R-1 School Board approves health plan for 2017-18

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

NEW MADRID, Mo. - A healthier staff will result in healthy savings on insurance.

During the March New Madrid County R-1 School Board meeting, the board approved coverage plans for the 2017-2018 school year, including dental, life and long-term disability with the Missouri Educators Unified Health Plan.

According to Dr. Sam Duncan, superintendent, the District will be moving into a new tier, saving the district $87,000.

"Over the course of the school year we have as a district worked to make better choices in regard to our healthcare especially those acute situations that might require immediate care," he said. "We have been fortunate to be much healthier this year."

For the 2016-17 school year as part of the district's effort to balance the budget, Duncan said, employees paid the deductible on the health insurance. For the 2017-18 school year, the Board decided to use the savings to pay the deductible for every employee.

Several other budget items were addressed by the board as they prepare for the 2017-18 school year.

The board adopted the 2017-2018 salary schedule, which is the same schedule used in 2016-17 for all of the teachers and staff. The salary base will remain $33,200.

However Duncan noted at February's meeting, the board was able to restore the salary steps.

While it will only impact two employees, the Board approved returning salaries for part-time retirees to go back to 2015-16 levels, minus the insurance supplement, effective the 2017-2018 school year.

Duncan explained as part of the district's budget cutting for the 2016-17 school year, salaries were significantly reduced for part-time retired employees.

"Next year we will increase back to where they were," Duncan said. "Now they will be compensated the way we did prior to the budget cutting which is appropriate.

We appreciate them for . . . taking the cuts."

Also approval was given to extend the District's agreement with Opaa! Food Management for the 2017-2018 school year. Duncan said this is the final year of the contract with the company, which operates the cafeterias for the district, and will be rebid at the end of the 2017-18 school year.

The Board accepted a bid from SIS Tyler Technology for implementation of a system used to manage student information for the district beginning with 2017-2018 school year. The Superintendent noted most school districts in Missouri use SIS Tyler Technology, which is a Missouri-based company.

"The system we are using is not supported very well. It will be a nice change for the district, much easier to use," Duncan said about the new system, which can provide student demographic information, online grades and reports.

Other services, Duncan said, will include the ability to alert parents or guardians if their students are missing assignments or have a number of days absent. He added the cost of approximately $20,000, is identical to the other service.

In other action by the Board:

* A contract was approved with Pati Montgomery for leadership work/training with building principals in setting up Professional Learning Communities and Building Improvement Plans required by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Duncan said Montgomery has worked with the staff at Matthews Elementary in Matthews and was extremely effective in working with principals and building leadership teams to improve student performance.

Two federal grants will fund the program for the district.

* Personnel: The Board re-employed the non-tenured teaching staff of the District for the 2017-2018 school year.

The following resignations were accepted: Jake Baehr, New Madrid County Central volleyball assistant coach; Emma Fowler, accounts payable with the District Office; Rob Goodwin, physical education at New Madrid Elementary; Greg Hamm, alternative school at NMCC; Jim Hampton, science at NMCC; Joy Hayes, aide at Central Middle School; Christina Hodges, football and competitive cheer at NMCC; Susan Huckeby, fifth grade at Lilbourn Elementary; Janice Klimek, special education at NME; Jeff Ross, basketball coach at CMS; Martha Mainord , third grade at NME; Donna Tucker, assistant teacher at NME; and Melinda Jane Yates, special education at NME.

Employed for the 2017-2018 school year were: Stacy Miller, special education teacher; Daren Dace, teacher/coach; and Lucas Rayfield, teacher/coach.

* The Board accepted a bid from Bank of New Madrid for the District's bank depository services through December 2018.

* April 13 was set as the date for the board's reorganizational meeting following the April 4 election. The Board will meet at 9 a.m. April 27 for the annual work session.

* Duncan advised the the District's passed its annual bus by the Missouri State Highway Patrol "with flying colors."

* Also the district received "a stellar review" from officials following its Special Education Compliance Review last week, Duncan said. State officials also conducted a review of the District's 21st Century Learning Labs and was praised by officials on the success of the program, which is in its first year.

* The District will add three days to the end of the school year to make up for days lost due to power outages. A full day of classes for students will be conducted on May 15 and 16 with a half-day of class on May 17, the final day of school.