November 18, 2010

Board of Education Approves Audit Report at November Meeting

The Scotland County R-I Board of Education met in regular session on Thursday, November 11, 2010. Vice President George Koontz called the regular meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. with four members present. Doctor Tobler arrived at 6:45 and Gary Miller arrived at 7:05. Paul Campbell was absent.

The board voted 5-0 to approve the following items on the Consent Agenda: Minutes - The October 14, 2010, minutes were approved. Procedural Evaluations - Co-Curricular - Mr. Hay; Secondary Guidance - Mr. Bondurant; Elementary Guidance - Mrs. Fromm. Declare Surplus Property - A number of old uniforms to declare surplus. Set Board Candidate Filing Dates - The 2011 election calendar establishes the filing dates for the April 5, 2011, election. Candidates may begin filing during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) on December 14th. Filing closes at 5:00 p.m. January 18th.

In old business, the board reviewed a portion of the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP). No action was required.

MSBA Conference

Gary Miller, George Koontz, Paul Campbell, Fred Clapp and Superintendent Dave Shalley attended the annual MSBA Conference. The conference addressed many key issues facing the state and schools. The report was for information purposes only and no action was required.

In new business, the board approved the district audit. NEMO CPA LLC presented the district audit for the 2009-2010 school year. The auditors found no concerns. The full audit report will be published in the Memphis Democrat. The board voted 6-0 to approve the audit.

Fall Board Workshop

The board voted 6-0 to schedule the annual fall workshop for December 15th at 6:30 p.m. The workshop is for information purposes only and no action can be taken.

Staff Absence Policies

The board adopted a resolution to allow administration to use discretion interpreting absence times for staff. The current policy causes inconsistencies within the district.

2011/2012 Junior-Senior High Master Schedule

The Scheduling Committee presented a tentative 2011-12 master schedule. The schedule consists of an eight-period day, with all classes meeting every day.

Reduced Schedule

The board voted 6-0 to approve one student request for a reduced schedule.

Personal Day Requests

Policy requires board approval when using a personal day to extend a vacation. The board received three requests to use personal days to extend a vacation. They voted 6-0 to approve the requests of Tamara Tague and Ronnie and Bonnie Young.

Executive Session

The board went into executive session at 8:45 p.m. The board voted 6-0 to approve the minutes of the October 14th meeting. The board voted 6-0 to offer the custodial position to Brian Lewis. The board voted to go out of closed session and into open session at 9:00 p.m.



Long Range Planning Committee Offers Input on School District Upgrades



Parents, faculty and community members offered their opinions on what they would like to see the Scotland County R-I School District look like in the future. Volunteers held a series of meetings in October as the SCR-I Long Range Planning Committee met to review the district's budget, enrollment figures, student achievement data and also toured the facilities.

During the process, the LRPC established a list of long term (5-10 year) and short term (3-5 year) goals. Those lists were presented to the SCR-I school board for consideration.

Technology was a key issue on the short term goal list. The top priority listed by the committee members was improving and updating the district's computer lab. Other high priorities included maintaining and improving teacher salaries, installation of an air conditioning system in the elementary school kitchen, as well as installation of a central thermostat in the elementary school.

The planning committee also highlighted the need to maintain the Career Ladder program as well as the School Reach system.

Other priorities ranked on at least half of the LRPC members' responses included covered sidewalks at the high school, adding a second transportation van for the district, additional computers and laptops for every classroom, upgrading the elementary school playground, development of an Early Childhood Center and preschool, development of a district website, additional security cameras at both buildings, and updating the school bus fleet.

Over the longer haul, committee members agreed that a new bus garage was the top priority.

Several of the shorter-term goals carried over to this list as well, as the LRPC highlighted continued support for updating technology, possibly with the addition of laptop computers in every classroom.

An annex continues to occupy future expansion goals, offering additional space for such goals as housing a multi-purpose center, an early childhood center, added space for the band and music departments and the possibility of separate high school and junior high areas. An administrative building a goal of several LRPC members as was upgrades in the school restroom facilities.

