Friday, January 15, 2016

Board Briefs from January 12, 2016 Business Meeting and Work Session

This information includes highlights of information received by the Ladue Schools Board of Education at the January 12, 2016 Work Session.  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. Donna Jahnke noted that a great deal was accomplished in the first semester of the 2015-16 school year and the second semester is off to a great start, as well.  Accomplishments for the first semester include:
  • The Ladue Early Childhood Center launched an effort to fill open seats through scholarships to students with financial needs
  • The successful implementation of new elementary report cards
  • The Fifth Grade Center beginning its third successful school year
  • Ladue Middle School recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School
  • The successful implementation of a new high school schedule

Prop R Bond Referendum Construction Manager. Assistant Superintendent for Business & Finance Dr. Jason Buckner presented, and the Board approved, the administration’s recommendation to appoint S.M. Wilson as the Construction Management Agency for the high school construction project should the Proposition R bond referendum pass on April 5, 2016.  S.M. Wilson has extensive experience building educational institutions with students in session during the course of construction, has prior experience with the Ladue School District and was the lowest bidder on the project.  Final negotiations and contract approval will be executed by district administration.  Prior to the vote on April 5, 2016, S.M. Wilson will continue to work with the district on cost refinement and construction timelines.  

Prop R Bond Referendum Legal Counsel Agreement. Dr. Buckner presented, and the Board approved, the administration’s recommendation to appoint Thompson Coburn, LLP as the provider of Bond Counsel Services for a period of five years.  Bond counsel will assist the district with the business functions involved with the election and bond transaction process should Proposition R pass on April 5, 2016.  

Prop R Bond Referendum Ballot Language. Dr. Jahnke presented, and the Board approved, the administration’s recommendation for the ballot language for Proposition R as follows:

Shall the Board of Education of the Ladue School District, St. Louis County, Missouri, borrow money in the amount of Eighty Five Million One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($85,100,000) for the purpose of constructing, renovating, repairing, improving, furnishing and equipping school sites, buildings and facilities, including, but not limited to (1) new construction and/or renovation of science labs, classrooms, fine and performing arts spaces, a library media center and building operational components at the high school and (2) updating safety, security and technology infrastructure at other District schools, and issue general obligation bonds for the payment thereof, resulting in an estimated increase to the debt service property tax levy of 39 cents ($.39) per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation?  If this proposition is approved, the adjusted debt
service levy of the District is estimated to increase from 39 cents ($.39) to 78 cents ($.78) per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation of real and personal property.


Update on High School Building Project. Dr. Jahnke and Dr. Buckner updated the Board on the discussions taking place regarding sharing information with the community about Proposition R, refining the design concept, further refining costs and developing potential construction timelines.  This process will continue throughout the next few months so that if Proposition R passes on April 5, 2016, renovation can begin as quickly as possible.  

Special School District (SSD) Partnership Agreement. Dr. Jahnke outlined an agreement documenting how SSD and partner districts will work together going forward to implement special education services and career technical education.  Dr. Jahnke explained the purpose of the document is to more clearly articulate this partnership, and she specifically pointed out the value of several specific facets, including:

  • How SSD staff will be used for multitiered interventions to ensure students who struggle have the appropriate supports they need.  
  • A commitment to coordinated professional development so staff are prepared to serve students well.  
  • Improvements in various procedures, as well as greater connectivity of systems and between districts.  
  • A regional approach to career and technical education.  

Dr. Jahnke said the agreement is being reviewed by the district’s administrative team and the next step will be to define specifically what these agreements will mean in practice.  


The next Board of Education meeting will be a Business Meeting on January 25, 2016 at 7 p.m. at the Administrative Center, 9703 Conway Road.  Tentative agenda items include the following.  

Tentative Agenda Items for Business Meeting January 25, 2016:

  • Annual Renewal of Agreement to Participate in PEGS
  • Curriculum Objectives for Band and Orchestra
  • SSD Partnership Agreement

  • 2016 District Summer Programs
  • 2017-2018 School Calendar
  • Update on High School Building Project