Concordia School Board approves contracts, fails to move on laude system recommendation

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Concordia Board of Education had a busy meeting on the evening of May 10.
The board failed to move on a recommendation to go from the current class position system to a laude system, like that used in universities. The program, presented at an earlier meeting of the board by High School Principal Luke Lewis and High School Guidance Counselor Leslie Basye, would have been effective for the graduating class of 2022 if approved. Under the program, graduating classes would no longer have a valedictorian and a salutatorian. Instead, honors and recognitions would be on the laude system, such as cum laude and magna cum laude. The board will revisit the recommendation during the June 2018 meeting.
The board did approve several contracts during the meeting. One of those was a contract with Pepsi. Under the contract, the school would receive competitive pricing for Pepsi related products, some free product, and $250 to spend toward Gatorade products or scholarships annually for the next five years. The contract carries no fiscal note change for the district.
Superintendent Brent Cooper presented a recommendation to approve a contract with Beerman Heating and Cooling Inc. for the purchase and installation of a new roof-top air conditioner for the computer server room.
“We currently are using a box fan to keep the room cool, and as you might guess, it is not able to keep up,” Cooper reported. “Not keeping the equipment cool can shorten the lifetime of the equipment.”
The board approved the recommendation at an estimated cost of $3,000 to the district.
A recommendation by Cooper and CES Principal Caleb Petet to adopt a job description for a full-time counselor at CES was presented to the board. The board approved the job description.
The board heard a recommendation from Cooper concerning a reciprocal agreement with Crest Ridge schools to serve a family that lives closer to the Concordia R-II School District than the Crest Ridge School District. In the agreement, the home district (Crest Ridge) waives the ADA finds on the students and keeps the property tax revenue. The receiving district, in this case Concordia R-II, receives the ADA funds.
“One of the students of the family we serve has autism and is now attending the Rainbow Center,” Cooper said. “Crest Ridge has agreed to help pay the excess cost, over and above what we receive from ADA funds for the students. I believe it is in our best interest to continue the agreement as the parents indicated they would rent a place to live in Concordia to ensure their sons could continue to attend school in Concordia, and we would bear the cost.”
The cost to educate the student (transportation and tuition) is $53,500. Cooper said “Crest Ridge will pay $12,118 and Concordia will apply for excess cost funds to pay above the three times the cost of educating a non-special education student at $18,611,” he said. The board approved the agreement for the 2018-2019 school year.
The board also:
—Approved a contract with Advance Environmental Testing and Abatement Inc. to remove asbestos from the high school as recommended.
—Approved a recommendation by Cooper to pay the cost of ACT testing in the coming year for 37 sophomores, 27 juniors and 28 seniors. The cost is $44.50 per student and will cost the district approximately $1,200.
—Approved the creation of a full-time Parents as Teachers coordinator position.
—Approved student/staff/support/athletic/substitute handbooks.
—Adopted school bus transportation and provisions for the 2018-2019 school year.

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