Nest Crew members tell the School Board about their plan to increase involvement at the Dec. 15 home wrestling match.

Wrestlers on Dec. 15 will have the attention of the entire student body

They’re going to turn the scheduled Dec. 15 wrestling match into an afternoon party at Webb City High School.

It’s being organized by the Nest crew, students who learn business skills while operating the school coffee shop. Most of the crew members and their sponsor, Brenda Kaiser, attended the Webb City R-7 School Board meeting Tuesday to explain their idea.

They chose a wrestling match, which was already scheduled with Frontenac, because attendance is normally low for wrestling. The match is being moved from the evening to the afternoon so the entire student body can cheer on the Cardinal wrestlers. Classes will be let out at 1 p.m. for everyone to gather in the Cardinal Dome, at least until the school day ends. Student organizations will be encouraged to get involved.

While The Nest will be running the concessions business.

Principal Jeff Wilkie said both wrestling teams look forward to the increased attention and fun. “We’re turning the match into a party,” he said.

A good thing that’s a bad thing

The district tries to keep class sizes small, but Superintendent Tony Rossetti told board members that an average of 16 students in each of five kindergarten classrooms at Bess Truman Primary Center is an indication of this year’s falling enrollment problem.

“We have some kindergarten classes with some really good numbers,” he told board members.

It was the second meeting at which Rossetti said the board will have to keep an eye on the situation.

The kindergarten class in the district is smaller than it has been, and the overall average daily attendance is considerably less than it was at the same time of the year in 2020.

It’s a financial problem because a smaller number of students means less state funding. 

“I still don’t have an answer” for the drop in enrollment Rossetti said. It’s counterintuitive considering the increased number of new houses that are being constructed within the district.

Candidate filing period: Dec. 6 – 27

There will be three open board seats on the April election ballot.

It was announced the candidate filing period will begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, and end at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27.

Board members whose three-year terms are ending are: David Collard, Jeanne Newby and William Roderique.

In other action,

• Brenten Byrd, associate superintendent for instructional services, updated the board on the new school improvement plan, which will state goals and measure at each grade level the success of reaching those goals.

• High school principal Jeff Wilkie received approval to have Jostens provide a higher quality graduation gown, along with a blue stole with WCHS 2023 on it, for all graduates to wear.

• Rossetti received approval to create an additional office position because the staff is currently overloaded.

• Adam Bell, director of technology, was authorized to upgrade the district’s Sophos MTR cybersecurity protection at a cost of $14,000 above the $12,000 that the district’s already paying for Sophos firewall protection. In addition to preventing and detecting suspicious network traffic, Sophos will assist the district in case there is data loss.

• The board accepted the retirement letter from Dina Winningham, director of food service, effective March 1.

• The contract for Cameron Thomas to teach special education at Webster Primary Center was approved.

• Bradly Hershey was approved for a new special education position at Carterville Elementary.