The Douglas and Ozark Counties Retired Teachers and Other Public School Personnel met September 16 at Autumn’s Café for lunch. Those present were Betty Moore, Marie Bristol, Kay Transano, Barbara Groover, Ruth Evans, Jane Elder, Ida Mae Huse, Colleen Lakey, Norma Stillings and their guest, Diana Premer.
Marie Bristol, RTA president, welcomed everyone. Betty Moore asked the blessing before the group ate lunch. Quite a bit of time was spent just visiting.
Diana Premer, Director of the “Bears’ Den” After School Program at Ava Schools talked about that program. This program has been designed to give children a safe place to be and to offer them academic encouragement between the times that school is out and their parents get off work. There are two buses with limited routes that take children home whose parents do not pick them up. The program offers a supervised playground time, a simple supper, homework help, and enrichment activities. The enrichment activities vary according to the age and the interest. Some of the activities that have been offered are cooking, CPR, archery, instruction in certain computer programs, and welding. They will have a Hunter Safety class coming up soon. Some parts of the program are offered to adults. It is notable that at least two adults have been licensed as pilots through this program.
During the business meeting that followed, the minutes and treasurer’s reports were considered and approved. Marie announced that the next RTA meeting would be held in Gainesville on October 21. Lunch will be at the Gainesville Senior Center at 11:30 and a tour of the Ozark County Historium will follow afterward.
Legislative concerns were expressed with a discussion about the Amendment 3 proposal that could put school districts in a costly and time consuming effort to make student and teacher evaluations based upon tests yet to be designed.
Ida Mae Huse spoke in support of making English the official language for America. Others expressed the need for English as a second language being taught to individuals who work in service jobs.
Marie Bristol said that we have an opportunity to express our concerns to the legislators on Legislative Day in February. More will be said about that later.