The Pierce City R-6 Board of Education re-elected officers for another year at its reorganizational meeting held on April 15.
Results of the April 6 election were formally certified. Board Secretary Debbie Hogan administered the oath of office to Kenny O'Hara, returning for a third term on the board after losing his re-election bid in 2009, and Kent Boursheski, who won a second term.
Outgoing board member Richard Kutz, who did not seek re-election, received a plaque of appreciation for his years of service to the district from Superintendent Russ Moreland.
James Barchak was re-elected unanimously to serve as board president. Elected by acclamation were Randall Staponski as board vice president and David Jones as treasurer. Hogan was retained as board secretary.
O'Hara was tapped to serve as representative to the Missouri School Boards Association, succeeding Boursheski, who was named as the alternate.
Salary schedule passed
Board members approved a preliminary salary schedule so that contracts could be issued. Moreland said his budget calls for increasing salaries by one step for certified staff only, not including administrators.
However, due to constant changes in the state funding situation, Moreland's preliminary salary schedule called for a freeze in pay for the coming year.
"My goal is to allow everyone to move up," Moreland said. "That will cost the district about $21,000."
Under state law, the budget situation must be worked out by May 7. Moreland expected to offer a revised budget by June, as he did last year.
Pressure provided by southwest Missouri school districts helped to push the state legislature to revise its approach to sharing the current budget shortfall. Moreland said 140 school representatives made "a big impact" by going to Jefferson City to push for having the shortfall shared equally.
Some lawmakers said they had not realized the ramifications of the bill's language. Moreland said a strong response now made a difference in the lawmakers setting a precedent for dealing with future shortfalls. The difference to the Pierce City district this time was $8,000 but could have been much more in the future.
""They're playing political games. The kids of Missouri are the pawns," the superintendent said. "I'm confident our voices were heard."
Technology plan adopted
Board members also approved the district's technology plan for the next three years. Moreland said the plan is required and must be approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Technology Director Jessica Rinehart helped prepare the plan, which contained no significant changes. Moreland said upgrades were listed, such as continuing the installation of Smartboards in all classrooms.
Last summer. the district upgraded a number of switches and routers. The current plans call for increasing the number and size of servers. Moreland said a big part of the technology plan is updating machines and software as well as keeping up with new technology. He described ELMO projectors as an example. The ELMO is a device running through a Smartboard that allows any image to be projected in front of a classroom.
Some of the technology growth is being paced. One of the goals listed in the plan is to upgrade the Microsoft Office program. The next step would be to go to Level 7, Moreland said, but information suggests that if the district waited a year, the Level 10 upgrade will be ready. He preferred to make a higher upgrade then, which would affect what business students use in class.
Besides listing specific upgrades, Moreland said the plan tied many of the planned changes to standards in the Missouri School Improvement Program.
The regular monthly board meeting will be held on April 22 at 6:30 p.m. in the high school library.