Filing opens Dec. 12 for 2 seats on the NMC R-1's School Board

Friday, November 17, 2017

NEW MADRID, Mo. -- Two positions will be filled on the New Madrid County R-1 School Board in April.

At the November meeting, the NMC R-1 School Board set the filing dates for the seats currently held by Ralph Barnwell and Dee Moore for Dec. 12 through Jan. 16, 2018.. Those interested in seeking election can file from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday or from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Fridays when school is in session with Pam Riley at the Central Office on the New Madrid County Central High School campus. On Jan. 16 filing will be open to 5 p.m.

Jeff Stroder with Beussink, Hey, Roe and Stroder LLC presented the firm's audit report for 2016-17.

"The auditor came in and shared with the board how impressed he was (with the District). There were no findings and there was nothing negative to say and he assured us it wasn't because they weren't looking," Dr. Sam Duncan, superintendent, said.

The superintendent noted this is the second year the district's audit had no findings. He went on to praise the financial work of Heather Schuerenberg, the NMC R-1 District financial director, and the office staff.

The board renewed its property, fleet and liability insurance contract with the Missouri United School Insurance Council at a cost of $244,558. Duncan said this will provide the district with coverage on property valued at approximately $75 million and includes such things as the buses and buildings.

The district is moving into the age of electronic banking and will begin using an accounts payable and purchase card. At the suggestion of the Bank of New Madrid, the board selected a card provided by Central Bank, Duncan said.

"This has become more widely practiced in school districts across the country," he said about the use of cards. "We aren't the first ones on the bandwagon but neither are we the last. We are somewhere in the middle."

According to the superintendent, the Missouri School Board Association offers an accounts payable option to pay bills electronically. He said advantages include the district will no longer have to write checks or pay for postage when using electronic banking.

He noted the district will be able to control how much money is on a card and also what it can be used for. Another advantage, according to Duncan, would be that school personnel attending a conference could charge items and not have to worry about a reimbursement or have to carry cash issued by the district.

The card from Central Bank offers cash back on purchases.

"We estimate we will save quite a bit of money doing this and end up with a return when companies allow us to pay this way. This will be a win-win for us," he said. The bank estimates an annual return of $20,000 to $25,000.

In other action at the November meeting:

* A request from First State Community Bank to use the school mascot and school logo on debit cards issued by the bank was approved.

* Approval was given for New Madrid County Central High School juniors to take the ACT exam on April 3 during the school day. The district will pay the approximately $37 per student cost for the test for the students choosing to take the ACT.

Duncan said the district's administrators and teachers consider the ACT a better indicator than the MAP tests to determine the knowledge students are retaining. Also he stated it provides a better indicator in comparing students year to year.

Typically the tests are given on a Saturday. By offering the ACT on a school day, Duncan said all juniors will be able to take it if they want and not have to worry about finding transportation to a testing location.

"We want to make sure that our students who don't have the opportunity or didn't think they needed to take the test to take it. (When they see their scores) they may realize they can go to college. We do know that has happened," he said.

* Duncan updated board members on the store on the district's website, Using the link at the right side of the home page, the public can buy NMCC Eagle attire. The site was set up by Josten's and the school district receives roughly 12 percent on every sale.

Also the website has added an alumni section and is seeking information on all NMCC alumni as well as those who graduated from the schools that now make up the district's sending area.

* The R-1 District's 2017-2018 bus routes were approved setting in motion the means by which the district is reimbursed by the state.

* The resignations of James Ferguson, night watchman at Central High School, Richard Wright with the high school's JROTC program and Bobbi Rae Smith with the Central Middle School girls basketball were accepted. Jamie Higgerson was transferred as secretary from the New Madrid Elementary to the Middle School. Lawton Wilson was hired as night watchman at Central High School.