August 2, 2001

SCR-I Schhol Board Approves Price Increase For School Meals, Student Tuition

There's no such thing as a free lunch. The next best thing may be the lunch and breakfast program at the Scotland County R-I schools, but even that low-priced bargain has seen prices rise.

The SCR-I School Board voted 6-0 to approve a 10-cent price increase for all school meals for the fiscal year 2001-2002.

District Food Service Supervisor Terry Arnold presented a comparative price report for meals at six other local school districts and noted the price increase at SCR-I was well in the range of the compared prices.

The move means that breakfast for K-12 students will now cost 90-cents while the adult breakfast is $1.10. The K-6 lunch will increase to $1.25 with lunch for 7-12 students now at a $1.30. The adult lunch price will now be $1.60.

Arnold's report noted that SCR-I prices will still be the lowest in eight of 30 compared categories and that in no single category will the new SCR-I prices rank as the highest among the compared schools.

Tuition Rate

The meal costs were not the only price increases approved at the July SCR-I Board of Education meeting. The board voted 6-0 to approve a 3.3 percent increase in the tuition rates paid for both elementary and secondary school non-resident students.

The price increase means that non-resident students attending SCR-I will pay $6,105 for the high school year or $4,365 for the K-6 year.

Superintendent LeRoy Huff indicated that the 3.3 price increase marks the increase in the consumer price index for the fiscal year as provided by the state auditor. He noted this was simply a cost of living increase, not a move to raise the rates.

ASBR Approval

Following the close of the business fiscal year, the district is required to submit an Annual Secretary of The Board Report (ASBR) to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education regarding the status of the district's finances and other academic programs for the preceding year.

The board reviewed the 2000-2001 ASBR at the July meeting prior to submitting it to DESE.

The board reported a significant improvement financially in the district's financial balances for the district this year as compared to fiscal years 1997-1998 through 2000-2001.

"Once again this year the district has improved its financial position," Superintendent Huff told the board. "As we analyze the year financially, the district was able to pay for nine air conditioners in the North School, the first year lease on the new Lifetime Learning Center, a new bus, and 65 new computers, which were not a part of last year's planned budget."

Huff noted this was significant as the district was able to handle all of these un-budgeted expenses and still finish with a balanced budget.

"I want to thank the board for its patience in insuring that we continue the policy of financial solvency, rather than the policy of deficit spending," Huff said.

The board voted 6-0 to approve the ASBR and submit it to DESE.

Tax Rate Hearing

While discussing financing the board made a significant motion in regards to school revenues. The board set the annual tax rate hearing date for August 30 at 6:15 p.m., just prior to the regularly scheduled August Board of Education meeting.

An annual public hearing must be held before the tax rate for the new fiscal year can be established by the board. Anyone wishing to comment on the proposed tax rate can attend the meeting.

Strategic Planning

The board-appointed strategic planning committee held its first meeting July 17 with 19 of the 23 appointed members present.

The first gathering served as an organizational meeting but SCR-I board member Doug Shalley noted that progress was also made on the establishment of goals for the district's future.

Shalley told the board that the next meeting of the committee will be held August 8 at 6:30 p.m. This meeting will include a scheduled tour of the district's facilities.

Bus Bids

The district approved the sale of the final surplus school bus. Board members voted 6-0 to accept the lone bid of $500 from John Shannon for the 1988 model bus.

The bus had previously gone without bids in the prior sale period, so a secondary bid package was created and generated the one purchase offer.

Summer Workshop

Huff gave a report on the district's summer workshop, which was held July 15 at 3:00 p.m. at his home.

He stressed that no action was taken at the meeting, which simply is used as an informal gathering to discuss future plans for the district.

Items the board reviewed at the planning meeting included the preliminary work of the Strategic Planning Committee; dates for the staff appreciation dinner; the new employee dinner; the all-staff breakfast; the district's new testing consortium called Tetra-Data; the NEMO-Net distance learning annual board meeting; the MSBA Leadership Meeting; and the MSBA fall conference.

Procedural Evaluations

Linda Gray presented procedural evaluations for board approval on school safety and school facilities and grounds. Both reports were unanimously approved.

Special Dates

The board unanimously approved the scheduling for three special events to be held for the district's staff.

A new employee dinner will be held August 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Keith's Cafe.

A staff breakfast will be held in the SCR-I high school commons on August 21 for all school employees before school begins August 22.

The board also set October 16 as the date for the Celebration of Excellence IV dinner to be held in the high school gym at 7:00 p.m. The dinner honors staff members for their years of service to the district.

Resignation

The board accepted a letter of resignation from elementary school cook Tina Peterson. A similar resignation last month means the district will have two openings in the elementary school kitchen.

After discussing the issue the board voted to advertise one opening and to attempt to have COE Director Dave Shalley fill the second vacancy with a COE student for the current fiscal year.

Executive Session

The board unanimously approved contracts to continue the employment of Lin Stephenson as the district's testing coordinator and Jane Huff as the district's speech pathologist. The board also agreed to contract Stephenson's services in the area of special programs with emphasis on the newly formed Balanced Literacy Consortium being managed by Truman State University and the SCR-I District.

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