Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Board Briefs from May 28, 2014 Business Meeting

This information includes highlights of action taken and information received by the Ladue Schools Board of Education at the May 28, 2014, 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 Remarks
Board President Jeff Kopolow commented on the success of the high school graduation ceremonies held on May 18, 2014.  It was a beautiful day, with a lot of obvious positive energy amongst the graduates and their guests.  Mr. Kopolow added a special note of thanks to Sweeney LaBarge and Dave Sonius for reading the graduate's names.  High school staff members are chosen each year for this honor by members of the graduating class.
    Superintendent Remarks

    • Dr. Donna Jahnke also commented on graduation and how rewarding it is to watch more than 300 of our students "move the tassel over." Dr. Jahnke expressed her gratitude for the role every Ladue Schools' staff member plays in graduation day.  Regardless of whether or not they are there on the day of graduation, each has contributed to the process of bringing students to this point.
    • Dr. Jahnke also congratulated Molly Beck, teacher and Speech & Debate coach at the high school, for earning Professional Forensic Educator accreditation throught the National Forensic League.  This accreditation recognizes excellence in forensic education through competitive success, longevity in the field, and a commitment to continuing education.  While the NFL has over 9,000 educators, only a select few achieve this important distinction.

    Extra Duty Stipend Amounts.  Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Ken Rossics presented, and the Board approved, the 2014-15 Stipend List.  There were no position additions or deletions.  Some athletic head coach amounts were adjusted based on comparable salary data.  In addition, the administration recommended a one-time $500 stipend for head coaches with ten or more years experience in their sport in order to keep experienced, quality coaches.

    2014-15 Board Meeting Dates.  President Kopolow and Dr. Jahnke presented, and the Board approved, the schedule for 2014-15 Board of Education meetings.  The schedule differs from previous years by having Work Sessions (which generally take place the second week of the month) on Wednesdays instead of Mondays.  Business Meetings (which generally take place the fourth week of the month) will continue to be held on Mondays.  Moving Work Sessions to Wednesday nights will allow administration greater efficiencies in organizing and preparing for these meetings.  Business Meetings generally begin at 7 p.m. and Work Sessions generally begin at 6 p.m.

    Edits to Board Policy DC (Taxing and Borrowing Authority/Limitations.)  Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance Dr. Jason Buckner presented, and the Board approved, the administration's recommendation to approve an update to Policy DC (Taxing and Borrowing Authority/Limitations).  This policy change was made to reflect, not change, the district's current practices.


    Modern & Classical Languages Program Report.  
    Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction Dr. Laura Brock introduced Tamara Lay, Debra Lund and Janice Pauken who presented information about the district's Modern & Classical Language Program K-12.  The presentation concentrated on the importance of including and acknowledging these language programs as vital components in developing well-rounded students prepared to compete in a global society.

    2014-15 School Lunch Prices.  The district will end the 2013-14 school year with food service revenue and expenses relatively equal, as planned.  The district will receive a USDA/DESE regulated CPI Food increase of 2.27% from Chartwells, the district's food service provider, which the administration recommends be reflected in a 15 cent increase in meal prices at the elementary schools, Fifth Grade Center and middle school, and a 25 cent increase at the high school in the 2014-15 school year.  The Board will vote on this recommendation at their June 23, 2014 meeting.

    2014-15 Budget Introduction.  Dr. Buckner presented a review of the 2014-15 Preliminary Operating Budget currently in development.  The preliminary 2014-15 budget is anticipated to be $55.7 million which is within the 2% increase parameter set by the Board for operating budget expenditures in addition to a carryover amount from prior budget years.  This will create a fund balance surplus of approximately $1.7 million and an unrestricted fund balance percentage of approximately 41% at the end of the 2014-15 school year.  This surplus and fund balance percentage were anticipated, given the passage of Proposition 1 in April 2012 and the subsequent setting of the 2% unrestricted operating budget increase parameter by the Board of Education in September 2012.

    The budget presented assumes a $3.24 operating levy per $100 of assessed valuation pursuant to the $.49 increase resulting from the approval of Proposition 1.   Property assessments have declined since approval of Prop 1 and the Board of Education has the option of increasing the operating levy in an effort to remain revenue neutral.  The Board declined to increase the levy when it was set in 2013, but is considering doing so when setting the levy in September 2014.

    Details regarding the development of the 2014-15 operating budget, anticipated revenues by source, as well as preliminary information regarding the setting of the debt service levy is available by clicking on the heading of this section.

    The Board will approve the 2014-15 budget following a budget hearing at their meeting on June 23, 2014.  This approval will serve as the administration’s authorization to operate and administer the Ladue School District as specified by the budget within the laws of the state of Missouri and the policies of the district.

    Board Member Assignment to Board Advisory and Other Committees.  Mr. Kopolow and Dr. Jahnke announced the assignment of Board members to district committees for the 2014-15 school year.  These include appointments to serve on Board Advisory Committees, as individual school building liaisons, and as representatives to other districtwide committees and local educational organizations.

    Tentative Agenda Items for Work Session June 9, 2014:
    • Math Review Report
    • 2014-2015 Budget Review
    • Teacher Evaluation Program
    Tentative Agenda Items for Business Meeting June 23, 2014:

    • Hearing and Approval of 2014-2015 Preliminary Budget
    • 2014-2015 School Lunch Prices
    • 2014-2015 Student Testing Schedule
    • Carl Perkins Consortium Allocation Agreement
    • Teacher Evaluation Program
    • Professional Development Report and Plan
    • SAS115 Internal Controls/Risk Assessment Document
    • Consolidated Application for Federal Grants
    • Gifted Program Update
    • Changes to Board Policies (May Request Two Policies Move to Action)
    On June 9, 2014, the Board of Education will hold a Work Session at 6 p.m.  The next Business Meeting of the Board will take place on June 23, 2014, at 7 p.m.  Both meetings will take place at the Administrative Center, 9703 Conway Road.