Renovations for the South Building at the Monett Middle School will go forward this summer once preparatory work has been completed. Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann said the first step involves removing the old tiles and adhesive from the 1970s, both of which will have asbestos content. Gerken Enterprises, the multi-state corporation with offices in Springfield used previously by the district, got the contract to remove the old material for $23,337.
Board members decided they had no further use for the two remaining houses located south of the administrative offices acquired in a trade for the last house built by the construction technology class at the Southwest Area Career Center. Vaughn Dirtworks got the bid to remove both houses for $9,190 and finished work shortly after the meeting.
Health insurance became the major financial concern laid before board members. Jungmann reported the district had had another tough year, with a claims-to-premiums ratio of 116 percent. Consequently, the district's health insurance carrier, Cox Health Systems, had presented a 19 percent increase in premiums for the coming year, the second consecutive significant rate hike.
If the district kept the same benefit plan, Jungmann said it would cost an additional $200,000. He planned to meet with the insurance committee, look at possible benefit reductions and seek bids from other providers. The superintendent was not optimistic about finding another carrier with better rates.
"There have been major [medical] cases [on which] they've been spending a lot of money. These things tend to run in cycles. We may be coming out of it," Jungmann said.
As a way to generate a little more money for the district, the board opted to sell the rights to make hay from the field north of the high school. Robert Brite won the bid to remove the grass at a cost of $6.50 per round bale of hay.
By the May board meeting, Jungmann said the state legislature would be close to adjournment. Much of the discussion about school funding is expected in the final weeks of the session. Jungmann expected to have a much clearer picture about the district's financial picture for the coming year at that time.
High School Principal David Steward reported on the findings of a committee he led that reviewed the policy on citizenship for participation in extracurricular activities, the first such review done in 10 years. The committee concluded the policy was a good one, making a student ineligible for participation if guilty of drug or alcohol abuse.
The board adopted updated student handbooks. A new clause was added to the policy of extra-curricular activities, stating that if an offender signed up for an approved counseling program, suspension time could be cut in half.
The drug testing policy for employees was reviewed. The policy already calls for post-accident testing for drugs or alcohol for accidents occurring at school events or on school property. The new policy, which would be taken into account by the district's worker's compensation insurance carrier, would extend mandatory post-accident testing to off-school incidents as well. Jungmann expected the board to adopt the change at its May meeting.
|Several presentations were made at the April board meeting. Amy Johnson, high school teacher in charge of the Enhancing Missouri's Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies (eMINTS) program showed board members how the new school district Internet web page will work.||Students will be interacting daily with technology by seeing a calendar with all of their assignments listed on the website, and students can submit their work to her over the Internet.|
Johnson explained how teachers will be able to grade work using the website, and parents will be able to track what assignments are due and when. Overall Johnson was enthusiastic about the new instructional and informational Internet tool.
"We look for the web page to be a one-stop shopping place for everything educational at Monett R-1," Jungmann said. He expected full use of the web page would be phased in gradually, as both parents and teachers would need to be trained in how to use it.
"It's definitely a step in the right direction for the future of education," Jungmann said.
Members of the Future Problem Solving team from Central Park Elementary, under faculty sponsor Maure Watson, received certificates from the board for qualifying for state. The two Monett squads won second and fifth place in state competition.
A group of 16 students under Pam Dorton, special services director, and Angela Johnson, high school special education teacher, appeared after competing at the Special Olympics. They brought the medals earned at competition. Each of the students received a plaque of appreciation from the board.