The primary issues discussed at the Sweet Springs R-VII School District Board of Education meeting were the placement of a bond issue for construction of a new pre-kindergarten through fourth-grade school on April's ballot and the score of the district's annual performance report.
The board approved the language for a bond issue to be placed on the April ballot regarding the new school's construction. Planning for the school is under way, said Superintendant Boyd Jones.
The school is projected to cost $3.6 million.
"A 'yes' vote on a new school will not cost the taxpayers anything they're not already paying," said Jones.
Funds would come from the current 64-cent debt-service levy, part of the total tax levy of $3.99 per $100 of the assessed value of a family unit's personal property.
The issue will be referred to as Proposition 2 on April's ballots.
In an unofficial report, the school district received a score of 14 out of 14 for their performance report. Jones said he doubted anything would change in the official report. He added this is the second consecutive year the district has received this score, meaning they will again be noted for "performance with distinction."
This score is derived from a number of variables, including scores on standardized tests, the percentage of students who achieve high ACT scores, take advanced courses, participate in career education, attend college or receive vocational training following graduation and the rates of attendance and graduation.
A number of board members thanked the district's staff for the high score achieved by the district.
Ken Norton of Custom Communications has been working on the elementary school's phone system, and told Jones that though their phone system is old, it is little different than those available for purchase today.
New computers have been purchased and installed in the business department, thanks to their receipt of a matching grant. These new units replaced old computers that were also purchased with money from a grant.
"The school has never paid full-price for that equipment," said Jones.
The board increased pay for scorekeepers and timekeepers from $5 to $10 per game. Jones noted that some sports, such as football, need only timekeepers, while others need only scorekeepers, as with volleyball, and still others need neither, as is the case with softball. He estimated there are about 40 annual home games requiring either a timekeeper or scorekeeper.
Filing dates for elections to the Board of Education were confirmed to be Dec. 16, 2008 through Jan. 20, 2009. Dates are set by the state.
Karen Mazurak addressed the board regarding the ineligibility of several members of the high school band to perform, which Jones said was due to their receipt of an "F" on their grade cards. Mazurak said she felt it unfair that these students had not been explicitly notified of their ineligibility until after school hours, and asked the board to consider making a policy to require such notification during school hours.
It is the policy of the school district that students who receive an "F" on their grade cards may not participate in extra-curricular activities, though they are given two weeks from receipt of their grade cards to bring up failing grades and retain their eligibility, said Jones.
The board was notified of news and upcoming events from the elementary and high schools.
Flu shots will be available in the elementary cafeteria Nov. 19 from 4 to 7 p.m. The cost for a shot is $30.
Progress reports for elementary and high school students will be sent to their homes on Nov. 21.
A "deer-hunter's breakfast" will be held Nov. 15 at 4 a.m. in the elementary school cafeteria. The band booster club will sponsor the breakfast. It was clarified by one attendee that one need not be a deer hunter to partake of the breakfast.
The elementary school's Christmas music program will be held in the elementary school gym on Dec. 16 at 7 p.m.
The board's next meeting will be held Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. in the high school library. It will be preceded by an open meeting to discuss the proposal for a new school beginning at 6 p.m.