Security camera upgrades and awning improvements also were ranked toward the top of both lists as was the elementary school thermostat upgrade.

Maintaining the districts fine arts and performing arts programs was a priority as was adding additional college class offerings.

Sports-related goals included replacing the football field lights, creation of an all-weather track, baseball and softball field lighting upgrades, and repair of the football scoreboard.





SCR-I Finances Remain Strong Despite Weakened State Support



Thanks to the solid groundwork put in place over the past several decades, the Scotland County R-I School District remains on solid financial ground despite ever dwindling state support.

Superintendent Dave Shalley presented the district financial system procedural evaluation at the November 11th board meeting, tempering the picture of financial strength with growing concerns about education funding going forward.

At the center of that apprehension is the sluggish arrival of state aid. The district has received $1,070, 978.18, or 21%, of budgeted revenues. As of October, 25% of budgeted expenses, or $1,459,694.64, has been realized.

"At this point in the fiscal year, 33% of budgeted expenses and revenues are appropriate," Shalley told the board. "State revenues, which comprise 39.74% of the total budget, are down."

Local and county revenues, which make up 49.85% of the total budget, will arrive beginning in December and January.

"The reduced state funding is cause for concern due to the uncertainty of state revenue," Shalley said.

Fortunately, the district's unrestricted balances are $2,335,224.53 or 40.06% of the district's budgeted expenditures. Past boards established a goal of 17% balances to help with any unforeseen financial obligations.

Because of that solid bank account, Shalley said the board of education has been able to establish the local tax rate of $3.36, which is below the voter-approved ceiling of $3.69.

"This allows us to bring in needed revenue without over charging the local taxpayers," he said.

Other strengths of the financial system listed in the procedural evaluation included annual savings of $49,000 the district is realizing through the energy saving upgrades made in the summer of 2007. The district saved an additional $200,000 with the interest free, pass-through loan from the USDA and Tri County Electric. Recent resignations and retirements (six) have saved the district approximately $220,000 in salaries and benefits.

But with the strengths also came some concerns. Shalley noted that this year's budget projects a deficit of $459,266.00.

"We are in a cycle of deficit spending," he said. "The past three years the district has deficit spent $81,851, $136,014 and $124,280. This is a trend we will have to break."

Education funding will continue to be a hot topic at the state government level, where declining revenue led to budget cuts in many categorical areas including transportation, MOREnet and P.A.T.

Shalley noted that the new funding formula further hurts Scotland County with reduced funding to the district.

He did point out that the FY11 budget includes 2.3% growth in state revenues and as of October 1, year-to-date collections are up 2.6 percent, compared to 2010. As much as $189 million in Federal Jobs money will be run through FY11 supplemental budget process but the foundation formula includes $247 million in Federal Stabilization Funds, which will not be available next year.

Other revenue concerns include state gaming revenues that support the formula are about $50 million under budget.

Currently the formula requires an additional $233 million to fully fund education in 2012, with the state's total general revenue projected at a $600 million shortfall.

"There is a serious problem with state funding that we cannot overcome locally, without a major tax increase," Shalley said. "The assessed valuation of the district is currently $47,320,000. A penny increase on the tax rate will generate $4,700. If we take the entire Prop C waiver, the district will generate an extra $117,500."

These scenarios, coupled with the rising fuel and energy costs and Senate Bill 711, which lowers the tax rate ceiling in reassessment years, could have a negative impact on the district's funding according to the superintendent's report.

The district has a fifteen-year obligation to pay for the $1.9 million upgrades installed in the summer of 2007, which is scheduled to end in 2022. In addition, the maintenance of continually added technology will be costly, but necessary, to provide students the skills needed to compete in today's workforce.

