Maries Co. R 2 Newsletter

September 7, 2021

Back in a Routine

I hope that all of you are starting to settle into our back to school routine. It is often hard for our students to get up each morning early and head to bed each evening early. Your students are doing a great job transitioning back to school. It is great to hear laughter on the playgrounds and in the hallways again. Athletic events have started again. We are currently in the baseball, volleyball, softball and cross country seasons. Please come out and support our students at one of the events.

If you have not yet updated your emergency information with your building secretary - please reach out to them and do so. We want to make sure we have accurate information in an emergency.

Thank you for all you do each day for the students in our community!

Dr. Basham


Parents As Teacher Program awarded grant from Missouri Retired Teachers Foundation

The Parents as Teachers Program has been awarded a grant through the Missouri Retired Teachers Foundation Maggie Elder Memorial for PEERS/Support Staff. Of about 50 applicants, Maries R-2 was awarded one of ten grants available! This grant will help purchase items for the new Parents As Teachers toy and book lending library. The lending library will have NEW educational toys and books that families enrolled in the Parents As Teachers program may check out or borrow. These items will help parents with age appropriate activities that will help prepare their children for school.

Parents As Teachers is a no-cost parent program that serves families throughout pregnancy until your child enters Kindergarten. There are no eligibility requirements. This service is open to all families living in our district. There are monthly visits and screenings that look at your child's development. The mission of Parents As Teachers is to promote optimal early development, learning and health of children by supporting their parents as caregivers.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Patti at 573-859-3800 extension 1311 or emailing her at

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IReady Assessments Begin at Elementary and Middle School

Students in grades 1st through 8th started taking the Fall I-Ready Assessment for Reading and Mathematics this week.

What is i-Ready?

i-Ready is an online program that will help us determine your child’s strengths and areas for growth, personalize their learning, and monitor their progress throughout the school year. i-Ready allows us to meet your child where they are and provides us with data to inform instruction.

The i-Ready Diagnostic is an adaptive assessment that adjusts its questions to suit your child’s needs. Each item a student receives is based on their answer to the previous question. For example, a series of correct answers will result in slightly harder questions, while a series of incorrect answers will yield slightly easier ones. The purpose of this is not to give your child a score or grade but to determine how to best support their learning.

i-Ready Instruction provides students with lessons based on their individual strengths and areas for growth. These lessons are interactive and provide strategic supports to keep your child engaged as they learn.

What can I do to help?

To help prepare your child for the i-Ready Diagnostic, encourage them to:

· Get a good night’s sleep and eat a full breakfast the day of the assessment.

· Try their best on each question and try not to rush.

· Try not to worry about questions they do not know—remind them that it is expected they will get only about half of the questions correct.

· Be respectful of other students who take longer to finish.

To support your child’s learning in Online Instruction, you can:

· Discuss your child’s progress on their i-Ready lessons.

· Celebrate your child’s learning and growth.

· Encourage them to use i-Ready at home.

o They will need access to a computer or iPad®, internet, and their login information. To check if your system meets i-Ready system requirements, please visit to run a system check.

Thank you for your continued support and for being a partner in your child’s learning! We look forward to sharing i-Ready information with you throughout the year. If you have any questions about i-Ready, please do not hesitate to contact the school. You can also learn more about i-Ready by visiting

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Three Rivers Makes School Supply Donation

Three Rivers Electric Cooperative dropped off school supplies from their school supply donation drive from the cooperative’s Annual Meeting on August 6 made possible by the generous Three Rivers’ members. The administrative staff was overjoyed and overwhelmed with the donation. Pictured from left are: TREC Senior Member Engagement Specialist Lorie Kiso, Middle School Principal Denise Baldwin, Superintendent Lenice Basham, High School Principal Garrett Haslag, Elementary Principal Vanessa Feeler and TREC Member Service Representative Lisa Kremer.

COVID 19 Dashboard

The Covid -19 Dashboard has been placed on the district website. It is updated at the end of the day on Tuesday and Friday. A positive case indicates that an individual has been tested and received a report verifying an acute infection of virus that causes COVID-19. Positive case numbers are removed when the person recovers and returns to school.

The quarantine exposure at school indicates that an individual has been in contact at school with a person who was identified with a Positive COVID case and is at home to determine if they will develop symptoms.

The quarantine exposure out of school indicates that an individual has been in contact out out side of school with a person who was identified with a Positive COVID case and is at home to determine if they will develop symptoms.

