latest updates, health resources, programs offering assistance with food and housing, and ways to help the community during this time.  
CoMoHelps:  CoMoHelps is a joint effort of Heart of Missouri United Way, City of Columbia, Boone County and Community Foundation of Central Missouri, providing a central web page with quick links to official "Get Help" and "Give Help" resources for mid-Missouri. These partners are working together to quickly determine and meet the needs of our region.
Hallsville Food Pantry
April 28

The Hallsville Food Pantry  will take place on Tuesday, April 28.   Hallsville Pantry participants who will be picking up food, need to call 573-696-3621 for a pickup time appointment. 
Andrew Huddleston
Signs to Central Methodist University 

Congratulations to HHS Senior Andrew Huddleston for signing a letter of intent to wrestle at Central Methodist University next season! Andrew’s high school career proved to be one of accomplishments and setting records. Andrew was a four-time State Qualifier, State Champion at 138 pounds in 2019, and third in the State at 152 pounds in 2020. 
Andrew states, “Coach Nugent helped prepare me for collegiate level sports by always pushing me to do my best. It’s important to trust and listen to your coaches because they are doing everything to benefit you”. Andrew looks forward to his next steps educationally and athletically, and we look forward to him continuing to make a name for himself!  
Sydney Simmerman
Places 2nd at State
Congratulations to HHS Senior Sydney Simmerman for placing 2nd in Poultry Production Entrepreneurship during Missouri State FFA Convention.  Proficiency awards recognize FFA members who excel as agricultural entrepreneurs, employees or volunteers while gaining hands-on career experience. Poultry Production is one of 46 proficiency award areas recognized at the state level. Sydney currently operates a poultry business focusing on raising chickens and selling their eggs to friends and family members. Her family has owned chickens for most of her life, and they have been in the business for a few years. This learning experience has been beneficial for Sydney as it has assisted her with learning entrepreneurship and caring for these animals. Congratulations on this amazing accomplishment! 
Improve lives through learning.
Hallsville School District
421 East Highway 124
Hallsville, MO 65255

Phone: 573-696-5512
Fax: 573-696-3606
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