"We must continue to spend carefully, maintain our buildings and keep resources up to date, as well as support programs for the student," Shalley said. "We have operated programs with very little increase in budget lines over the past eight years, but we do have increasing costs. This will reduce our balances over the next few years, but will put us more in line with the desired balance of 17%."

Bash Trash with MDC and MoDOT Trash Bash!

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Volunteer to clean up litter through May 15 and report efforts at nomoretrash.org.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.  – Missourians from every corner of the state are asked to do spring cleaning outdoors and help fight litter through the state’s annual No MOre Trash! Bash, which runs through May 15. The Trash Bash is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) as part of their ongoing No MOre Trash! statewide, anti-litter campaign.

The annual Trash Bash encourages people to clean up litter across Missouri from roadsides, parks, neighborhoods, rivers, streams, trails, and other places. Trash Bash activities also include educational efforts in schools, community events, and Earth Day celebrations.

Each year, MoDOT spends about $6 million to remove litter from more than 385,000 acres of roadsides along 34,000 state highway miles. Annual volunteer efforts to pick up litter along Missouri highways are valued at $1 million.

Last year, more than 60,000 bags of litter and several truckloads of debris were picked up during the one-month Trash Bash. People also attended numerous educational events stressing the importance of not littering. Volunteers participated through Adopt-A-Highway and Stream Team litter cleanup events. Missouri Stream Team Program volunteers removed 581 tons of litter from waterways and dedicated over $1.8 million worth of volunteer time to litter removal statewide annually.

“Litter is a big problem because it’s unattractive, costly, and harmful to the environment,” said Stacy Armstrong, MoDOT No MOre Trash! coordinator. “If more people would keep their trash and properly dispose of it, or, better yet, recycle it, we would reduce the amount of litter we need to pick up in the first place.”

Littering isn’t just ugly, it also hurts wildlife and Missouri outdoors.

“Birds, fish, turtles, and other animals get tangled in litter, such as discarded plastic six-pack holders and plastic bags, and it can kill them,” said Conservation Department No MOre Trash! Coordinator Joe Jerek. “Litter can also poison wildlife and can cost a litterer up to $1,000 in fines and one year in jail.”

Jerek added that helium balloons released for social or celebratory reasons can also become a litter threat to fish and wildlife, which may consume or get tangled in the deflated balloons and ribbons.

Volunteers are needed across the state to participate in litter cleanup activities. Participants can report their cleanup efforts and will receive a thank you No MOre Trash! pin. For more information and to learn how to participate, visit nomoretrash.org or call 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636). 

City of Memphis Marks Earth Day With Tree Plantings

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An estimated one billion or more people in 192 countries commemorated Earth Day on Friday, April 22nd, including the City of Memphis.

Superintendent Roy Monroe reported a pair of trees were planted in Johnson Park as part of the celebration that fosters environmental awareness while promoting such activities as community clean ups, and like this year, planting trees.

This year Earth Day Network focused on the urgent need to plant new trees and forests worldwide.

“Throughout the year, EDN sponsors and takes part in tree plantings across the US and worldwide,” said Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network. “But this year we are raising the stakes. As we begin the four year count down to Earth Day’s 50th anniversary in 2020, Earth Day Network is pledging to plant 7.8 billion trees worldwide – one for every person on Earth! That’s incredibly ambitious, but we believe this down-payment must be made in order to combat climate change and keep our most vulnerable eco-systems from facing extinction.”

Recognized as a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation, Memphis continues to promote tree health and expansion of the tree inventory within city limits. The city offers free tress for planting on city right-of-ways on private property.

“The City of Memphis is again giving a tree to residents who will help with its survival,” said Monroe. “The trees will be planted by city employees on city right of ways.  Species will be determined by tree ordinance with consideration given to utilities at the location of the tree.”

For more information contact City Hall at 465-7285.

According to the US Census Bureau, trees play a key role in the national economy. More than 54,000 people are employed in forestry fields. More than 2.5 million homes nationwide are heated primarily by wood-burning, which is more than 2% of all housing.

