By Shari Harris, Publisher
The Licking R-VIII School Board met on Monday, March 8, 2021, at the boardroom. Five members voted to approve the consent agenda, consisting of minutes from the previous meeting and payment of bills; two abstained.
In items of business, the A+ Program was reviewed. Last year 31 students qualified, and this year, to date, Mr. Rinne is hoping for 25 students. The requirements include 95 percent attendance and achieving a qualifying score on the math component of the ACT.
The Fine Arts Report was presented. The school is partnering with Texas County Museum of Art and History to provide art programming for the elementary and secondary students. The Elementary Art Club is popular, with Mrs. Rinne reporting 22 students involved. Mrs. Williamson’s class is learning the meaning of the lyrics to “The Star Spangled Banner.” Mrs. Leah Sullins at the high school reports 24 in mixed media class, and 13 in Art Club. A possible virtual Frisco League Art Show is being discussed. Mrs. Link’s students have completed their a capella submission as The Cat’s Meow for the ICHSA Quarterfinal contest. The video was viewed at the meeting.
A review of projected balances included an $80,000 roof bill next month for ongoing work on the Science Building and the Field House. An expenditure for Safe Hold training for Mr. Cooper was incurred, but will save future expense as he is now able to train staff on how to safely intervene to protect the students’ safety. The unusually cold weather in February increased the electric bill; $18,500.00 for the month. Gutter repairs were necessary on the south side of the Junior High building. For the year, 64.62 percent of budgeted expenditures has been spent, and 70.07 percent of anticipated revenue has been received. The end of the fiscal year is June 30.
A salary study was begun. To cover the increase in the minimum wage in August and to roll up other wages accordingly would add over $49K to the budget. Discussion was held regarding catching up staff members whose wages were frozen at different times earlier in their careers due to budget shortfalls, placing their wages behind those of staff with similar experience hired into the district.
A 3.2 percent increase in MET insurance is anticipated next year, and the board will discuss whether to cover the increase in part or full, or to pass it on to employees.
Summer school was discussed. It is planned for June. There will be 15 days of K-6 for extra reading and math support, and remediation or credit recovery 7-12 with online classes.
The Elementary program would be June 1-3, June 7-10, June 14-17 and June 21-24. In-town bus routes will be run for elementary students.
The High School program will begin June 7 with an in-person kick-off with Mr. Rinne, and will continue through June 30, when Mr. Rinne will close the program. Students have an opportunity to recover a half or one full credit.
No changes were made to the calendar. The district used 12.5 weather days this year, with 10 of those built into the calendar. The state does not require making the extra 2.5 days up.
ESSER II funding was discussed and the board requested quotes for the concrete work for a modular building to replace the Elementary trailers. The funds should be released for use by the district in May.
The Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP) for 2020-2021 was presented to the board by the CSIP committee. The entire committee met several times and advanced the goals for the district. The district is working to provide a link to the full CSIP on their website.
The CSIP included the mission of the district, a vision statement, beliefs, a planning process, and improvement objectives and strategies of the district.
The CSIP set goals for student achievement, college and career readiness, attendance, graduation rate, retaining highly qualified staff, providing a safe, nurturing environment, and providing governance.
Public comment included a question about senior activities. Plans have not been finalized and are under discussion. Currently, a senior trip is planned.
The board moved to closed session.
The next meeting of the board is scheduled for Monday, April 12, at 6 p.m., at the office of the Superintendent.