For the December Guffey Community Charter School’s board of directors meeting, the administrator monitoring reports addressed Ends Policy-6, which governs the school community connection. Even in this time of the coronavirus, there have been limited school and community interactions.

With “Community” in its name, the Guffey School thrives on active community input, involvement and support, like using community and staff as well as professional input to develop their three-point plan to reopen the school in late August for in-person learning.

The accountability committee composed of staff and community members will be addressing the school’s science curriculum this year, as well as concerns over unavoidable academic loss for online and home schooled students who will presumably be returning next year for in-person learning and any social-emotional issues that may arise this year. Students are encouraged to give feedback about activities in the school, like field trips and lunches.

There are a number of community volunteers who come daily to the school to help students with math and reading. There are also volunteers who teach student elective classes including Zumba, computers, sewing, art and HAM radio.

For Halloween, the students paraded around Guffey and stopped at the library for Trunk or Treat; the Corona’s at Freshwater for pumpkin decorating and carving; and Rolling Thunder Cloud Café and Sarah’s Place at the Bakery for special treats.

Rather than the in-person Veteran’s Day program, the middle school students wrote a thoughtful letter to local veterans, who would have attended the school program, thanking them for their service and the impact they made. The 3-5 grades class wrote letters and made cards for local veterans. The K-2 grades class also wrote and colored thank-you letters for veterans.

All the students created and helped decorate a hand-print American flag banner to hang at the Florissant VFW.

There will be no Winter Program this year. Guffey resident Sarah Garoutte again hosted Santa’s Workshop Dec. 17 in the school’s multipurpose room. Garoutte collects community toy donations and the students “shop” for a couple of presents for their family. Garoutte and her elves wrap the presents for the students to take home. The students shopped with their cohorts this year with everyone wearing masks.

Dec. 17, which was the last day of school before a two-week winter break, Santa handed out a Toys for Tots toy for each child outside in the afternoon from his rocking chair in the bed of his new pick-up truck. Fire department volunteer Millie Picker arranged for the toys. Santa sported a new suit this year.

In another example of community support, the winter fundraiser, through GOFUNDME, the school website and Facebook, has raised $3,200, including several $10 gift cards, said school Principal Martine Walker. Another Christmas angel donated a $10 Walmart gift card to every student, and another angel donated a turkey dinner to every school family. The Florissant VFW donated ham dinners to struggling veteran families this year.

The school’s biggest fundraiser of the year, the Pie Palooza, will be postponed from February to May this year, when the event could be held outside if gatherings are permitted by then. If not, the school is considering live YouTube combined with GiveSmart, an online auction platform for non-profits. Hopefully, Alexi Alfieri, who wrote the three Pie Palooza melodramas, will be writing a 2020 melodrama, which should be pretty funny.

The school was also able to spend a day at the fire department making their fundraising fire starters. As a surprise, the Flight for Life helicopter “dropped in” to show the students the emergency helicopter.

The board approved the agenda, the consent agenda and the November meeting minutes. The board also acknowledged receipt of the administrator and board self-monitoring reports.

There will be an executive session at the Jan. 13 meeting for the administrator evaluation.

Board members present were Chris Peterson, Frank Ruvo, Dean Wilson, Cathleen Van Egmond and meeting chair Laura Owens. The meeting adjourned at 5:44 p.m.

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