Board approves finances, requests at meeting Monday

The 2019-2020 Academic Calendar, School project updates and the achievements of young musicians were the leading topics at the St. Joseph School board meeting Monday night.

Posted: Jan 28, 2019 10:47 PM
Updated: Jan 29, 2019 10:43 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The 2019-2020 Academic Calendar, School project updates and the achievements of young musicians were the leading topics at the St. Joseph School board meeting Monday night.

Awarding Young Musicians
The meeting kicked off with board members and district officials recognizing accomplishments of young musicians in the St. Joseph School District. The Board presented a certificate to five students that were selected for the K.C. All-District Orchestra. The students competed against hundreds of other strings players for the honor. Here’s a list of the five musicians:

  1. Anna Bracciano (CHS) - Full Orchestra, Violin 1, chair 4
  2. Jack Wing (LHS) - String Orchestra, Violin 2, chair 2
  3. Whitney Zeamer (BHS) - Violin Alternate #3
  4. Jennifer Lochhead (CHS) - Full Orchestra, Cello chair 8
  5. Lauren Curtis (CHS) - String Orchestra, Bass chair 4.

The Board also recognized Central High School’s band for its performance during the Coca-Cola halftime show at the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida. CHS Fine Arts teachers Joel Fischer, Chad Lippincott, and Lynnea Wootten accepted the award on behalf of their students and were recognized for the band’s accomplishments.

One last certificate was given to Ansh Gupta, a student at CHS, representing the entire district at the 90th Annual Missouri Music Educators Conference with a performance in the 2019 MO All-State Jazz Band.

Superintendent’s Report:
Doug Van Zyl, the superintendent, gave updates on the power outages at schools and district cold weather policies. He said that there is no set policy for canceling school when temperatures drop. Instead, the school district considers multiple factors including barriers to transportation and weather. So far, SJSD has logged three snow days this year and only has three more built into the calendar.

Three schools in the district lost power for a period of time Monday. Van Zyl said Edison Elementary School was one of them. He said power was restored by 4:30 p.m. Monday afternoon.

Assistant Superintendent’s Report:
Marlie Williams, the assistant superintendent, provided updates on the SJSD professional development summit at Central High School. Williams said the 2019 Engage Innovation Summit will include guest speakers, more than 50 vendors, and seminars on new education tools and topics.

Financial Report:
Gabe Edgar, the district’s director of finance, presented a financial update to the board. The update covered the district’s bills for December 2018 and the year-end budget projections. The board approved all aspects of the financial report Monday.

New Evaluation System Approved
Williams stepped up to the podium to present a new evaluation tool for the district. The Network for Educator Effectiveness (NEE) is a web-based educational staff evaluation system designed by the University of Missouri. The tool collects data measuring a teacher’s performance and development plans for educators and schools. The system would cost the district $33,600 annually. The Board approved the evaluation center and it is included in the FY2020 Budget.

Academic Calendar Approved
Board members approved the 2019-2020 Academic School Year to start August 15. A public hearing about the academic calendar was held before the meeting but no one stood up to speak.

Contracts and Bid Requests Approved:
The Board also approved a host of other smaller items including contracts and requests for new bids to be sent out to the community on behalf of the SJSD. The district is looking for companies to bid on fuel costs for St. Joseph school buses during the second quarter.
The district is also asking businesses for legal service bids. The board approved the letters requesting bids.

Robert Sigrist, the district’s director of student services, presented a van lease agreement at the meeting. He said SJSD high schools rented vans from Kline Van & Special Rentals for years but the company moved from St. Joseph during the first semester. The company has offered to lease six vans to SJSD, two per high school, for the second semester. Sigrist said leasing the vans was cheaper than paying Apple Bus for these school activities. The board approved the lease agreement.

The board was presented with additional pay schedules and rates for teachers, administrators and summer school. The board approved each of the items and also approved new uniforms for Benton High School’s Football Team.

The next board meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., February 25 at the district office.

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