Free Meals for Breakfast and Lunch

Breakfast and lunch have continued to be served at no cost to students. However, only the FIRST breakfast and lunch are free. Any additional meals are at a cost to the parent. Anyone with a positive balance on their account will keep their balances until the free meal program ends. Families with negative meal balances are encouraged to pay the remaining balances and will continue to receive lunch balance notifications.

We continue to have a supply distribution issue for our OPAA contractors. Lunch and breakfast menus may change as needed without notification. We appreciate your patience as they work out the distribution issue.

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New One Way Street

The City of Belle has made the street next to the Catholic Church a one-way street from 3:00 to 5:00 each afternoon. The safety of our students is important and we believe this will reduce traffic during parent pick-up. When you pick up your child in the parking lot, please exit to the left. Someone from the Maries County Sheriff's Department will be monitoring for the next few weeks. Thank you for your assistance and cooperation!

Emails/Phone Calls Response Times

The average teacher receives up to 100 emails each day. Maries Co. R 2 teachers are expected to respond to emails during the school day within 24 hours of receiving the email. Many will respond quicker than that. However, there is no expectation for them to answer emails after hours or on the weekends. If there is an emergency, please call the school and leave a voicemail on their school phone. They will check voice mails daily.

It is important that our teachers disconnect from school and reclaim time with their families and friends and to relax and restore themselves. We are all aware that teaching today can be stressful. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Season Passes

The 2021-2022 Athletic Season Pass is now available. It is $75.00 a year for the family pass. You can purchase one at the gate of the athletic event or at the Admin Office during the school day. The pass is good for both Belle and Bland home events.

August Board of Education Meeting

The Board Meeting started with a tax rate hearing set at 6:55 before the meeting.

The regularly scheduled meeting started at 7:00. All Board of Education Members were present.

The tax rate was set for $3.3359 for the 2021-2022 school year. $3.2159 will go to Incidental Fund and $0.1200 will be placed in the Capital Projects Fund. The Capital Projects Fund allows for facility repairs.

The board approved the Resolution to Adopt the Gasconade County Multi-Jurisdictional Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan. The purpose of the plan is to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards. Each county must have an approved plan in order to be have access to state hazard mitigation grant funds.

The board approved the repair of the wall at the back of the High School gym and the Middle School office. Metal sheeting will be hung for the repair. Bids will be requested in the next 30 days.

Resignations were accepted from Amanda Sauerwein (MS Science), Claire Littrell (Paraprofessional) and Meggan Schuhardt (Paraprofessional).

The discussion about options for the soccer field were tabled. The Board will discuss at a future date.

The board approved the hire of Kaylee Bossaller as a paraprofessional at the Elementary. They approved the hire of Melody Shipley as the Middle School National Honor Society Advisor. They approved the hire of Nicole Golden as the Middle School Yearbook Advisor. They approved the hire of Beckie Lansford as HS Assistant Volleyball Coach.

The next meeting is September 28, 2021.

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Picture Day

October 14 is the Elementary and High School Picture Day. Make-up picture day is December 14 for both buildings. School photos are used on our ID's, in our student information system and in the yearbook. If your student is participating in virtual instruction and would like to have their school picture taken, please email your building principal.

Middle School Picture Retake Day is November 11.

District App

Many of you have already downloaded the new district app. We want to encourage everyone to download the free app. This will be how the district notifies the community when school has been cancelled or other notifications. We will stop using the previous notification system of text, call or email. The notifications will now be sent through the app. It is available for both apple and android download.
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Athletic Events

We are encouraging Tiger and Bear Pride at all of our Athletic Events! If you attend the game wearing Tiger/Bear colors or a Tiger/Bear Tshirt - you will get fifty cents ($0.50) off your admission each event. You may also end up being our Super Fan of the night and earn free admission and either popcorn (at gym events) or a soda (at field events) at the next athletic event! We hope that you will come out and support your Belle Tigers and Bland Bears this year!

Buses in Bland

In the mornings, please do not pass the buses dropping off students at the Bland Middle School. The buses will now begin stopping in the street with their stop signs out during drop-off in the mornings. We encourage parents to allow extra time if they are headed to work. It is not safe to pass a bus on the curb while they are dropping students off. We want all of our students to arrive to school safely. We appreciate your cooperation and patience.

Just a reminder that all students and staff riding public transportation (of which our buses are considered) are required to have a mask on while riding the bus. Please make sure your Middle School student has a mask when they are getting on the bus each morning.