Thursday, December 12, 2019

Board Briefs from Dec. 9, 2019 Board Business Meeting

This document includes highlights of information received by the Ladue Schools Board of Education at the Dec. 9, 2019 Business Meeting. This is an unofficial record. Official minutes of each Board meeting are posted on the district website and are available for viewing at the Administrative Center after the Board approves them, typically two weeks after the meeting.

Board President's Remarks
  • Board President Carolyn Jaeger announced that filing for candidacy in the 2020 Board of Education elections will begin on Dec. 17, 2019 at 8 a.m. and will close on Jan. 21, 2020 at 5 p.m. This year there are three positions available. Click here for additional details posted on the district website.

Superintendent Remarks
  • Superintendent Dr. Jim Wipke shared that it has been an outstanding semester and thanked the Board of Education for allowing him to be part of this exemplary school district. He added that the Ladue Schools Board of Education puts students at the center of their work more than any other Board with which he has worked. 
  • The district recently held its second CURE meeting. Dr. Wipke reported that it was an excellent and well-attended meeting and included principals from nearly every school who had the opportunity to hear concerns and ideas from African-American parents throughout the district. Dr. Wipke thanked Dr. Amy Zielinksi and Dr. Jennifer Riesenmy for coordinating this productive gathering. Dr. Zielinski serves as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction and Dr. Riesenmy serves as assistant principal at Old Bonhomme Elementary, as well as the district's equity coordinator and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) coordinator
  • The district received proposals from six construction management companies and 12 architectural firms in response to the Requests for Qualifications recently issued with a deadline for response of Dec. 6, 2019.
  • The district hosted its second Fearless Focus event on Dec. 3. The Fearless Focus series provides opportunities for our community to explore issues of race, gender, poverty and other topics relating to diversity. In this session, attendees viewed selected scenes from America to Me and discussed their applicability and implications for our community.
  • Dr. Wipke thanked Technology Director Rob Highfill for presenting information along with Technology Specialists Kristie Lehde and Adam Stirrat to the district’s Parent District Council regarding the use of technology and social media. Parents were very engaged and appreciated learning about current trends in these areas. The district will be identifying opportunities to share this information more broadly.
  • Members of the district’s senior leadership team met last week to discuss the potential and possibilities for expanding the district’s early childhood programming. The focus is on identifying methods for providing early childhood education for students living in the district to whom this programming is not currently accessible.
  • The Ladue School District’s Teacher of the Year for 2018 was the Fifth Grade Center’s Angela Kelly, who went on to be recognized as a Missouri Regional Teacher of the Year. Fifth Grade Center Principal Dr. Patricia Wilson was recently notified by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) that Mrs. Kelly may be eligible to receive national recognition as a result of her contributions to education.
  • Dr. Wipke congratulated Dean of Students and Head Varsity Football Coach Mike Tarpey on an outstanding season. Dr. Wipke said he couldn’t imagine a better environment for students to play sports in than the one created by Coach Tarpey. Dr. Wipke extended his compliments to all of our fall sports teams and coaches. Having attended a number of their games, he said it is a treat to watch them compete.
  • Congratulations to the five Ladue Middle School students and the 24 LHWHS students who were recently named to the All-Suburban Honors Bands.
  • Finally, Dr. Wipke wished all in attendance and the entire Ladue Schools community a very happy holiday season!


Acceptance of Auditor's Report. Assistant Superintendent for Business & Finance Dr. Jason Buckner  introduced Al Kirchhofer, President of Daniel Jones & Associates, who presented the district’s annual Independent Auditor’s Report which states all financial statements reviewed, in all material respects, fairly represent the respective financial activities, and each major fund, of the district, as of June 30, 2019. The district received an “unmodified opinion,” the highest opinion a district can receive and remains one of the few public school districts in Missouri to hold a stand-alone AAA rating from Standard and Poor's.

Benefits Consultant Agreement. Dr. Buckner presented, and the Board approved, the administration’s recommendation that the district extend the contract of its current benefits consultant, HM Benefits, for an additional two years under the same terms and conditions.


Elementary School Presentations. Dr. Zielinski introduced Ladue Early Childhood Center Director Mrs. Kerri Wetzel, Reed Elementary Principal Dr. Chris Schreiner and Spoede Elementary Principal Dr. Kim Stallons who presented information about their schools to the Board. These presentations can be found by clicking on the header to this paragraph and include: points of pride, demographics, assessment data and goals.

2019-20 Updated Budget. Dr. Buckner presented an update on the district’s budget. The Board of Education approved the 2019-20 Preliminary Budget on June 24, 2019. Throughout the year, the budget is adjusted and revised based on the availability of more accurate revenue and expense data as it becomes available. Click on the paragraph header for additional details.

Second Semester Board Agenda Calendar. President Jaeger reviewed the Board Meeting Agenda Calendar for the second semester with the Board. This calendar outlines the items anticipated to be discussed and/or voted upon during the second half of the 2019-20 school year. This document is adjusted as new topics develop.


Tentative Agenda Items for Special Meeting on Jan. 21, 2020
The next Board of Education meeting will be a Special Meeting held on Jan. 21, 2020, in the Ladue Horton Watkins High School Multipurpose Room, 1201 S. Warson Road, at 6 p.m. Tentative agenda items for that meeting include the following. 

  • Conduct Interviews for Construction Management and Architectural Services
Tentative Agenda Items for Business Meeting Jan. 27, 2020:
The following Board of Education meeting will be a Board Business Meeting on Jan. 27, 2020, in the Ladue Horton Watkins High School Multipurpose Room, 1201 S. Warson Road, at 6 p.m. Tentative agenda items for that meeting include the following. 

  • Budget Adjustments
  • City of Ladue/District Resource Officer Agreement
  • Annual Renewal of Agreement to Participate in PEGS

  • Recommendation for a construction management company, performance contractor and architectural services
  • Meet and Confer Report and Recommendations

  • Elementary School Presentations - Old Bonhomme and Reed
  • Summer School Programs Update