June 2022

The Summersville R-2 Board of Education met in regular session on Tuesday, June 14th at 6:00 p.m. in the high school library. After the Pledge of Allegiance/Call to Order/Roll Call, the Board approved Consent Items (agenda, minutes of previous meeting, bills for payment, and monthly financial statement). There were a couple of questions about the credit card statement, and that was about it.

In the Elementary Principal Report, Mrs. Bird conveyed the yearly attendance for the 2021-2022 school year: 95.38% overall. There were 22 students with attendance below 90%. Enrollment for March was 219 students, for April was 222 students, and for May 221 students in Preschool through 5th Grade. Final past events of the school year were also reported, including Kindergarten Graduation and the start of summer school. Speaking of which, summer school enrollment right now is 73 elementary students and 17 high school students. Summer school will continue through June 30th. In the High School Principal Report, Mrs. Hunt shared the yearly attendance for the 2021-2022 school year: 92.89%. There were 34 students below 90% for the school year. Enrollment in May was 229 students in Grades 6-12. Past events were the 3rd Annual Athletic Department Golf Tournament on May 28th and the beginning of summer school on June 7th. Of the 17 secondary students in summer school, 10 students are attending for credit recovery, 4 students are attending for attendance issues, and 3 students are attending for both reasons.

In the Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Stark first had the Board approve a resignation letter from Jaylynn Meyers. This means we have the one opening for next school year, which is High School Communication Arts. Next, the Board was asked to approve authorizing acceptance of bids for milk, bread, propane, and pest control for the 2022-2023 school year. These bids will be due before the July Board meeting. The Board next approved a motion to amend the 2021-2022 budget to convey actual receipts and expenditures. Final numbers will be shared at the July Board meeting; and, of course, all details will be reviewed and conveyed by the auditors. Dr. Stark next passed out information about the fund balance history of the district, starting in 1976. We have had strong fund balances the last six years, which could end this fiscal year. There were many facility projects completed the past year, including roof work at both campuses, exterior doors, paved city roads/parking lots, HVAC units, wall repairs in the old gym, two school buses, and the FEMA building. That was a lot of irons in the fire, so to speak. Before completing any more major projects, Fund 4 will have to be built up again. Dr. Stark also provided information on the enrollment history of Summersville, which showed 1994 as the largest number of students (655) and 2008 as the lowest number of students (384). The 2021 enrollment was 442.

The Board also approved the initial budget for the 2022-2023 school year after Dr. Stark covered a few considerations, including assessed valuation, support staff raises, teacher salaries, ESSER III funds, and technology spending, to name a few. Next, Dr. Stark reviewed the updated Facility and Maintenance Plan, which has short, medium, and long range goals. There was some discussion about security, especially at the high school. The next discussion was about the teacher salary schedule. The salary schedule already passed in April gave every teacher a $1,000 raise, as well as the $500 for the step down. That means every teacher already has received a $1,500 raise for next school year. This added $89,856 to next year’s budget. The $38,000 minimum salary grant program, if the district opts in, would require another salary schedule to be approved. Dr. Stark presented the new salary schedule. He attempted to give all teachers an additional raise, which is not required and added another $387,978 to the new budget. That makes the total additional cost for all teacher raises to $477,834. The grant, which only pays additional funds for those salaries below $38,000 (retirement and medicare not included), will pay around $82,000. As Dr. Stark predicted months ago, this has caused both negative and positive feelings among teachers, depending on who you ask. The additional spending will also mean many future facility projects will have to wait. The Board tabled this discussion until the July Board meeting; the legislation should be signed by that meeting. Dr. Stark will also find out what other local districts decided on and try to get more samples for comparison. Dr. Stark ended his report by sharing a technology presentation from Mr. Karr.

