Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Board Briefs from August 26, 2019 Business Meeting

This information includes highlights of information received by the Ladue Schools Board of Education at the Aug. 26, 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.

Superintendent Remarks
  • Superintendent Dr. Jim Wipke commented on an outstanding Opening Session where this year’s district theme of See. Serve. Connect. was introduced. 
  • Dr. Wipke has visited many schools already and even rode the bus on the first day with the driver of L12, Shawn Robinson. He commented on the outstanding staff he has visited with at every level and every capacity across the district since the school year began.
  • Dr. Wipke visited two kindergarten classrooms last week. At Old Bonhomme Elementary, Dr. Wipke visited Carolyn McGee’s classroom, where they were working on a project in relation to the book All Are Welcome about diversity, equity and inclusion. At Spoede Elementary, he visited Kaisey Maier’s classroom, sat on the carpet to have a chat with the students and quickly realized kindergarten teachers take on quite a task in these first few weeks of school. He encouraged everyone to hug a kindergarten teacher for the amazing work they do preparing students to learn in a more structured classroom setting. 
  • At Ladue Middle School, Dr. Wipke got to see the Revolutionary War through Virtual Reality Goggles and commented on how amazing this learning tool is for students. 
  • Dr. Wipke has visited almost every classroom in the high school and commented on how great it was to see the Business Management class in action as they planned for the sale of spirit wear and how they would spend the resulting revenue.
  • Dr. Wipke also attended several Meet the Teacher events and was thrilled to see all the smiles on both student and parent faces. 
  • He told the Board of Education how proud they should be of the exemplary way character lessons were embedded throughout the schools. And while there are always improvements to be made in the area of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, there is evidence of these values being embraced throughout the district.
  • Dr. Wipke mentioned the development of the Catalyst (CAPS) initiative and applaud those who are initiating this new program for their creativity. 
  • Dr. Wipke also commented on the district’s financial stability and how appreciative he is for the way the Board and administration have been handling the district’s finances.
  • Finally, Dr. Wipke thanked the Board for agreeing to add additional administrator positions to support our schools, particularly at the elementary level, and said that this additional support is very much appreciated by staff. He noted that with the addition of these positions, Old Bonhomme, Spoede and Conway now meet Missouri State Improvement Plan (MSIP) “minimum” standards and Reed meets the “desirable” standard.

District Meet and Confer Representatives.  Dr. Wipke recommended, and the Board approved, appointing Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance Dr. Jason Buckner, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Dr. Julie Helm, and Board Member Andy Bresler as the district’s representative in this year’s Meet and Confer process.

Trane Service Contract. Dr. Wipke introduced Facilities Director Mike Noonan who presented, and the Board approved, the administration’s recommendation that the district enter into a three-year contract with Trane Company to service the district’s air cooling equipment and systems. Trane is the supplier of the vast majority of the equipment used in the district and provides an extended warranty in conjunction with the service provided through this contract. 


First Semester Board Meeting Agenda Calendar. President Jaeger reviewed the Board Meeting Agenda Calendar for the first semester with the Board. This calendar outlines the items anticipated to be discussed and/or voted upon prior to Winter Break 2019. This document is adjusted as new topics develop.

Special Closed Session Meeting in October. President Jaeger introduced the topic of holding a Closed Session Board Meeting on Oct. 14, 2019 at 6 p.m. in order for the Board to discuss employee negotiation matters.

Future Board Meeting Structures and Dates. President Jaeger and the Board discussed Board of Education Meeting structures and dates. During the 2019-20 school year, all meetings will be Business Meetings and the Board will no longer hold Workshops. Configuration of the Board meeting may change based on the topics on the agenda and the nature of the discussion. The Board will continue to discuss Board meeting dates and structures for the 2020-21 school year, with consideration being given to holding all meetings on the same day of the week.

The next Board of Education meeting will be a Work Session on Sept. 10, 2019. The next Board Business Meeting will be held on Sept. 23, 2019. Both meetings will be held in the Ladue Horton Watkins High School Multipurpose Room, 1201 S. Warson Road, at 6 p.m. Tentative agenda items for those meetings are linked below.