Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Board Briefs from March 9, 2015, Business Meeting

This information includes highlights of action taken and information received by the Ladue Schools Board of Education at the March 9, 2015, 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.

Excellence in Education Award
Linda Armbruster
Fourth-Grade Teacher, Conway Elementary School

Board President's Remarks
  • Board President Jeff Kopolow offered his congratulations to the high school's Speech and Debate national tournament qualifiers, noting Dr. Jahnke would be offering more specific information in her comments. 
Superintendent's Remarks
  • Superintendent Dr. Donna Jahnke announced a $1 million lead gift for a high school renovation has been pledged to the Ladue Education Foundation (LEF) by three Ladue Schools families.  Dana and Barry Sandweiss, Julie and Tim Stern, and Nicky and Scott Stern have combined to make this incredibly generous pledge in hopes other support will follow when the LEF officially kicks off their capital campaign in the coming months.  For additional information about this donation, click here.  
  • Dr. Jahnke congratulated Donovon Moore, an eighth-grader at Ladue Middle School who will be advancing to the state level of the National Geographic Bee on March 27 at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
  • Dr. Jahnke announced that the high school's robotics team, "Rambunction," took second place at a regional competition in Little Rock, Arkansas, over this last weekend.  This was the team's first major competition since designing, building and programming their robot.  She congratulated the team, their student leader Anastasia Maranto, and their coaches Steve Schmidt, Michelle Schmitt and Sweeney La Barge.
  • After participating in four days of competition at the Eastern Missouri District Tournament, the Ladue Horton Watkins High School debate team had 6 students qualify for the national tournament, as follows.  Dr. Jahnke also thanked teachers Molly Beck and Kathleen Mercury for their great work with the team.
    • Benjamin Collinger - International Extemporaneous Speaking 
    • Miriam Hauptman - Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking
    • Maya Mutic - Policy Debate
    • Patrick Naughton - Policy Debate
    • Rasika Sant - International Extemporarneous Speakng
    • Bobby Zitzmann - Congressional Debate, Senate


Master Plan Phase I High School Schematic Presentation.  Assistant Superintendent for Business & Finance Dr. Jason Buckner introduced the design team responsible for developing initial building concepts for a potential high school renovation.  Representatives from Bond Architects, and Hastings & Chivetta outlined various concepts for the Board's review with the goal of beginning to identify and prioritize desirable facility characteristics.  

Representatives from S.M. Wilson, the construction management agency selected for the development stages of this project, presented cost ranges for the concepts presented.  In addition, a representative from the company selected as the district's financial advisor for this project, Sentry Financial, presented general information regarding funding options.

The Board will consider this information as administrators gather input from the community over the next few months.  The information gathered during this community engagement phase will assist the Board and administration in narrowing to a single concept, so that more specific designs and estimates can be developed.  Additional community engagement opportunities are planned for the fall.  

Bid Approvals for Summer Capital Projects.  Dr. Buckner outlined two projects for which the district has developed requests for proposal.  One is to replace the cooling towers at Conway Elementary School and Reed Elementary School which were installed in 2002 and are becoming unreliable.  The other is to replace curbs, sidewalks and drives at Ladue Middle School. The bid award recommendations for these projects will be brought to the Board at the April 27, 2015 meeting. 

2015-2016 Administrative Salary Structure Recommendation.  Dr. Jahnke and Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Ken Rossics outlined the process recommended for determining administrator salaries for the 2015-16 school year using ranges for each position based on salaries being paid for similar positions in comparable school districts.  Going forward, the administration and Board will work toward developing a sustainable systematic way for increasing administrative salaries at a competitive level over time.  

    Tentative Agenda Items for Business Meeting Wednesday, April 8, 2015:

    • City of Ladue/District Resource Officer Agreement
    • Administrative Salary Range Recommendation
    • Support Staff Employee Council Report and Salary Recommendation
    • Facilities Master Plan - Phase I: High School Renovation - Presentation
    Tentative Agenda Items for Business Meeting Monday April 27, 2015:

    • Acceptance of Certified Election Results
    • Designation of Board Delegates/Alternates to Various Organizations
    • Bid Approval for Cooling Towers and Asphalt/Concrete Work
    • 2015-2016 Board Meeting Dates
    • Capital Fund Discussion 
    The next meeting of the Board will be a Business Meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8, 2015, to be held at the Administrative Center, 9703 Conway Road.