Ongoing questions for the Maryville R-II School Board about the future of the Area Cooperative for Educational Support began to move toward resolution this week.
During its regular meeting Monday, the board approved staff changes for ACES and the Northwest Missouri School Consortium that will allow staff slated for lay offs to be moved to other positions.
"Despite the situation, it has worked out really well," R-II Superintendent Larry Linthacum said. "The staff were qualified for other positions, and we had needs, so we were able to hire them within the district."
ACES, an alternative and special education school in Maryville that has served R-II and 20 other sending schools in the area, faced closure last year after it lost grant funding.
R-II, which acts as the fiscal agent for the consortium, subsequently decided that once existing grant funds were spent, it would no longer be able to support the regional alternative program.
Now, ACES director Debbie From will remain with the consortium as its special education
"Our goal was to not have anyone lose their jobs," From said. "Thankfully there were ways to find placement. There is just one (position) that has not been placed somewhere else yet."
The alternative school, currently located at South Main, will now be housed in extra classrooms at Northwest Technical School. These classrooms will serve R-II's alternative students plus students from sending schools who pay tuition.
"From a financial standpoint, this is what we had to do," Linthacum said. "It will still be run like the alternative school, but run solely by the R-II district. Things are falling into place, and we're excited to move forward into this."
Though ACES in its current form will end at the close of the current school year, the faculty and staff are conducting business as usual.
Last week, Northwest Missouri State University education students participated in a community service project through Black & Veatch, a global engineering and construction firm.
Students in Victoria Seeger's "reading in the elementary school" class took on the challenge of honoring victims of the school shootings in Newtown, Conn.
The 24 students in the class were assigned to memorialize six of the children who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School: Jesse, Ben, Madeleine, Noah, Ana and Emilie.
Each group chose the sub-topic "Nurture the Children" as their theme and were required to connect the projects with literacy.
Two of the groups created projects in conjunction with ACES and the St. Francis Hospital preschool.
Blooming Brighter Days, in honor of Madeleine, was the project by Northwest students
Brittany Dorscher, Krystal Young, Patricia Ingrassia and Jessica Stungis.
It involved reading gardening stories to ACES students then making tissue paper flowers.
Page 2 of 2 - Those flowers will be delivered to sick children at a hospital in Omaha over spring break.
"Building for Noah" was the project that benefitted the preschoolers.
Northwest students Kally Brennan, Kelsey Lenhert, Brandon Hileman and Mary Nelson honored Sandy Hook victim Noah by donating two sets of Lincoln Logs and preschool- level books about construction.