June 7, 2001
SCR-I School District Hit With 22% Increase In Employee Insurance Costs For 2001-2002
The Scotland County R-I School District will be experiencing an increase of more than 20 percent in the cost of insurance for employees next year and the district may actually be exhaling a sigh of relief.
Superintendent LeRoy Huff informed the board that the NEMO Coop had finally reached an agreement with the group's insurance carrier on a medical insurance plan for the 2001-2002 year for the Coop member schools.
Huff stated the agreement called for a dramatic increase of 22.02 percent in the premium cost for employee benefits. He noted it marked the second consecutive year the district had sustained cost increases for insurance as the service had gone up 16.3 percent the previous year.
However Huff noted that it could have been much worse. "There are many horror stories being told concerning what many schools will be paying next year for medical insurance," Huff told the board. "I feel fortunate our rates were only going up 22.02 percent as many schools were experiencing more than 35 percent increases in insurance rates."
Huff broke down the increase for the board, telling members the increase would mean an additional cost of $576.84 per employee next year.
After discussing the situation the board voted unanimously to accept the insurance program as presented.
Non-Certified Salary Report
Salary committee chairperson Ellen Aylward presented a proposal for the salary structure of non-certified staff at SCR-I. She told the board that committee members had met with representatives of the non-certified staff and worked together to create the report.
Aylward read the report, which recommended a 2.5 percent increase in pay (before insurance and requirement matches) for all non-certified employees. The custodians, secretaries, aides, food director, head cook, cooks, part-time cooks, bus drivers, PAT instructors, nurse, transportation director and secretary to the superintendent all would receive the same percentage increase.
The committee report also suggested allowing all these staff members one step on the salary schedule.
The board further indicated a desire to increase the number of sick days a staff member could take for personal reasons. Under current policy, only one personal day is allowed. The proposal would change that to two days for personal leave.
One final addition to the proposal called for an additional step on the salary schedule for bus drivers.
After discussing the issues, the board voted 7-0 to follow the recommendations of the salary committee and approve the proposal as presented.
Student Accident Insurance
The district was presented a proposal from Lawrence E. Smith and Associates of St. Louis to be the school's carrier for student accident insurance for the 2001-2002 academic year.
The board reviewed the proposal and voted 7-0 to accept the plan that will allow the district to offer the voluntary coverage option to students next year.
The board noted that all students seeking to play school-sponsored sports must have proof of accident insurance coverage before they can participate. If they have no coverage they will have the option of purchasing the policy through Smith and Associates to meet the requirement.
The plan also is available to all other students in the district with four options available in the plan. The school time plan will cost $10 per student. A 24-hour coverage option is available for $38 per student. The varsity football plan will cost $39 with an additional dental option available on all three plans for an additional $3.
The two items under old business on the district's agenda involved the sale of surplus equipment.
The board had authorized transportation director Dennis Robertson to advertise for sealed bids on two used school buses. No bids were received on either unit so the board extended the bid period until prior to the June meeting.
Superintendent LeRoy Huff gave the board a report on the district's surplus property auction that was held May 24th. The school cleared more than $400 from the auction after expenses were paid from the $744.50 sale.
Denice Blaine presented the procedural evaluation on the district's gifted students program. Blaine discussed her first year in the position of gifted instructor and how the program is currently being utilized by students. Currently there are 17 students enrolled in the gifted program in K-12. This group attended the GAM Northeast Gifted Conference in Macon. Blaine stated she plans to apply to have the conference held in Scotland County in the future.
Rhonda McBee discussed the district's special education program with the board. The special education assurances report is required by the state for districts to receive special education funds for the year 2001-2002.
McBee followed that up with her procedural evaluation of the Title I program. She and Julie Clapp discussed plans for the program in the current fiscal year.
Two overnight trip requests were approved by the board. State FFA Camp is June 18-22. Twenty SCR-I students have indicated plans to attend. Two students will be attending the More-Net Technical Academy at Reed Springs June 4-7.
Upon recommendation of Superintendent Huff, the board unanimously approved the district's membership renewal in the NAEIR Coop in Galesburg, IL. The membership provides the district five trips to the group's warehouse to retrieve donated items for use by the school and staff members. The board agreed the $575 annual fee was well worth the results seen each year from the membership.
The board regretfully accepted the resignation of second grade instructor Joni Lloyd. Huff stated Lloyd had been a valuable employee the past three years and hoped the district might entice her to return in the future. "We hate to lose an instructor with Joni's capabilities but understand the reason for the decision," Huff stated.
Special June Meeting
The board agreed to schedule a June 12 meeting for the purpose of reviewing the existing 2000-2001 budget and to receive a preliminary budget for the 2001-2002 academic year. The current fiscal year ends June 30.
The board also voted to reschedule the regular June meeting from Thursday June 28 to Tuesday, June 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Huff told the board the district's current contract for financial services needed to be renewed for the 2001-2002 fiscal year through the 2003-2004 year.
The school currently is served by the Bank of Kirksville. The board voted to solicit bids for the service to be reviewed at the June 19 meeting.
Strategic Planning Committee
The board appointed a strategic planning committee of Gary Miller, Doug Shalley, Paul Campbell, Fred Clapp and Superintendent Huff to meet and establish a list of community members to take part in the project. The group met May 23 and established the list.
Clapp, chairperson of the committee, told the board 23 citizens had agreed to serve on the committee. Clapp stated Lin Stephenson, Scott Wickert, Gary Dial, Darrell Harvey, Wayne Winn, David Trueblood, Aaron Dannenhauer, Kathy Kiddoo, Barb Blomme, Don Fromm, Chris Feeney, Chris Harris, Barbara Campbell, Ken Cross, Marla O'Donnell, Scott Brassfield, Tom Deberry, Jeff Behrens, Jason Glass, Jenny Stone and Michele Garnett have agreed to serve on the committee.
A committee of George Koontz, Paula Neese and David Kirkpatrick was established to review the district's transport-ation costs. The group will review costs as well as future trans-portation needs of the district in the wake of the growing fuel costs in an effort to make the system as cost effective as possible.
Natural Gas Coop
The district had been seeking to form a cooperative of districts for the purpose of purchasing natural gas for the upcoming school year. Huff reported the Missouri School Board Association had formed such a cooperative but recommended the district not participate at this time.
Huff stated due to the current meter charge from the district's provider as well as the fact that the Missouri Public Service Commission has not allowed the MSBA coop to receive a reduced rate, that it was not economically feasible for the district to join the group. He did note that MSBA recommended the district join the coop as soon as the PSC allows the reduced rate.
The board voted unanimously to offer employment to Brook Garbati as a district 7-12 special education instructor and to Lisa Denney as half-time Title I reading instructor and half-time special education instructor. Sue Schneider was offered the opportunity to transfer from her high school Title I instructor to a full time position as a second grade instructor for the 2001-2002 year.