Thursday, October 30, 2014

Board Briefs from October 27, 2014 Business Meeting

This information includes highlights of action taken and information received by the Ladue Schools Board of Education at the October 27, 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.

Excellence in Education Award
Kim Gutchewsky
English Teacher, Ladue Horton Watkins High School 

National Merit Semifinalists Recognized
  Mary Kate Fox, Miriam Hauptman, Boyang Jiang, Kalliope Kornfeld, Nicholas Krasnoff, Yang Liu, Allison Loynd, Michael Prablek, Veijay Raj, Nevel Vaidyan, Christine Yan

Board President's Remarks

  • Board President Jeff Kopolow announced that the Ladue Early Childhood Center staff received a 2014 Women’s Champion for Social Change Award. This award is sponsored by SLEVAWN—St. Louis Ending Violence against Women Network and recognizes employers, employees, advocates and volunteers in the St. Louis community who are making a difference in the lives of women in their workplace and in their recovery from domestic violence.  
Superintendent's Remarks
  • Superintendent Dr. Donna Jahnke congratulated the National Merit Semifinalists for their excellent work and for being outstanding representatives of the district.
  • Dr. Jahnke congratulated the Ladue Horton Watkins High School (LHWHS) Field Hockey team for winning the Public Schools Tournament on October 18, 2014 - a first for LHWHS.  She also congratulated the team's coach, Barb Dwyer, for being selected by her peers to receive the Janet Esrock Coach of the Year Award for 2014.
  • Dr. Jahnke also congratulated 2014 graduate Magda Lijowska for being honored for Excellence in Foreign Language Study by the Foreign Language Association of Missouri (FLAM.)  Lijowska and her Spanish teacher, Mrs. Maritza Sloan were recently honored at FLAM's' annual fall conference.
  • The LHWHS Rams Football Team will be playing Pattonville High School in the second round of district football this coming Saturday, November 1, 2014, at 1 p.m. at St. Louis University High School.

2014-15 Bus Routes/Mileage. 
 Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance Dr. Jason Buckner presented, and the Board approved, the 2014-15 bus routes and mileage, an action required annually by the state.  Dr. Buckner updated the board on road construction and resulting traffic issues that occurred earlier in the school year, but are beginning to resolve, and explained the necessity for adding an additional first tier route for the Fifth Grade Center in order to ensure the timely arrival of students.

Alteration to School Bus Lease.  Dr. Buckner presented, and the Board approved, the administration's recommendation to adopt a resolution to make changes to the bus lease with Commerce Bank as a result of the recent bond refunding.  (See first topic under Information Items below.)


Bond Refunding Report.  Dr. Buckner presented a report on bond refunding which took place, with the Board's prior approval, on October 6-7, 2014.  Approximately $18,995,000 in bonds were refunded with a total district savings of $2,176,522 over the remaining life of the issue.

Ladue Education Foundation and Alumnae Report.    In addition, Ladue Education Foundation President Julie LaBonte and Executive Director Kristen Wild presented a report on the foundation's current initiatives and plans for the future.  In addition,Dr. Jahnke updated the Board on efforts to create a more robust alumni association by combining district resources and efforts with the existing Ladue Alumni Association.

Enrollment and Residency Report.  Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Ken Rossics presented the Board with information on 2014-15 enrollment, noting the district has an overall increase of 58 students from last year and an increase of resident student enrollment of 21.6% over the last ten years.  With average growth of 1.46% over the last five years, it is anticipated enrollment growth will continue at least for the next two years. 

Board Policy Changes.  Dr. Jahnke presented two policy changes for the Board's consideration.  Policy BBB was changed to allow candidates for the Board of Education to file by certified mail if they are unable to file paperwork in person due to physical disability or because they are a member of the armed forces.  Policy IND was changed to more specifically define the activities and events to be conducted in honor of Veterans Day.  These policy changes are being made as part of the ongoing updating and maintenance of district policies due to changes in best practices established by the Missouri School Board Association, as well as federal and state legislation.  They do not represent substantive changes in the district's policies or procedures.  


Tentative Agenda Items for Works Session on November 12, 2014:

  • Curriculum & Instruction Initiatives
  • Facilities Master Plan Phase I Timeline
Tentative Agenda Items for Business Meeting on November 24, 2014

    • SSD Reimbursement of Early Childhood Special Education Costs
    • Acceptance of Auditor's Report
    • Board Policy Changes
    • New Strategic Plan
    • 2015-16 High School Course Change Proposals
    • 2015-16 LECC Tuition and BASK/TAS Rates
    • 2014-15 Revised Budget
    • Board Policy Changes
The next meeting of the Board will be a Work Session at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 12, 2014.  The next Business Meeting of the Board is scheduled for November 24, 2014.  Both meetings will take place at the Administrative Center, 9703 Conway Road.