Meeting on the last day in June, board members got a detailed look at the district's financial picture in closing the books on the 2008-09 school year. Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann reported funds were in good shape. The operations fund will open the new year with a balance of $3 million, with a reserve that is almost 4 percent higher than a year ago.
The higher balances came from banking the state's reimbursement for construction of the Southwest Area Career Center. Jungmann said the money first went into the building fund, so the year will start with $2 million available for construction. Half of that balance will go to current construction at the Career Center. Some of the reimbursement went into a reserve fund and some went into operations to offer a cushion for the coming year.
Greg Allen and Steve Wilson presented the Community Teachers Association view on salaries to the board. Allen and Wilson encouraged the board to boost the middle pay range to be more competitive and deter staff turnover.
The board then approved a pay package that will cost the district approximately $246,000 more than last year. Funding a new step in the salary schedule for another year of service added $95,000 to the cost. The health insurance package increased costs by another $90,000 and a one-half percent increase in retirement cost the district $61,000 in new money.
A budget workshop was scheduled for July 20 to work out more details on next school year's spending plan.
"The good news is Monett is still growing in enrollment, unlike a lot of area districts," Jungmann said. "That's critical at a time when assessed valuation is flat. Preliminary information from the county assessors show personal property assessments dropped, so there will be no gain on assessed valuation.
"We will see a gain in revenue on the state formula as it is phased in and in student enrollment growth. We won't know how much growth will be until school starts," Jungmann said.
The board accepted the bid from insurance broker Nixon and Lindstrom for insurance to cover workers compensation, property and casuality, liability and errors and omissions.
The cost for workers compensation was down by around $20,000. Jungmann said this was a good sign, breaking a trend of rising insurance costs and reflecting greater focus by employees on reducing injury situations. The entire insurance package cost $91,809.
In personnel action, the board accepted the resignation of Amy Johnson as communication arts teacher at the high school. Hired to replace her was Ivy Nelson, a recent Missouri State University graduate.
With the departure of Teresa Stark as coordinator of the adult education program at the Career Center, Kim McCracken was named to take over those duties on a part-time basis. Jungmann said since Missouri Southern State University and Drury University have their programs with the Career Center past the start-up stage and have staff in Monett, a full-time coordinator of adult programs is no longer needed. McCracken will remain full-time, teaching in the mornings.
Stark's departure also left an opening in the at-risk program. John Patterson, who had been released earlier in the year, was hired back for at-risk instruction.
A contract was offered to Monica Dummit as a special education teacher. Dummit is presently a half-time speech implementor for the Purdy District and will have to be released from her contract.
The 2009-10 school year will start on Thursday, Aug. 13 when Jungmann will give his annual address on the state-of-the district. Rather than having two days of preparation for teachers before classes start, this year an extra day with no scheduled activities has been added on Aug.t 18.
Jungmann said with the new emphasis on technology integration, another day of preparations before students arrive should be helpful. Melody Paige, the district's technology integration specialist for the coming year, talked to board members about how she will be working with nearly 100 teachers on different levels of professional development.
Training sessions for new teachers have been scheduled for Aug. 3, 4 and 5.