Sedalia School District 200 Board of Education approves proposed budget for 2016-17

By Hope Lecchi - [email protected]

The Sedalia School District 200 Board of Education approved both the final budget amendment projected numbers for the 2015-16 school year and the preliminary budget for the upcoming year during Monday night’s meeting.

The fiscal year for school districts begins July 1, making it necessary to approve both budgets at the June meeting, which is customary for the district.

Expenditures for the 2015-16 school year are projected to total $48, 751, 562.85 with revenues projected to be $48,827,725.04.

The district is still waiting on some state payments for June before they can officially adopt the final 2015-16 numbers.

For fiscal year 2016-17, the district is projecting $50.793 million in revenues and $51.989 million in expenditures. The estimated $1.2 million deficit was expected by the district with the two building additions underway at Smith-Cotton High School.

“We knew when we made the commitment to expand the high school without proposing a tax increase to the district voters that we would have to use reserve funds for that construction,” Superintendent Brad Pollitt said after the meeting. “Thankfully, we have a solid balance in our reserve funds which has allowed us to add on at the high school.”

Additionally, some reserve funds will be used on one-time capital expenditures throughout the district’s 10 facilities. Many of those projects are part of the district’s five-year maintenance plan, according to Pollitt, and can be funded by a 7 percent transfer of monies from Fund One to Fund Four.

One capital expenditure that is a priority for the board is equipping the elementary schools with technology support for STEM/Project Lead the Way programs in upcoming years.

“We piloted a STEM Program at Horace Mann this year and will expand the program to Parkview and Skyline for the upcoming school year,” Pollitt said. “Eventually we hope to expand the program to all the elementary buildings and the middle school.”

The board also was presented a report from Robby Paul, Project Manager for Septagon Construction Management Inc.

Minor work order changes were approved by the board including those that addressed unforeseen conditions on the water valve, sub-grade and foundation work and changes in framing for two upper level C classrooms to storefront framing and doors.

During the construction process, builders encountered some soft soils and rock, which the board voted to remove and replace, based on Paul’s recommendation. The additional cost to the project is $25,428.71.

During the meeting the board also:

• Voted to accept the nominations of Bill Brown, baseball announcer for the Houston Astros, from the class of 1965; Leonard Butler, former cross country and track coach at Smith-Cotton; and twin brothers Jim and John Johnson, who both were collegiate basketball coaches, from the class of 1965, for induction into the 2016-17 Athletic Hall of Fame.

The nominees were approved on May 11 by the Athletic Hall of Fame committee but needed board approval to be accepted as members of the Hall of Fame.

• Accepted the recommendation of Pettis County Early Childhood Cooperative Principal Grace Kendrick to hire an additional teacher and change a half-time speech/language position to full-time. Both positions are needed due to increased enrollment — the school ended the year with 21 additional students — and will be fully funded by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

• Accepted a contract with Heartland Seating Company of Shawnee, Kansas, for $41,110 for the repair of the bleachers at Smith-Cotton Junior High and annual maintenance of the bleachers at Sedalia Middle School.

• Accepted a contract extension with Mid-West Computech for technology support in the District for $22,913 per month. Computech will provide four full-time employees to the district who will assist with daily technological needs and services.

• Approved an agreement with the University of Missouri-Columbia for $15,500 for the Network for Educator Effectiveness (NEE) teacher evaluation program.

According to Pollitt, teachers throughout the district are evaluated by building administrators seven to 10 times per year. The evaluations are unannounced and vary in length of time spent in the classroom by the administrator.

“The administrators complete a number of evaluations throughout the year,” Pollitt said. “This evaluation process provides immediate feedback to the teachers that help them grow and improve their teaching skills.”

• Discussed the addition of lights at one field in front of Smith-Cotton by representatives of the Sedalia Youth Football League. SYFL asked for permission to seek funding for the lights from various donations. The board will vote on the item at the next meeting.

• Accepted a donation from the Sedalia Area Literacy Council for $1,316.64 to the Pettis County Early Childhood Cooperative for the purchase of three iPads for use by students to increase their literacy skills.

• Accepted a donation from the Women’s Service League of Sedalia for $6,951.55 to the Pettis County Early Childhood Co-op for their zip line, crash pit and motor skills programs.

• Accepted a donation from the Sedalia Lions Club for a donation of $500 to the Pettis County Early Childhood Co-op to purchase equipment for the school’s motor skill program.

• Accepted a donation from the Kiwanis Club of Sedalia for $50 to the Pettis County Early Childhood Co-op for classroom supplies.

• Heard the quarterly building reports and the monthly/end of year attendance report.

“Our attendance this year was a truly amazing accomplishment,” Pollitt told the Democrat last week. “Our counselors, social workers and staff worked very hard with the students and parents to get the kids to school and they all should be commended for their efforts.

“We made attendance a priority at the beginning of the year for the district,” he added. “We ended the year overall with a 91.3 percent attendance rate, which is the highest percentage the district has ever received.”

• Heard a list of safety upgrades and procedures that have been implemented in the past two years by Assistant Superintendent Steve Triplett. According to a report given to the board, the district continues to meet and exceed training and safety requirements mandated by the state.

By Hope Lecchi

[email protected]

Hope Lecchi can be reached at 60-826-1000 ext. 1484

Hope Lecchi can be reached at 60-826-1000 ext. 1484

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