Lucas Oil MLRA Late Models Help Kickoff 2016 Scotland County Speedway Season on May 7th

Billy Moyer, Jr., of Batesville, AR, took home the $5,000 top prize with a win at the last Lucas Oil MLRA Late Model race, April 17th at State Fair Speedway in Sedalia.

Billy Moyer, Jr., of Batesville, AR, took home the $5,000 top prize with a win at the last Lucas Oil MLRA Late Model race, April 17th at State Fair Speedway in Sedalia.

After losing a pair of spring shows to Mother Nature, Scotland County Speedway is hoping to kick off its 2016 schedule of special races with a bang on Saturday, May 7th when the Lucas Oil MLRA Late Models will travel to Memphis.

Modifieds have been added to the card courtesy of J & J AG, Jon and Jardin Fuller, for a show that will also feature Stock Cars, Sport Mods, and Sport Compacts.

Gates will open at 5:30, p.m. with hot laps at 6:45 p.m. and racing at 7:15 p.m.

Grandstand prices will be adults $20, students $10 and 6 & under free.  Pit pass will be $30.  Check out Scotland County Speedway on Facebook for more information.

The stop in Memphis on Saturday will cap off a three-day run across Iowa and Missouri. The MLRA late models will hit Donnellson, IA on May 5th for a $3,000 to win race at Lee County Speedway. The following night they will be chasing a similar purse at Davenport Speedway in Davenport, IA before arriving at Scotland County Speedway for another $3,000 race.

The circuit was last in action on Sunday afternoon, April 17th at the State Fair Speedway in Sedalia. A good field of 27 competitors signed in to run for the $5,000 top prize.

Justin Asplin led the field to green from the DirtOnDirt.com pole. An opening lap pileup caused a good deal of body damage to several cars. Once back underway only two additional quick yellows slowed the pace.

Billy Moyer Jr. ventured in from Batesville, Arkansas and was fast from hot laps. Jr. won his heat early in the day and rolled from third. He quickly took the lead and pushed on to his second win of the season and first with the Lucas Oil MLRA since 2012 in La Monte, Missouri.

“We had a heck of a car,” said Moyer Jr. following the feature. “I was just glad to win the thing.”

A 22-lap scamper to the checkers had cars racing all over the track. On a couple of occasions Moyer Jr. had to exercise patience to navigate lapped cars. Terry Phillips closed nearly to his bumper, but he was able to maneuver out of the close quarters.

The runner-up finish for Phillips is his best of the season. Moving from 11th, he made a lot happen in a relatively short amount of time. Phillips also captured the Casey’s General Stores Hard Charger of the Race award.

“I always love coming here,” commented Phillips “I miss this place. I’m glad somebody got it going again here. It was a pretty good race track for a daytime race. They did all they could to get it wet early. All in all it was a good night for us.”

Rolling off just one row ahead of Phillips, Rodney Sanders worked forward into third where he finished.

“It was pretty bottom dominant,” Sanders said. “We had a good car there just a little bit too tight. I can’t say enough about Jimmy (Mars) and the guys, they’ve been working hard. I felt like we had a pretty good weekend. Just got to improve a little bit, but I think we are getting in the right direction.”

Pitch, Hit and Run Competition Being Held at Johnson Park

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The City of Memphis Parks Department is hosting a Pitch Hit and Run Competition on Saturday, May 7th starting at 9:00 a.m.  The event is being held at Johnson Park Ball Field.

The competition, a free, 1-day event for boys and girls ages 7-14, is divided into two separate divisions, baseball and softball, and participants may compete in either division.

Divided into three fundamental aspects of baseball/softball, participants are scored on pitching, hitting and running.  In pitching, the participant is tested throwing strikes to a designated “strike zone” target.  Any method of throwing is permitted.  In hitting, the participant hits a ball off a stationary tee for distance and accuracy.  In running, the participant is timed, starting from second base, touching third then touching home plate.

