There were not many spare chairs at the Sept. 14 meeting of the Sturgeon R-V School Board.
Christine Vaughn treasure of PTSO, reported that 14 gallons of ice cream were consumed at their recent fund-raiser. Planning for Adopt-a-family and Santa’s Breakfast has begun.
A representative of Friends of FFA announced their officers and said their 2017-18 operational budget should be set by October.
A pair of representatives from L.J. Hart then discussed an advanced refunding the school district’s 2015 bonds
“We’ve taken advantage of every refinancing solution they have brought to us,” R-V Superintendent Shawn Schultz said. “They are able to cut that interest in half now and generate savings. Because our debt service levy is $1.27 now, we can pay it off even faster.”
“It’s hard to see with a saving of $92,000, an issue that would negatively impact us, with accelerated repayment,” said Board President Tim Parkinson, “versus the risk of doing nothing. And we are not in the business of risking taxpayers’ money.”
With Denise Flaspohler absent, they unanimously voted LJ Hart to be the bond underwriter.
And another to establish a final terms committee, which will set the highest average interest rate the district is comfortable with for marketing the $2 million worth of bonds. LJ Hart’s Courtney Wegman said 2.4 percent is the current interest ceiling.
They also heard principals’ reports.
Sturgeon High School principal John Kruse said everything was smooth, and the Sturgeon High School Pep Club had been revived and the FFA Mums sales was still going on. They started with 180 mums and have 25 left.
Brandee Brown, K-8 principal introduced a hunter safety program she hoped to be presented to the 8th grade. Samantha Strodtman, district agriculture teacher and Brian Flowers of the Missouri Department of Conservation explained the proposed program.
That included a display of “dummy guns” and “dummy ammunition” which when not in use, would be locked in the same safe where the trap shooting team’s shotguns are stored.
The board approved having a hunter safety course taught within the eighth-grade agriculture course, taught by Strodtman.
Brown discussed her next federal programs budget. It could eventually included a math instructor, as well as U-bolt locks for doors, school surveillance cameras, window film as well as drug and suicide prevention programs.
Schultz said it was a little lower than before, but not far from the state average.
Kruse said he had a plan for funding the ACT tests, “so they would have the opportunity to take it at least once.” That would be likely in April for the junior class. He said he would offer an ACT practice test on the same day. Schultz said state law made it mandatory for all high school juniors to take the ACT test.
Penny Fadler, district special Ed. process coordinator said pre-school is going well as is the interest in that and their special education programs. “I have had inquiries from Hallsville, Harrisburg, Centralia and one out-of-state,” she said. Currently the district has 73 special education program. “It seems as if we have somebody calling weekly to see if we have spots open,” Brown said of the pre-school program.
“We could expand if we had the room,” Fadler said of the pre-school.
She said they have hired two new para professionals, and are serving 19 special education students in the middle school, “we need help.”
Schultz opened his report by discussing admission costs at sports events. “We would choose to see the prices stay the same.” He also said it was time to advertise snow-removal bids. Schultz said if Brain Mortimer/Progressive Landscaping do not change, they do not have to release the contract for bids.
Regarding enrollment, he said the district is down 22 students from last year. He said it was a common situation most of the Central Activities Conference schools. For Sturgeon, Schultz said the percentage of transient students is growing.
They also voted to:
• make the last payment, $900 to MECO Engineering for the track lighting project.
• Paying Straightline Construction $93,400 for the construction of the track storage building.
• approved the 2017-18 budget summary.
• During a Sept. 26 special meeting, pay $15,000 for the 82 by 120-foot vacant lot across the street from the K-8 building. “I see it a great opportunity for us to expand in the future,” Schultz said.