Board members of the Sedalia School District 200 took steps at Monday night’s meeting to ensure the District continues to maintain a set of clearly defined strengths of the district as well as a set of goals for future improvement and growth.
The board voted to adopt the district’s CSIP (Comprehensive School Improvement Plan) which all districts are required to have in place by the Missouri Department of Education.
The plan focuses on five areas: education, staff, community and parent involvement, facility improvements and safety.
Committee members complete both an internal and external analysis as part of the plan.
“We continue to see where we are improving in all areas,” superintendent of schools Brad Pollitt said after the meeting. “That isn’t to say that we don’t have room for improvement but our administration and entire staff, parents and community members are working to make the district even stronger and more successful.
“When I accepted the position as superintendent I said one of my goals was to make our schools a hub of the community,” Pollitt added. “I think through everyone’s hard work and efforts that is becoming a reality.”
The plan was developed by a committee consisting of board members, administrators, teachers, students, parents and guardians and community members.
Among the challenges listed were improving areas from the MSIP (Missouri School Improvement Plan) report, placing in the Top 10 by 20, a state wide initiative, to identify the best school districts, meeting the needs of the district’s diverse community of learners and the growing student population and space issues throughout the district’s buildings.
The approved plan will be available on the District website for interested individuals to view.
The hiring and retention of quality teachers is also a goal of the CSIP Plan and the board discussed ways to help in that goal with a discussion of the salary schedule for the 2017-18 school year.
“We are proposing a $ 100 increase to the base salary for columns A, B, and C and the addition of $150 to the base for columns D, E, and F,” Pollitt informed the board. “It stays within the guidelines discussed at the strategic plan meeting in January.
“We are also proposing the addition of $.05 to the base for the support staff salaries with an additional step of either $.10 or $.15 as the increment,” Pollitt added. We are also proposing one step to the extra duty salary schedule.
Pollitt met with the salary committee Monday after school and explained that the insurance rates for employees had increased seven percent from their provider, Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
The district is once again planning to pay 100 percent of the insurance premiums for district employees.
“We are one of the very few schools or businesses who still pay 100 percent of the insurance premiums for their employees,” Pollitt said. “It is a valuable benefit for our employees, but it is a year to year decision if we can continue to do so based on the insurance rates.”
The board is expected to vote on the proposed changes to the salary schedule at their April meeting.
In other actions the board voted to approve a resolution in support of State Fair Community College’s Building Strong Futures Initiative that will appear on the April 4 ballot.
The initiative, if approved by voters, will be used to fund a new career technical education center to provide expanded and new programs that will increase the opportunities for students.
Board members voted to approve the addition of a student representative to the board of education.
Freshmen and sophomores are eligible to run and will be either a sophomore or junior when they serve.
Candidates will be selected from a committee of administrators and counselors and will be voted on by the Smith-Cotton High School student body.
The student representative will be a non-voting member of the board who will not be permitted to attend closed board sessions.
They will serve a term of one year from August to May.
The representative will be responsible for communication between the board and the district’s student body.
The board also heard a report from Lisa Volk, Washington elementary principal, and Michelle Hofstetter, counselor, on the Great Kindness Challenge.
For the past three years during one week in January students and teachers complete as many random kind acts as possible.
“In order to get kindness you have to give it back,” Hofstetter told the board.
This year the school received national attention for their efforts by having photographs of their acts of kindness being shown on Good Morning America and on Tim McGraw’s Facebook page.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484