In closed session, the Board first approved the executive minutes from the May meeting. This was followed by another review of the support staff list, the coaching list, and the extra duty list. The updates were approved. The Board approved hiring Becky McGuire for teaching Communication Arts and Bailey Tinsley as a HS Special Education paraprofessional. Numbers for installing vinyl in the upstairs rooms were given, but the decision was made to wait until more funds are available. The last roof to be upgraded, above the sawdust system, will be completed soon. The next priority is windows at the elementary, which will be done when funds are available. The last discussion concerned the use of appliances in classrooms, which includes small refrigerators, microwave ovens, and coffee makers. These small fridges actually use close to the same amount of electricity as a full size fridge, which is crazy. The electric bills have already increased due to air conditioning in the high school gym, and it will get worse with the addition of the FEMA building. Eliminating these appliances will help save funds. Another reason would be the messes left behind every year when school ends; every summer the custodians have to clean up after fridges have been turned off with food still in them. The property insurance company would also advise against the use of these appliances because it increases the chance of fire hazards due to more extension cords and improper use of extension cords. These appliances are unnecessary, especially if extra full size fridges are purchased and placed in the workrooms for staff use. After some discussion, the Board, by a 6-1 vote, prohibited all non-instructional appliances from classrooms, offices, and any other spaces in either school campus.

After returning to open session, the meeting was adjourned. The next regularly scheduled School Board meeting is Tuesday, July 12th at 6:00 p.m. in the high school library.

May 2022

The Summersville R-2 Board of Education met in regular session on Tuesday, May 10th at 6:00 p.m. in the high school library. After the Pledge of Allegiance/Call to Order/Roll Call, Cindy and Garry Pirch were there for Public Communication. Mrs. Pirch presented information to the Board regarding the many legislative attacks against public education, especially the ill-advised expansion of charter schools and attacks on the teacher retirement system. She encouraged Board members and community members to contact legislators in support of public education. She also commended Representative Cook for being supportive since he has been in office. Mrs. Pirch then presented information about the Missouri Retired Teachers Association and encouraged participation by retired teachers. She supplied information about MRTA, including benefits, grant opportunities, legislative contacts, and the possibility of the School Board paying the $44 for MRTA membership the first year for new retirees.

After Public Communication, the Board reviewed and approved Consent Items (agenda, minutes from previous meeting, bills for payment, and the monthly financial statement). This was followed by principal reports. Dr. Johnson, the high school principal, reported on enrollment (238 students in Grades 6-12), attendance for April (91.75%), past events, future events, and students of the month. Past events included the field trip to the museum in St. Louis, the trip to Fun City in Mountain Grove, and the STUCO Blood Drive on April 25th. Future events included the FFA Banquet May 12th, Senior Graduation on May 15th at 2:00 p.m., the high school Music Concert on May 17th, and the Athletic Banquet on May 23rd at 6:00 p.m.

In the elementary principal’s report, Mrs. Bird presented attendance (97.23%), enrollment (222 students in Grades Pre K through 5th Grade), past events, current/upcoming events, and April Students of the Month. Past events included PreK and Kindergarten screenings on April 19-21, Benchmark testing on April 25-May 5, and the Mother/Son Bingo event on April 29th. Current/Upcoming events included the MAP kickball game on May 10th, a few remaining field trips, the Spring Music Concert on May 19th, and the Kindergarten Graduation Parade/Ceremony on May 20th at 5:00 p.m. at the square.

In the Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Stark first had the School Board approve resignations from Kevin Arasmith and Kristin Martin. Next came meal price recommendations for 2022-2023. Two major factors justify an increase in prices: recent high food prices created by inflation and the fact that both students and adults are getting more food than in previous years. Relatively speaking, the meal prices are still more than reasonable. Student prices next school year will increase to $1.50 for breakfasts and $2.25 for lunches. Individual milks are 50 cents, partial extra trays are 1/2 price, and extra items, like entrees, are $1.00. Adults will pay $1.50 for breakfasts and $3.00 for lunches. The meal price recommendations were approved. It was also noted that free meals for all students ends after this current school year. Some families will need to apply for free or reduced meal status. There was also discussion about setting up time at the August open house for parents to prepay for meals and also setting up online payments for convenience. Dr. Stark next presented information on membership and policy service prices and benefits of both Missouri School Boards Association (MSBA) and the Missouri Association of Rural Education (MARE). This school district is currently an MSBA member. The last part of this report was reviewing/considering the elementary window and flooring project bids received. After a lot of conversation, including the uncertainty of funding and expenses for next school year, the Board decided to reject all bids. They prefer to either do this in smaller projects or build up Fund 4 money over the next year. The elementary windows on the West side are the first priority and will be done as soon as possible.

