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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Monett R-1 Board prepares for construction

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The crowd at a Monett High School football game.
The Monett R-1 Board of Education made preparations for construction at Monett Elementary School and made funding adjustments in light of actions by the recently concluded State General Assembly at the board's May meeting.

Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann reviewed physical changes that will take place on the elementary campus that will be done over the summer. The north playground will be taken down and placed in storage. Students will use the south playground for the 2010-11 school year.

Classrooms across from the cafeteria will be relocated as the space is converted into the new commons area. Other internal shifts will be made to vacate classrooms for renovation.

The three pre-school classes will leave the campus entirely. Jungmann said these classes will be moved into empty classroom space developed in the early childhood classroom to the northeast of the Monett Intermediate School, previously used by the high school agriculture program. Moving the pre-school classes to another campus will avoid the need to bring modular classrooms to the elementary campus.

Adjustments due to funding

Jungmann gave the board a legislative update following the conclusion of the state legislative session.

"The general conclusion was a lot of things we talked about did not happen," Jungmann said. "It helps our financial and construction program for the next year. By having no decision on how to handle the financial shortfall, the phase-in of the Foundation Formula revision will continue, which will benefit all formula-paid schools in southwest Missouri."

The coming year will represent the fifth in seven planned steps to increase funding to the Foundation Formula to make state support for schools more equitable. Jungmann said the scheduled increase for the R-1 district would be greater than specific cuts made in the state budget.

"Funding is always pending what the revenue does throughout the next year," Jungmann said. "The state is hoping for growth. There is no guarantee we will see an increase. The governor is calling for reductions from the budget that was passed."

Funding for transportation and the Parents as Teachers program, both of which were targeted for cuts earlier in the year, remain at risk. The state portion of Career Ladder funding was struck altogether.

"Career Ladder was placed in next year's budget to pay for this year. A law was passed stating payments have to be made for the current year in the future. There is no funding for next year," Jungmann said. "That means we will not have a state Career Ladder program. Our program and administrative team and teachers are looking at alternatives for needs met by teachers in a more focused way," Jungmann said. "We'll be looking at the most extreme needs, focusing on tutoring, mentoring and student enrichment after school, and a small part of professional development to compensate teachers for some of their time.

Financial commitments

At a special meeting, the board voted to renew the health insurance policy for employees. Premiums under the Missouri Educators Unified Health Plan consortium rose approximately 10 to 14 percent. Board members voted to increase the district's portion of the premium from $350 to $380. For 285 employees, the additional commitment totalled $102,000.

"The board is committed to offering a good healthcare plan, which is critical to keeping good teachers and other staff," Jungmann said. "The cost of health care continues to rise and is a concern for the future."

The board also voted to renew the property and casualty insurance and the worker's compensation policy. For the second year in a row the worker's compensation premium has dropped. Jungmann said Assistant Superintendent Julie Germann and the safety team have worked to reduce incidents, provided training to avoid injuries and had the insurance carrier in to identify areas of concern that could be addressed.

Keith McCracken/ Century 21 Realty was the only bidder offering realty-broker services for the sale of the house being built by the construction technology class at the Southwest Area Career Center. Jungmann hoped the current house project could be sold this summer.

Since the district is selling a house that will be moved, Jungmann said the district would look at building a foundation on the buyer's property as an optional learning experience for students.

The next board meeting was re-scheduled for June 30 to wrap up fiscal issues as close to the end of the year as possible.

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