Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Full Agenda

The campus was quite full of life last night as there was a track meet, a tennis match, and a Board meeting. We had such a gorgeous day to host these athletic events! I am so thankful for the sunshine and warmer weather.

Linda Laughlin and Kerra Ratliff gave a presentation on Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS) at the High School level.  PBIS is a great way to reinforce positive student behaviors and build a strong school climate and culture. It was good to hear about the progress they have made toward implementation. The staff is focusing on developing character through positivity, respect and responsibility, integrity, determination, and excellence (PRIDE).  They have identified being on time for class as a priority behavior to reinforce and are seeing positive results.   

A public hearing was held for the FY 20 Budgets. No public comments were made, and the board voted to approve the FY 20 Budget. I was pleased we were able to slightly reduce the tax levy to $14.60.

The consent agenda was approved. This includes items such as the standard financial report, personnel matters, fundraising requests, and out of state travel requests. Additionally, a list of graduating seniors was presented for approval.

There were a few contracts that were approved including a property damage insurance for environmental control components ($49,499), the AEA purchasing agreement for the 2019-2020 school year, and a three-year renewal contract with Timberline for Medicaid reimbursement

The Board approved a 2.58% settlement with the support staff association (SSA+) for FY 20.  Additionally, the board agreed to a multi-year contract which allows SSA+  2 years under the existing contract with the caveat that negotiations can be reopened on an annual basis to discuss base wage.
Finding bus drivers is challenging, they are in high demand.  The board voted to increase route pay for bus drivers $2.00 per route and also provide a $40 a month stipend for drivers who maintain a CDL Class A or B with Passenger/School Bus/Air Brake endorsement on their license. The Board also approved a 2.5 % base increase for administrators, supervisors, superintendent, and non-negotiated salary positions.  Central office support staff will receive a $.35 an hour increase as well.

The Parent/Student Handbook for the 2019-2020 school year was approved.

School Bus Sales was awarded two bids for buses at the meeting.  We will be purchasing a 77 passenger bus for $92,992 that will be used primarily for regular routes.  An 84 passenger rear engine bus with air conditioning will be purchased for $128,967 and will primarily be used for student activities.  These are large, expensive and important purchases which is why we requested competitive sealed bids from three different companies before making the recommendation.

The board approved the creation of two new full time driving positions. These positions will help to reduce the number of drivers that are needed for trips that occur during the day and early evening hours.

The agenda for the Board meeting was quite full, but it was not a lengthy meeting.  The Board was able to consider the information and make decisions in a reasonable amount of time.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Well Aligned Work

As you might be aware, the district is working on several facility projects and is contemplating the need to build an addition to the High School to support career technical education (CTE), STEM, and also include additional gym space.

The District has been actively engaged in work on several facility improvements that have been prioritized to move forward such as life safety systems (fire alarm systems), window replacement, control expansion joint repairs,  lighting on the football field, carpet replacement, and a few other projects. We will be starting the process to work on the HVAC system once the windows are complete. The planning is well underway, and the work on these projects is will be starting quite soon.

The facility committee has been meeting and has made some excellent progress. I am pleased with their willingness to openly share their thinking, discuss, and work toward developing a consensus on what is needed and must be prioritized. 

We have worked with DLR an architectural firm to complete an exhaustive study of our facility, help identify priority projects, and to provide an estimated cost of what it will take to complete the work that is needed.

Of course, the more difficult work comes now, which is finding the right balance between what we want to be able to have to support our students and programs, and what is reasonable to financially obtain. Last night, the Board held an excellent work session to discuss the possibility of working with the Carl A. Nelson and Company as a construction management agency.  Their consultants facilitated an excellent discussion on how they can work alongside architects throughout the design process to meet the District goals, and also reduce costs along the way.  They can also serve as the construction manager throughout the project.

The Board is engaging in really important conversations, and this work is well aligned to our goals to increase STEM literacy for all students and to expand curriculum and access to CTE Programs.  This is really good work.

Learning & Leading

The countdown is on, and it is going to be a great school year! I am really looking forward to having everyone back on campus. The administr...