The Sedalia School District 200 Board of Education took steps to address the district’s continuing growth in enrollment by approving the addition of new personnel to the district for the 2016-17 school year.
Dr. Nancy Scott, assistant superintendent for human resources and federal programs, presented the board with a list of 15 additional staff members.
“Our enrollment continues to grow and a request of the board has been to reduce the class sizes especially in the elementary,” Superintendent Brad Pollitt said. “By voting to approve these positions tonight we can begin our search for the most qualified candidates.”
Scott recommended the following positions be added if the district’s growth continues and the need exists:
• Five kindergarten through fifth grade teachers
• Three special education teachers
• One speech/language therapist
• One occupational therapist assistant
• One behavior interventionist at the elementary level
• One custodian for the new high school addition
• Three paraprofessionals
Scott explained that many of the positions were needed due to the increased number of students with special needs at the elementary level.
“Our special education numbers are high and we need to reduce the caseloads for teachers and therapists,” Scott said. “The behavior interventionist will be a new position for the district at the elementary level and would allow someone to work specifically with students and help train teachers to continue strategies for the students in the classroom.”
The positions are expected to cost the district $672,000 in the 2016-17 budget.
The cost of additional staff this year was one of the budget amendments CFO Dr. Harriett Wolfe presented to the board.
The board adopted the original budget June 22, 2015, at its board meeting.
The district’s projected revenues are $48,560,622 with projected expenditures of $51,396,933, according to information supplied by Wolfe.
“The revenue differences are related to adjustments for the actual receipts and the actual approved Federal Budget,” Wolfe wrote in the board meeting packet. “The expenditure differences are due to the payroll changes after the preliminary budget was approved.”
“We’ve had to hire some additional staff this year which has taken some funds from our reserves,” Pollitt said. “We are in good shape financially. I would be more concerned if we were spending more from our reserves but we’re not.”
Pollitt said a primary reason for the lack of reserve spending was the careful budgeting on the part of the district, especially on the building addition to Smith-Cotton High School the district is currently undergoing.
The board voted to extend the OPAA contract for food service for 2016-17. This is the last year of a five-year fixed price agreement between OPAA and the district.
“The agreement will see an increase of $.07 for lunch and $.05 for breakfast and was in accordance in the original five-year bid made by the company,” Assistant Superintendent Steve Triplett said. “We will have to consider what we will do next year with the bidding process for our food services.”
In other actions, the board heard reports regarding:
• The district’s technology plan.
• The free and reduced lunch program.
• The attendance report, which stated 90.12 percent of the students have been in attendance 90 percent of the time as of Feb. 11.
• The quarterly building reports.
• The College Connections Program between State Fair Community College and Whittier High School. Under the program, Renee Henderson of SFCC described how the college is working to encourage students at Whittier to pursue a post-secondary education.
The board also accepted a donation from David and Julie Goodson of Impact Signs to the Sedalia Middle School for the donation of a renovated marque sign for the media center. The value of the donation is $1,500.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484