In closed session, the Board first approved the executive session minutes from April, followed by hiring recommendations. Lisa Stephens was hired for High School Math, Elane Ennis was hired for 7-9 Science (contingent upon release from current contract), and Anna Cox was hired for High School Special Education. Belinda Gaston was hired for Kindergarten, and Melissa Pulliam was hired for 1st Grade. Two paraprofessionals were also hired: Makaylia Terrill (preschool) and Nicole Harrill (special services). Dr. Stark also further conveyed plans to pay additional stipends for any teacher who has more than four preps, which right now affects HS Science and HS Math. Dr. Stark also gave an update on the recent legislation for increasing teacher starting salaries to $38,000, which is an opt-in grant program that is not guaranteed after next year, in relation to funding. The grant only pays for 70% of any salary increase to get to $38,000. This does not include retirement or Medicare, and there are no funds to increase veteran teacher salaries. The state legislators could fund this 100%, but they choose not to. They are currently sitting on over a $3 billion surplus. In Dr. Stark’s opinion, it would make more sense to phase this in over three years (Year 1-$25,000 to $30,000, Year 2-$30,000 to $35,000, and Year 3-$35,000 to $38,000). This potentially will cause financial problems for smaller districts and animosity/worsening teacher morale; large costs to go from #50 in the country for starting salaries to #40. Facility improvements will likely be stalled, too. In Dr. Stark’s opinion, this appears to be another legislative path, along with open enrollment, to bankrupt small schools in order to accelerate what some of them have wanted for a long time: school consolidation. Not good at all. This may very well cause more problems than it solves, especially when there is no guarantee of funding after next year. Dr. Stark plans to opt into this grant program and also give all teachers at least a minimal raise at the same time. This will likely result in budget cuts in the near future, though. The last closed session item considered was the hiring of a JH/HS Principal. There were ten applicants, and four individuals were interviewed by the School Board. After a lot of discussion, the Board hired Amber Hunt to take the position starting next school year.
The meeting ended with a one hour required annual online refresher training for Board members that covers responsibilities for protecting students from sexual misconduct and handling various related situations. There was a lot of emphasis on Board responses, governance, communication, reporting abuse, and acting as a whole when dealing with various situations/circumstances. This information is included with the required training for new Board members, but a refresher course is required every year. The next regularly scheduled School Board meeting is Tuesday, June 14th at 6:00 p.m. in the high school library.

April 2022

The Summersville Board of Education met in regular session on Tuesday, April 12th at 6:00 p.m. in the high school library. After the Pledge of Allegiance/Call To Order/Roll Call, Matt Briggs reported on the Missouri State Highway Patrol bus inspections conducted here in Summersville on March 31st. The only write up was a slow fuel leak found near the fuel filter area on one bus that had to be addressed. That was fixed and processed immediately. There was one bus on an activity trip that will be inspected in Willow Springs at the MSHP headquarters in the next week or so. Due to bus purchases in recent years, we only have one bus with high mileage. Mr. Briggs feels the bus fleet is in good shape at this time.

Next came the Board approval of the certified vote totals from the School Board election on April 5th, followed by the Oath of Office and Board Reorganization (Election of Officers). The official number of total votes from both Texas County and Shannon County: Ryan Hunt 192 votes, Jason Greear 148 votes, Jason Rutledge 95 votes, Emily Doosing 62 votes, and Max Racicot 32 votes. Ryan Hunt and Jason Greear took the Oath of Office and signed/completed the related paperwork to begin their three year term. The Board Reorganization resulted in the following officers: Jason Greear- Board President, Sam Jewett- Vice President, Ryan Hunt- Treasurer, and Janay Heiney- Board Secretary.
In Consent Items, the Board approved the meeting agenda, the minutes from the previous meeting, bills for payment, and the monthly financial statement. There were a couple of questions about bills to address, as well as some discussion about technology based on an update from Mr. Karr. Dr. Stark pointed out the increased spending and revenues because of the ESSER III allocation this fiscal year. He also spoke about possible legislation that could affect the overall budget going into the future. Next came the Principal reports.

