Volunteers work to relocate Central School Bell

Blood spatters and death dominated a conversation during Boonville’s Board of Education meeting Wednesday evening, yet this wasn’t an active crime scene. This was simply the beginning to Missy Stocks presentation regarding her Principles of Biomedical Science Course.

Boonville R-I School District’s Board of Education met in the Administrative Building for a monthly meeting 6 p.m. Oct 17. The major points circulated around the Central School Bell, student presentations, the MSBA conference and the superintendent’s final report.

Stock explained to the board how students enrolled in the biomedical course are presented with a “crime scene” on the first day, then spend the rest of the course figuring out what happened to cause the scene. They are required to take notes of each detail of the scene and have to test and measure every hypothesis they have concerning the cause of death. Stock said that the students are doing a sort of DNA analysis to match certain clues to the cause of death, along with blood spatter analysis.

The course introduces students to a wide variety of topics while teaching them about relative career opportunities.

“Pretty much what we do from the first day of class until May, is we are going through every process to figure out how she died,” Stock said. “Was there foul play? Was it a medical problem that she had? So we look at all different concepts of biology and medicine to determine what caused her death.”

She said that students can earn an anatomy and physiology credit through Missouri S&T if students have a B or higher in the class at the end of the year and score a six or higher on their end-of-course test.

“We’re doing a little bit of everything for all these different careers,” Stock said. “They also have to research and learn about them at the same time, while we’re doing everything else. Their exploring that, but getting that hands-on experience and critical thinking and analysis all at the same time. It’s a lot of fun.”

Computer Science instructor David Hopkins brought in two students from his computer programming class, Chris Weisner and Corin Wienholt, who showed a demonstration of an app they created in the class.

Weisner and Wienholt had a video presentation prepared, which showcase their app “Budget Calculator”. The app allows the user to input their monthly income and expenses and generate a budget plan based on those numbers. The two students said that it took them just over a week to code and create the app as a project for their class.

“They actually made this app by themselves,” Hopkins said. “That’s quite an achievement.”

BTEC Director Carri Risner said that it was impressive to the work that BTEC students were doing and commended the instructors for providing the students with a hands-on education.

“I was able to go in and watch them go through a gallery walk of the projects,” Risner said. “Everybody did something really different. ...We had some workout apps that were created. … I’m just really impressed, they did a really nice job.”

Superintendent Sarah Marriott said 1,561 students, kindergarten through 12th grade, are enrolled in the district. The administrative team is working to restructure the math curriculum. Low math scores are a district-wide issue, not specific to any grade level or school.

Marriott said Burrell Behavioral Health will begin providing mental health services to the district Nov. 5. Burrell will be centrally located within Boonville High School but will move around to other schools.

Frank Thatcher attended the meeting to discuss the relocation of the Central School Bell. According to Thatcher, the bell holds all of the hand prints of school kids from 1938 up until the time the school was shut down. The bell is currently sitting on a vacant lot, and certain Boonville residents, like Thatcher, would like to see it moved to a more central location.

“Several of my classmates… were wondering what is going to happen to that bell,” Thatcher said. “With it sitting on an empty lot, bad things could happen to it. We’d like to move it.”

Thatcher said that his group is willing to privately raise the money to move the bell, he just needs the board to decide where it should be relocated. Interested residents have proposed the corner of Locust and Main as a new site. The board will consider the move next meeting with the earliest possible relocation taking place next summer.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 20 in the Administration Building located at 736 Main St in Boonville.

In other business:

Boonville High School senior Olivia Reynolds announced to the board the student council is hosting a public blood drive 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Wednesday at the high school. Reynolds also spoke of the National Honor Society’s “Hallowthanksmas” dance that will feature events like a costume contest, ugly sweater contest, and pumpkin carving.

The board discussed its bid for a snow plow. The district has no way to clear sidewalks after snowfall. It has a snow plow for a truck, but if it snows during the night, the assistant superintendent for student services, Fred Smith, doesn’t believe one truck will be capable of clearing all of the snow off by morning. If the sidewalks are not clear, Boonville will be forced to either shut school down for the day or pay for additional labor to clear the sidewalks. This issue was tabled until next month.

ACT scores have been made public.The district tested 124 students and their overall composite scores were higher than the state average. The 124 district students amount to the most tested at one time in the last few years. Marriott volunteered to speak at any event with any group of people that may have any questions, concerns, or issues with the school district. Marriott is eager reach out and help the community understand what the Board of Education is doing for Boonville schools.