All of the events are individually scored and converted to a total point score through the use of conversion tables.  After competing in each of the three components, participants accumulate a total score based on his/her performance.

Champions at the Local level advance to a Sectional competition.  Those winners then become eligible to advance to the Team Championships held in June and then the final culmination occurs at the National Finals held at the 2016 MLB All-Star Week.

Complete information and rules can be found at PitchHitRun.com.  Registration forms for the Local completion being held on May 7th can be picked up at Memphis City Hall and the Memphis Democrat.  For more information, contact Memphis City Hall at 660-465-7285.

Service Day Brings Out Best In CMU

From sororities and fraternities to sports teams and service clubs, some 700 volunteers from Central Methodist University did their part on Thursday, April 7 to, in the words of the CMU mission statement, “make a difference in the world.”

The University called off classes for its annual Service Day, when students, faculty and staff are encouraged to engage in volunteer activities to support a variety of causes. Event coordinator Matt Williams, associate director for CMU’s Center for Faith and Service, estimated CMU dedicated more than 1,700 hours this year.

Lucas Howard, a Sophomore computer science major from Memphis, volunteered with the Cleanup Fayette project, where over one hundred volunteers worked to pick up trash around town.

The many Service Day projects included yard work at various homes, work at the food bank in Columbia, volunteering at Fayette Head Start, sewing colorful pillow cases for children who are battling cancer, and many more.

“As President (Roger) Drake likes to say, we’re helping to prepare students for ‘advanced citizenship’ in the world around them,” Williams added. “Even though classes were canceled for Service Day, the learning continued.”

Since its founding in 1854, CMU has evolved into a university that confers master’s, bachelor’s and associate’s degrees through programming on its main campus in Fayette, Mo., and through extension sites located across Missouri and online

Delaney Gundy Inducted Into C-SC’s Chapter of Alpha Chi National College Honor Society

Delaney Gundy, senior art education major from Gorin, MO, was among 22 students inducted into the Missouri Beta chapter of the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society. The ceremony was held Wednesday, April 20, in Johnson Hall Parlor on the Culver-Stockton College campus.

Faculty co-sponsors Dr. Scott Giltner and Dr. Lauren Schellenberger welcomed the new members into the society. Dr. Dell Ann Janney, Associate Dean of Instruction and Professor of Accounting, delivered this year’s charge to initiates, family, and friends.

Alpha Chi honors those juniors and seniors in the top ten percent of their class. Founded in 1922, Alpha Chi has over 300 chapters nationally and works toward the goal of “Making Scholarship Effective for Good.”

Culver-Stockton College, located in Canton, Mo., is a four-year residential institution in affiliation with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). C-SC specializes in experiential education and is one of only two colleges in the nation to offer the 12/3 semester calendar, where the typical 15 week semester is divided into two terms, a 12-week term and a 3-week term.

The C-SC Wildcats are members of the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

Show Me Dog Club to Host Dog Day in the Park

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Dog parks are becoming more popular all across the United States. They are different in size and design but share the same purpose: to provide a place where dogs can run freely off-leash and socialize with other dogs. Although they’re not for everyone, dog parks can benefit both people and their pets. Once or twice a year the City of Memphis generously opens Johnson Park as a dog park. Here are some tips on why you should take your dog to the park:

Many behavior problems in dogs are caused by a lack of physical and mental activity. Dogs were born to lead active lives. They’ve worked alongside people for thousands of years, hunting game, herding and protecting livestock, and controlling vermin. Dogs’ wild relatives lead busy lives, too, hunting, scavenging, avoiding predators and complex social interaction. Most pet dogs, on the other hand, spend the majority of their time alone at home, napping on couches and eating food from bowls. Many become bored, lonely and overweight. They have excess energy and no way to expend it, so it’s not surprising that they often come up with activities on their own, like unstuffing couches, raiding trash cans and gnawing on shoes.