Dr. Johnson reported on enrollment (237 students in Grades 6-12), attendance for March (93.56%), past events, and current/future events. Past events included the Quiz Bowl Conference Tournaments we hosted at SBU in Mountain View, the Career Day on March 24th, Prom/Project Prom, the Cadaver field trip on March 30th, and the vertical team meetings that have taken place with teachers. He also reported on activities coming up that week, as well as the State FFA Convention starting April 21st. The Senior trip on April 23rd to Branson was also mentioned, as well as the STUCO Blood Drive on April 25th. MAP/EOC testing is May 9th through May 19th, Baccalaureate and Senior Awards is May 11th, FFA Banquet is May 12th, Senior Graduation is May 15th, Spring Choir and Band Concert is May 17th, and the Athletic Banquet is May 23rd. Dr. Johnson also conveyed Students of the Month for January. Mrs. Bird reported on attendance for March (93.69%), enrollment (221 in Grades Kindergarten through 5th Grade), past events, and current/upcoming events. Past events included the Father& Daughter Dance on March 18th, Abraham’s Remembrance on March 22nd, and the Title One meeting on April 7th. Current/Upcoming events included 120th Day of School (April 12th), summer school forms due April 14th, PreK & K Screenings April 19-21, and the Mother/Son Bingo event on April 29th. Mrs. Bird also reported on Students of the Month.

In the Superintendent’s Report, there were several items discussed, starting with an updated Facility and Maintenance Plan. In relation to the FEMA project, the substantial completion inspection/meeting will now take place on April 20th at 1 p.m. After that, any punch list items will have to be addressed. That only leaves the backup generator and mechanical room fixed ladder installation. Next, Dr. Stark read two resignation letters and asked the Board to approve those resignations from Dorothy King and Jon Johnson. Next came the dreaded health insurance renewal discussion, which resulted in the Board keeping the monthly payment cap at $475 per month ($525 per month for employees who participate in the district wellness program). Three Blue Access insurance plans will be offered: Plan 6 ($2,000 deductible), Plan 15 ($3,500 deductible), and Plan 16 ($6,000 deductible). Employees have to consider several factors when deciding which plan to take, including each plan’s out-of-pocket limit, pharmacy costs, and percentage of coverage. Plan 16 is $420.18 per month, so the difference between the Board paid cap and the premium will be placed in their HSA account. The other two plans will require a monthly payment by the employee to make up the amount not Board paid.

Next came policy update discussions and approvals. First, updates to Policy EBBC, Policy GCBDA, Policy GDBDA, Policy JGA, and Policy JGGA were approved. After a conversation about staff attendance, the Board also decided to keep the current cap of leave days at 30 days. The decision was also made to increase the amount paid to employees for unused leave days (end of each school year and when a person resigns/retires) to $100 per day for certified staff and $75 per day for non certified employees. Next, the Board covered Policy KG, which has to do with community use of district facilities. Topics related to this policy include eligible use (any “for profit” groups should not use facilities unless the district wants to charge fees), restrictions, security and safety, and use of equipment. The Board approved the following restrictions: District facilities are NOT to be used at all on Wednesdays past 5:30 p.m. and Sundays before 2:00 p.m. unless previously Board-approved for school-related activities like Graduation or Baccalaureate. This restriction includes district-owned ball fields and gymnasiums. After revisiting the topic of electronic access and access cards, the Board discussed parking permits. The high school keeps a list of students who park at school and their license numbers; therefore, there are no plans to utilize student parking permits. The Board decided to remove any language about parking permits from Policy ECD. This part of the meeting ended with a brief conversation about Archery practices in the future and the possibility of utilizing the new FEMA building, especially if the coach wants to have separate practices for junior high and high school.

