Concordia R-2 preps for next school year

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Concordia R-2 Board of Education met Thursday, June 12, and started preparations for the upcoming school year. The meeting started with consent agenda items and a legislative update from Superintendent Mary Beth Scherer.

Several tax-cut bills were approved by the legislature, and Scherer is waiting to see which ones may or may not be vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon. She said several of them could cause the district to lose money through Prop C funds -- a Missouri school and highway tax passed in 1982.

"Seventeen different tax breaks were passed in the last few days of the session," Scherer said. "These are sales tax losses. Everything from graphing calculators to laundromat power and equipment. Just a whole host of things."

The district could face a net loss of $45,000 if the governor doesn't veto any of the tax-cut legislation, all of which are set to go into effect for the 2015-2016 school year. Board member Doug Limback inquired if this is related to foundation formula funding. Scherer explained the foundation formula isn't affected by the legislation, only sales taxes.

"We're supposed to get a little bit more formula, but then we're losing from Prop C, and so it's going to come out in the middle," said Scherer.

She added State Rep. Glen Kolkmeyer, R-Odessa, voted in favor of all of the tax-cut legislation except for one because he was not present for that vote. Scherer didn't have the voting record for State Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensbug. According to Scherer, the votes ran along party lines.

Previously in state law, she continued, if a district begins school more than 10 days before Labor Day a school calendar needed approval during the course of an open meeting. The law was changed that requires boards to hold a special meeting to set the calendar. Another change included a requirement for schools to be in session for 1,044 hours than 174 days, which will go into affect in the 2015-2016 school year.

Scherer also discussed an update on district goals ― to increase overall student achievement to 91 percent of students attending 90 percent of the time or better, increase students testing proficient/advanced by 2 percent, and decrease office referrals by 3 percent.

The high school had 86.4 percent attending 90 percent or better and the elementary school had 94.3, based on end of April numbers. Scherer said end-of-course numbers look promising, but MAP scores are not yet in. The district was able to meet the office referral reduction goal.

Scherer informed board members with bond project and summer updates. Painting has started at the elementary school, the football field scoreboard was installed and the sound system was updated in the high school gymnasium. Flooring replacement at the elementary school is set to start June 23, according to Scherer. Alarm monitoring is slightly delayed due to extra electrical work being needed. The district put out a bid request to Mark Tolias. Since the scope of work is limited, the district is not required to put the project out to public bid.

One hundred fifty-two students are enrolled in summer school. It started June 2 and ends Friday, June 20. According to Scherer, there have been no concerns or issues related to this year's summer school.

Board members approved the Parents as Teachers Plan and the Professional Development plan. Additionally, student insurance was approved for those who participate in Missouri State High School Activities Association extra-curricular activities, including football. The district will continue using Markel Insurance, of Glen Allen, Va.

The board will meet Thursday, June 26, to approve the 2014-2015 budget at 7 p.m. The board received a thank you letter from Kathy Knipmeyer for the gift of a rocking chair at her retirement party, and it was read by Jennifer Foster, board secretary.

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