From the office of the superintendent

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dear Marshall Community:

Homecoming week was the best ever! This tradition is so exciting for students and adults and it’s important that we celebrate it together. This year, the entire district observed these special days with district themes and celebrations of their own in each building. Benton Elementary once again marched in the Spirit Parade, and the other elementary schools had exciting activities for the kids.

Although not nearly as exciting as homecoming, here are the other points of business going on in the Central Office:

1. MPS has been given a wonderful opportunity by Home Works! (HW!), an in-home teacher visit program. This program was first introduced to me by Jonathan White, Spainhower counselor, who had been involved in HW! and Ferguson for the past few years. The HW! organization funds most of the activities and I feel so fortunate that Jonathan has agreed to be the district liaison. For the first year (2017 – 2018), Early Childhood and the Spainhower School will be piloting the program. Training for these teachers, staff and principals was on Sept. 27, and visiting has started already! Perfectly aligned with the MPS Board of Education’s goal No. 3: Marshall Public Schools will encourage the involvement of all students, families, school employees, and taxpayers and will work to establish and maintain cooperation across the entire school community is that of HW!: The Teacher Home Visit Program partners families and teachers for children’s success. The slides below make visible research behind the program and the beliefs/principles that guide it:

I’ve been asked the question: How will the district pay for this program? Home Works! pays for half the visits by teachers and others ($25 per visit), all dinners and socials, all materials, and will pay for a building coordinator, and the district liaison. MPS will pay for half the cost of visits with federal Title IV funds and at-risk funding. I calculate the cost to the district for the first year to be approximately $5000. This funding will come from a combination of federal and state sources. We think the potential to impact our community in such a powerful way is priceless!

1. Dr. Lorenz reports some of his projects include:

· The punch list to finalize the roof and HVAC project at the high school with Ittner, Missouri Builders and Con Edison.

· There continues to be water coming in a back door at BMS, causing damage to the interior walls. The affected drywall is being replaced and a permanent fix is being addressed.

· Thanks to Tim Schulte’s keen eye, the ground around the Central Office had settled so much it was sloping toward the building. Dirt has been hauled in and there is now a slope away from the building.

· A new sound system at the football stadium is at least 15 years old and has recently failed during ballgames. It is being replaced by a new system that will meet the needs at the stadium for many years.

· A letter has been sent to Con Edison, energy performance contracted company, confirming that MPS will not move forward with the third phase of the plan they presented to us three years ago. The phase included changing lighting and weather-related additions. We have decided our district personnel can handle those types of projects.

2. The central office staff and I have been working to finalize the MPS 2017 – 2018 budget and we have completed entering the revenue and expenditure numbers for salaries, benefits, supplies, equipment, payment of bonds and the interest associated with them, among various other predictions. Of course, budget numbers are an educated guess, but we’ve worked hard to be as accurate as possible. Right now, expenditures exceed revenues by $56,308 so if this is the case, reserves will pay for the shortfall. Obviously, careful monitoring will be necessary to keep a careful eye on the status of the district’s finances. It is predicted that the estimated revenues will be more than in the budget, but with the state revenue rate running at a lower rate than expected, I am not comfortable with increasing the revenues numbers. The formal budget will be adopted as the first round of amendments during the Oct. 24, BOE meeting. The official budget packet will be available then in electronic or hard copy format. Differences in the two prior years and this year’s budget are shown in the table below.

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