In closed session, the Board first approved the executive minutes from the March Board meeting. This was followed by personnel discussion and hiring recommendations, which included Sherri Pursley for the open cook position and Bridgette Porter for an open paraprofessional position at the high school. Ms. Porter will also be the assistant volleyball coach. The Board also approved hiring Sarah Jones for the open Special Education Teaching position, contingent upon getting full certification completed. Other internal moves were conveyed, and there will be other recommendations at the May Board meeting. The support staff salaries were addressed next in the meeting. After a few situations were discussed and a couple of adjustments made, the support staff recommendations were approved. The athletic assignments for 2022-2023 were also approved, as well as the extra duty stipends and the teacher salary schedule for next year. Possible legislation related to teacher starting salaries could create a situation that will require re-creating the salary schedule in order to hopefully secure additional funding from the state. Dr. Stark ended the meeting by updating the Board on application packets he has received for the open high school principal position; he also presented an alternative option for the 2022-2023 school year that would save funds and possibly create opportunities for potential overall improvement to instructional services here at Summersville. After returning to open session, the meeting was adjourned. The next scheduled School Board meeting is Tuesday, May 10th at 6:00 p.m. in the high school library.

March 2022

The Summersville R-2 Board of Education met in regular session on Tuesday, March 15th at 6:00 p.m. in the high school library.  After the Pledge of Allegiance/Call to Order/Roll Call, Herman Kelly, Doyle Heiney, and David Trotter attended the meeting to discuss a few topics.  First, there will be an event at Eminence High School starting June 30th (through July 10th) that will be organized by the National Guard to provide free dental and eye care services for area citizens.  Next, it was confirmed that there will be more asphalt work near the elementary school around the same time frame as the asphalt work completed near the high school.  Finally, information was provided about a proposed use tax in Shannon County.  This proposed tax does not mean an increase in anyone’s taxes.  This only applies to out-of-state online purchases and is already taxed by the other states.  This use tax means the 1.5% use tax would stay in Shannon County.  Texas County has already passed this, and it has been positive for that county.  Mr. Kelly wanted to share this information to get accurate information conveyed to the affected communities.

     Next on the agenda was a presentation from Nathaniel Karr, the district’s technology coordinator.  He provided information on where we have been, in relation to technology and how it has changed the last decade or longer.  He also gave a summary of technology inventory, issues with underused equipment, the presence of Windows 7 computers, which have no support and need to be gone for several reasons, and possible solutions.  Along with a breakdown of Chromebooks here at the school, he also highlighted new policies that assign those devices to specific students instead of groups of computers assigned to classrooms.  This has proven to be effective in putting more responsibility on students for proper use and identifying issues sooner.  Next, he presented information on the network, including switches, access points, security, the crazy set up at the Music building, and an old unused building that still has a wireless bridge, all fixable problems.  There was also discussion about outdated smartboards, soon-to-be-replaced servers, and the right time to discontinue the outside services currently being provided but not needed anymore.  There have also been a lot of changes to the web site, which will continue.  Other topics included building security, use of Microsoft Office (more prevalent than Google Docs), monitoring software, future costs of solutions, vivi devices, licensing, etc.  A memo written by Dr. Stark to be sent soon to Midwest Computech was also shared with the Board.  We are looking at a 5 year cycle to get where we want while being frugal.  We need to get this improved in order to better serve the students here at Summersville.
     Next was consent items (agenda, minutes from previous meeting, bills for payment, and monthly financial statement), which were approved.  The principal reports came next, starting with Dr. Johnson.  His high school report included enrollment (239 students in Grades 5-12), attendance (93.65% in February), past events, and future events.  Future events included Career Day at the high school on March 24th, baseball games, softball games, the Cadaver field trip on March 30th, Bus inspections on March 31st, and upcoming FFA contests.  Students of the Month were also shared.  In the elementary principal report, Mrs. Bird reported on attendance (95.85%), enrollment (219 students in PreSchool through 5th Grade), past events, and current/upcoming events.  The end of the 3rd Quarter is March 24th (also Spring pictures), there is a PTO meeting March 29th at 4:30 p.m., and April 8th is the Mother & Son Bingo event.  She also reported on students of the month in each grade level.
     In the Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Stark presented snow makeup days (March 18, April 8, April 22), which were approved.  He also presented two summer school approvals, one being the dates (June 7th through June 30th) and the other being the salaries assigned with positions.
     In closed session, the minutes from February were first approved.  Dr. Stark then gave the members heads up on an ongoing problem that may need to be addressed soon, which relates to parent communication.  The teacher list was then presented and discussed.  After a few questions and information-sharing, the Board approved first the tenure teacher list, followed by hiring approvals for each provisional teacher.  The Board also approved the hiring of Michelle Dorsett for Health/P.E./FACS and Davi Boyle for head volleyball coaching.  After returning to open session, the meeting was adjourned.  The next scheduled Board meeting is Tuesday, April 12th at 6:00 p.m. in the high school library.

