Keeping Up With The Board

School board and superintendent discuss new protocol for severe weather procedures


Sarah Downs

The Wentzville School Board addressed weather-related concerns at the Jan. 17 meeting.

On Jan. 17, the Wentzville School District Board of Education had a meeting to discuss new policies affecting various aspects of the district; some of which include biliteracy, emergency weather procedures and other board policies.

One important order of business was to address the need to create an emergency district closure protocol, for when there are weather emergencies.

“I am recommending that all staff will be dismissed, with pay, in a timely manner based upon responsibilities of individuals and student needs,” Superintendent Dr. Cain said.

The new protocol’s necessity was brought up because of the severe weather that occurred recently and how there could, potentially, be more on the way.

The issue started when the students were dismissed two hours earlier due to inclement weather on Friday, Jan. 11, while staff was required to stay unless they wanted to use some of their leave or personal time.

This new protocol was approved to be made and the specifics will be decided in the next few weeks, then hopefully approved by the board.

“There’s early dismissal and then there’s a need to close the school, which will be the emergency closure procedure. That’s what was needed on Friday, Jan. 11 for not only students but for the entire district. We also need to be mindful of critical personnel on these days,” Dr. Cain said. “Ultimately, for this type of change to occur, we are going to have to address policy #4315, which focuses on short-term leave. We will also take into account board policy #5241, which focuses on district closure.”

The Board of Educators began their meeting by awarding individuals for their achievements.

They then proceeded to get updates from existing departments including finance and counseling.

An important development that social studies and world languages content leader Nichole Nolan brought attention to was the Seal of Biliteracy and she discussed the benefits of how it can better the schooling system, as a whole. The Seal of Biliteracy strives to improve success for all students and encourages those individuals to develop their language skills. In order to receive the award a student must show proficiency in two languages, one including English, and also complete a Sociocultural Competence Project.

“Biliteracy will not only help these students but the community, as well,” Nolan said.

“Bilingualism improves cognition, behavior, and problem solving, which can lead to additional career opportunities to students and to the workforce.”

While the seal was approved at the meeting, it is still unknown when the policy will be implemented.

Another important topic of discussion was the mental health/counseling department is expanding upon their resources and staff members. There will be new implementations on the counseling department that will be more beneficial to all students, which includes home visits, help with academics, and more flexible counseling hours.

Kristy Sullivan and Chris Turner, leaders of the Educational Support Counselors, are also in preparation for a new program in the district.  

“We’re really excited to announce that we are getting ready to start creating our very own Wentzville School District Counseling Program, specific to our students throughout the Wentzville School District. That’ll be a great endeavor that we strive for,” Sullivan said.

In the end, the meeting adjourned with new policies in the works, as well as new information being shared upon all in attendance. The following meeting to finish up these discussions will be on Feb. 6 and Feb. 21.

Click here for more information about the following topics mentioned above, as well as the Jan. 17 meeting.

Seal of Biliteracy Doc$file/Seal%20of%20Biliteracy.pdf

Counseling Program Doc$file/School%20Counseling%20Mental%20Health%20Program%20Evaluation.pdf