Maries R-2 Board of Education approves Washington D.C. trips

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 4/8/21

The Maries R-2 Board of Education approved with a 7-0 vote three Washington D.C. trips on March 30 during the regular board meeting.

The different trips in 2021 have come about partially because …

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Maries R-2 Board of Education approves Washington D.C. trips

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The Maries R-2 Board of Education approved with a 7-0 vote three Washington D.C. trips on March 30 during the regular board meeting.

The different trips in 2021 have come about partially because of the canceled 2020 trip that was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trip sponsors, including yearly planner Mayor Steve Vogt, were all present to answer board questions.

“The normal social distancing where possible, wear masks and stuff like that,” Vogt said later about the precautions they would be taking on the drive to, during, and from Washington D.C. 

However, they already had their trip agenda outlined and Vogt told the board that most everything is back open for students to see.

“The trip sponsors for our three DC trips would like you to approve the continuation of their trips,” Superintendent Dr. Lenice Basham told the board. “We currently have an eighth grade DC trip (May 17-24), a freshman DC trip (last year’s eighth-grade trip, May 29-June 5), and a government DC trip planned for May.”

According to Vogt, the itineraries for both groups include Monticello, maybe James Madison’s house, Mount Vernon, and Williamsburg, before moving on to Washington D.C. 

“Things in D.C. that are outside are open, Jefferson Memorial, FDR, stuff like that,” Vogt continued.

In a Zoom meeting last week with representatives and senators that took place through contacts at the Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC), Vogt said he took the opportunity to ask them about how things are going in D.C. They thought maybe Smithsonian would open at the end of April, but did not know if the Capitol or White House will be open at all. 

“We will still go by there,” Vogt said.

The Spy Museum, the National Archives (if open), and Arlington Cemetary are also on the itinerary.

“Normally we go to a ceremony called Twilight Tatoo, but it will be virtual this year because of COVID, which surprised me because it is an outside performance,” Vogt said.

The group is also scheduled to visit Fort McHenry, where Francis Scott Key wrote the Star-Spangled Banner. 

“On our way back we will be doing Gettysburg and 9/11 Memorial in Pennsylvania,” Vogt added. “I think everybody is excited to finally be able to do both trips. It’s very educational and a very worthwhile trip.” 

Vogt said this will be his 24 group trip to Washington D.C., though he has been there several times on his own. His co-sponsor Tracy Auer, a middle school history teacher, will be attending the group again for the fourth time.

“We appreciate everybody’s support in donating items, buying items at our auctions, and participating in our fundraisers,” Vogt said. “We appreciate the support for our community. This is a trip they will remember for the rest of their lives.” 

Other approved items included the one-year extension of the MidAmerica Bank contract.

“This would be the second extension of this bid,” Basham explained. “I would like to extend our banking services contract for the 2021-22 school year.”

The board approved the recommendation with a 7-0 vote.

During the winter season, the Belle High School and elementary school were both able to have fans installed with CARES Act funds approved by Maries County. However, Basham informed the board that when the district requested Gasconade County purchase the big fans for the Bland Middle School, they were informed the county had used all of their CARES Act funds.

“The district has enough CARES Act funds to complete the project,” Basham told the board. 

She recommended the board approve the installation of the big fans at the Bland campus.

The board approved the installation with a 7-0 vote.

The board also approved the following resignations of Kayla Wood, second grade; Zophia McDougal, paraprofessional at BHS; Sara Sullivan, BMS English; and Kayla Butler, BMS math.

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