February 2022

The Summersville R-2 Board of Education met in regular session on Thursday, February 17th at 6:00 p.m. in the high school library.  This was rescheduled from Tuesday, February 8th.  All Board members were present.  The meeting started with the Pledge of Allegiance/Call to Order/Roll Call.  In Consent Items, the Board approved the agenda, the minutes from the previous meeting (1/11/22), bills for payment, and the monthly financial statement.  There was one question about a bill from Ferrell gas, which was followed by approval of Consent items.

     Next were the principals’ reports, which were presented by Dr. Stark.  Dr. Stark told the principals to go home because of bad weather and the fact that their evaluations would be discussed that evening.  The high school principal’s report conveyed information on enrollment (244 students in Grades 6-12), attendance (92.31% in January), past events, and future events.  There was a brief discussion related to the Iready meeting on January 21st.  Dr. Stark also pointed out that the Missouri State House of Representatives has passed the ESSER III allocation, so now it is up to the Senate to get this done before the March deadline.  The future events included Spring Sports pictures on March 14th, as well as Prom and After Prom on March 26th.  The Senior Trip itinerary to Branson was also shared; this trip is scheduled for April 23-26.  Dr. Stark also brought up requests for seniors to decorate parking spots; one Board member stated that this should be a fundraiser in order to help pay for anything needed, and guidelines should be established.  The process and costs associated with this would still need to be worked out.  This also led to a discussion about paw prints on the road in front of the high school and possibly decorating ceiling tiles above senior lockers.  Dr. Stark also brought up a request by two students currently in the Health Occupations class at the career center in West Plains who want to take a Pharmacy Technology class next year.  Not sure if we can make this work logistically, but we will find out.  Transportation would likely have to be provided, whether at West Plains or Houston.  After a brief conversation about extending the front parking lot at the high school, it was time for the Elementary Principal’s report.
     The Elementary Principal’s Report conveyed information on attendance (93.61% in January), enrollment (212 students in Pre-K through 5th Grade), past events, and current/upcoming events.  Past events included Benchmark testing finalized on January 12th, National Counselors’ Week on February 7-11, Valentine parties on February 14th, and mid-quarter reports on February 17th.  Current/Upcoming events included FFA week February 21-24, celebrating TWO’s Day on 2-22-22 on a Tuesday, Leadership Conference March 6-9, and the federal programs meeting March 9th.  There was also a COVID numbers update.  No cases so far in February.
     In the Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Stark first asked the Board to approve the 2022-2023 school calendar.  After that approval, he confirmed that the only snow makeup day as of now will be on Friday, April 22nd.  Next, Dr. Stark read three resignation letters from Rachel Holthaus, Denise Roenspie, and Stefanie Thomas.  All three resignations were approved.  Next, an update on the FEMA project was presented, with some discussion.  Looking like this project should be substantially complete by the end of March.  A water line issue was discussed, as well as the probability we will be waiting on a generator at the conclusion of this project.  The meeting then went into closed session.
     In the executive session, the minutes were first approved.  There were several discussion topics, including gym floor design requests, online live feeding of basketball games next year, staff attendance policy, the utilization of AMI days in the future, and the probable renaming of the VoTech school in West Plains.  Next, the Board was made aware of a student discipline issue involving drug possession, which resulted in an out-of-school suspension, as well as other consequences.  We try to send a consistent message to all students that this behavior will not be tolerated.  For the rest of the meeting Dr. Stark conveyed information concerning the evaluations of both building principals.  He pointed out a few examples of specific expectations that will be conveyed during the summative part of this evaluative process.  This led to some dialogue related to teacher expectations and quality instruction, as well as the teacher certification process.  After some time, Dr. Stark formally recommended both principals for rehire.  The Board approved those recommendations.  The meeting returned to open session before adjournment occurred shortly thereafter.
     The next regularly scheduled School Board meeting is Tuesday, March 8th at 6:00 p.m. in the high school library.