To keep your dog happy, healthy and out of trouble, you’ll need to find ways to exercise his/her brain and body. If she enjoys the company of her own kind, visits to your local dog park can greatly enrich her life. Benefits of going to the dog park include:

Physical and mental exercise for dogs: your dog can zoom around off-leash to her heart’s content, investigate new smells, wrestle with her dog buddies and fetch toys until she happily collapses. Many dogs are so mentally and physically exhausted by a trip to the dog park that they snooze for hours afterwards.

Opportunities to maintain social skills: dogs are like us, highly social animals, and many enjoy spending time with their own species. At the dog park, your dog gets practice reading a variety of other dogs’ body language and using his/her own communication skills, and she gets used to meeting unfamiliar dogs on a frequent basis. These valuable experiences can help guard against the development of fear and aggression problems around other dogs.

Fun for pet parents, dogs aren’t the only ones who enjoy dog parks. People do too. They can exercise their dogs without much effort, socialize with other dog lovers, bond and play with their dogs, practice their off-leash training skills, and enjoy the entertaining antics of frolicking dogs. This article was from petsWebMD.com.

Please join us for A Dog Day in the Park at Johnson Park this Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Please no female dogs in heat or unneutered males. We ask that all dogs be current on their shots. Just a fun hour or two for you and your dog to run around, socialize, and have fun. In case of rain, the event will be cancelled.

Ruby Red Hats of Rutledge

The Ruby Red Hats of Rutledge went to the Edina Nutrition Center on April 18th.  Marjorie Peterson was hostess.  She gave everyone a petunia and a packet of flower seeds.

Those attending the meeting were Celine Erickson, Marilyn Dunn, JoAnn Rood, Virginia Hustead, Joyce Bass, Ruth Ludwick, Reva Hustead, Marlene Henry, Neta Phillips and Nancy Jo Waack.

The next meeting will be Monday, May 16th at Keith’s Café in Memphis.  Hostesses will be JoAnn Rood and Marilyn Dunn.

Memphis FFA Hosting 2016 Awards Banquet

The Memphis FFA Chapter will be celebrating the successes of its FFA Chapter members on Thursday, May 5th at their annual Awards Banquet.

The Memphis FFA has had a very successful year and seen many accomplishments.  They have been awarded Proficiencies, attended Leadership Development Events and Career Development Events where they qualified and competed at top levels.  The Chapter credits their successes not only to their own hard work but also to the support received from businesses and the local community.

The Memphis FFA Banquet is being held at the Scotland County High School Gymnasium with dinner starting promptly at 6:00 p.m.  In addition to regular banquet activities, they are also holding a silent auction to raise funds to help with the cost of sending members to leadership conferences, CDE events and state and national conventions.

Is Maintenance Due On Your CRP?

Mid-Contract Management is required on CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) acreage. MCM (Mid-Contract Management) practices must be performed during the program years indicated in the participants’ Conservation Plan. For most contracts, management practices will be required to be performed one time on each contract acre during contract years 3 through 6.

CRP participants, in consultation with NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service), have the choice of one or more of the following three required MCM practices after a grass stand is considered established: strip disking, prescribed burning, and chemical application. Mowing alone is not an approved MCM practice. Each practice has a specific time-frame it may be performed. In no case will MCM be allowed during the primary nesting season of May 1 to July 15.

Spring disking ended March 31stt. The deadline to burn cool season grasses is April 30th. The spring deadline for chemical application of cool season grasses is also April 30th. There are additional times later in the year available to perform MCM practices.

CRP participants are to report to their FSA (Farm Service Agency) office when the practice is done. After the bills for the disking, burning, or chemical application are submitted, cost-share of $11 per acre may be issued.

CRP that does not have the required MCM practices applied as required will be subject to a penalty or cancellation of the CRP contract.

For more information about when you need to perform MCM, the specifications for each MCM practice, or any other questions in regards to maintaining your CRP, please contact your county FSA office. The Scotland County FSA office is open Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The phone number is (660) 465-8517.

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