October 4, 2001
Planning Committee Recommends Prop C Waiver To School Board
The Scotland County R-I School Board received the final report from the district's strategic planning committee report during the regular monthly board meeting September 27.
Committee chairman Fred Clapp informed the board that the volunteer planning group considered a Proposition C rollback waiver a top priority for the district. Such a proposal would have to be placed on the April 2002 ballot to be approved by a vote of the people.
The board heard Clapp's report and took the committees recommendation under advise-ment without making any official action on the front.
Clapp stated the major concern of the committee was how to continue to operate a school of exceptional quality during a period of steep declining enrollment at the local level. At the same time the district faces significantly lower levels of funding from the state due to budget shortfalls, and experts see little chance for improvement in the foreseeable future.
"The consensus of the committee was that acceptance by the patrons of the district for a Proposition C Waiver was the most logical and effective way to insure that Scotland County R-I Schools retain the reputation they have had for years as a school of excellence."
The strategic planning committee, which consisted of more than 30 volunteers from the community, met several times over the past two months to discuss suggestions for future improvements in the district schools. Numerous capital improvement projects were considered before the group decided its top priority to maintain the district's financial stability through a proposed Proposition C Waiver.
If approved by a simple majority of voters, the Prop C Waiver would allow the school board to wave a portion or all of the Proposition C rollback.
The district is currently faced with declining state aid due to decreasing enrollment combined with lower state funding of the education formula.
MSBA Bond Initiative
Board member George Koontz presented a report from the Missouri School Board Association regarding the state organization's efforts to start a petition drive to place a ballot proposal in front of the people.
MSBA is leading an effort to raise the required 125,000 signatures to have an issue placed on the ballot to allow the passage of proposed school bond issues by a simple majority vote instead of the existing law which requires either a 4/7 majority of a 2/3 majority. Koontz told the board that Missouri is just one of nine states that currently requires more than a simple majority to pass school bond issues.
Board president Paul Campbell appointed a committee of Koontz, Gary Miller and Ellen Aylward to head the local petition drive.
The 125,000 signatures statewide must be secured by December 1 for the issue to be placed on the November 2002 ballot.
The board agreed to table the issue of the future of the school pond until the district's science teachers held their team meeting October 5. The issue will be resolved at the October 30 board of education meeting.
The board voted 7-0 to continue to offer the $175 reward given to staff members for perfect attendance during the school year. The district has offered the incentive the past three years. SCR-I had nine teachers qualify for the reward last year.
Due to scheduling conflicts the district changed the dates for the next three monthly meetings of the board of education. The October meeting will be held Tuesday, October 30 because of a conflict with the MSBA Fall Conference.
The November meeting has been shifted to Tuesday, November 20, at 4:30 p.m. due to the Thanksgiving holiday while the December meeting was shifted to Thursday, December 20, at 5:00 p.m. due to the start of the Christmas vacation.
Celebration Of Excellence
The district's annual Celebration of Excellence awards banquet to honor staff members will be held October 16 at 7:00 p.m. in the high school gymnasium. All employees of the school district are invited to attend the event, which honors the employees for their years of service to the district.
Building Trades House Bids
The board voted to once again offer a pre-bidding opportunity for prospective buyers interested in purchasing the building trades home that is being built during the 2001-2002 school year.
The pre-bidding process allows the buyer to have more input into the construction and finishing work on the home.
Bids are to be turned into the Office of the Superintendent by 4:00 p.m. October 22.
A committee of Gary Miller, David Kirkpatrick and Superintendent LeRoy Huff was appointed to review the bids and present the information to the board at the October 30 meeting.
The board met in closed executive session to establish a bid floor for the home.
The board approved a pair of requests from FFA Advisor Bill Cottrell for overnight trips for FFA students. Members of the group will be attending the National FFA Convention in Louisville, KY, from October 24-27. Members of the Grasslands team will stay in Columbia overnight for the state event if the team wins the district contest October 2. The state contest is scheduled for October 18.
The board considered 53 updates to local board policy as recommended by the Missouri School Board Association (MSBA). "The policy manual service developed by the MSBA legal team is one of the most important services provided by the organization to our district," said Huff.
The district's current policy manual contains more than 500 individual policies, which are reviewed semi-annually by MSBA for amendment, change or deletion.
The proposed changes from MSBA were unanimously approved by the board of education.
The board received procedural evaluation plans, including the Secondary Instructional Climate and Vocational Education reports from principal Connie Courtney; the Elementary Instructional Climate Report from principal Rob Moore; and the Parents as Teachers Program report and the District Food Service reports. Each of the reports was unanimously approved.
Special Ed Compliance Plan
Annually prior to October 1 the board must adopt a federal plan for compliance with state regulations implementing part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Without the compliance plan, the district would not be eligible for state and federal funds. The board voted 7-0 to approve the compliance plan as submitted by director Rhonda McBee.