School board reviews policy updates

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The first reading for updated or new policies for school boards was reviewed by the Concordia R-2 Board of Education Thursday, Aug. 14. Superintendent Mary Beth Scherer explained each of the policies to the board.

However, they first heard from the Concordia High School and elementary school principals. CHS Principal Brandon Figg explained that enrollment is slightly up from last year. The largest increase was in the ninth grade class.

CES Principal Joe Beydler informed the board that enrollment is holding steady from last year. Both preschool classes, though, are full. He also recognized and expressed appreciation to the faculty and staff members who helped prepare the school for the first day of school.

Scherer also highlighted the back-to-school days for faculty and staff, a bond project update and the Oriole Strong Back-to-School Party in the Park. The party was held Friday, Aug. 15, from 1-2:30 p.m. It included special guest "celebrities," according to the superintendent's report.

All bond-related projects are complete, except the completion of the alarm monitoring system. Scherer said All Systems, of Kansas City, Kan., will be in the agriculture building Monday, Aug. 18, to finish installation and conduct training on how the system works.

The first reading of board policies was then conducted. According to Scherer most of the policies are mandatory. Many were updated to allow for clarity. The first policy Scherer focused on was school board elections.

"Right now if we have two vacancies and only two people run, we don't have to hold an election. We're still allowed to do that," she said.

What is changing, she added, is how notice is given to the public. The district must publish the names of the candidates who will assume the board positions in lieu of an election prior to the first day of April. Information provided by Scherer from Missouri Consultants for Education LLC, of Glencoe, recommend giving notice by March 1.

Another policy change include the school year and school day. The policy change goes into effect for the 2015-2016 school year. School boards must hold separate special hearing if the district plans on starting school more than 10 days prior to Labor Day. Also, instead of a mandated set of school days ― 174 ― districts must now operate under a mandated set of school hours ― 1,044.

Since this was a first reading of the new or updated board policies, approval will not be conducted until the next school board meeting after the second reading.

Board members also approved adoption of the state transportation aid report, the 2013-2014 annual secretary of the board report, and the substitute teacher list. The next board of education meeting is Thursday, Aug. 21, at 7 p.m.

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