Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Board Briefs from Aug. 22, 2016 Business Meeting

This information includes highlights of information received by the Ladue Schools Board of Education at the Aug. 22, 2016 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.

Board President's Remarks
  • Board President Sheri Glantz congratulated the Communications Department on an outstanding Opening Session for staff on Aug. 8, 2016.  She said it was uplifting and a great way to get the year started.
Superintendent Remarks
  • Superintendent Dr. Donna Jahnke shared that the district had experienced a great start to the school year, welcoming 4,073 students.  Just slightly up from last year.  
  • With no time to spare, the high school was ready, with 44 internal temporary classrooms set to go and a completed parking lot reconfiguration despite several construction days lost to heavy rain.  
  • There are a number of ways to stay informed about the status of construction at the high school, as well as the progress on the artificial turf field at the Ladue West Campus.  Drone footage and photos are available on the district’s FaceBook page and time lapse images can be monitored on the High School Renovation website.  KMOV (Channel 4) came to the high school last week to produce a story about having school in a building under construction.  The segment will air on the 5 p.m. newscast on Thursday, Aug. 25.
  • Old Bonhomme Elementary school got off to a great start, even with Old Bonhomme Road going only one-way for nearly a mile, with the school in the middle.  Bus drivers, carpoolers and even those within walking distance to the school had to do some extra planning and use some extra creativity to make sure students got to school on time.   
  • Dr. Jahnke specifically thanked Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance Dr. Jason Buckner and Director of Facilities Mike Noonan for their outstanding efforts to get all the buildings in great shape for the start of school on Aug. 16, 2016.  
  • She also thanked LHWHS Principal Brad Griffith for leading efforts to educate over 1,300 students while $82.2 million of construction is going on.
Performance-Based Evaluation Program/Support Staff. Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Ken Rossics presented, and the Board approved, the 2016-17 Support Staff Evaluation Program Manual.  Primary changes include:
  • Creation of a manual consistent with the evaluation processes for other employee groups
  • Incorporating the setting of professional goals into the evaluation process
  • Creation of a document to capture specific exemplary items and/or areas of concern
  • Establishment of a formal mentoring processes
  • Utilization of an online evaluation process


Update on High School Building Project. Project Director for S.M. Wilson Kort Cole provided construction progress report #5 which included updates on design and engineering; permitting; finance and budget; bidding and procurement; scheduling; and current construction activity.  Photos of various components of the project, as well as demolition activities, are included in the linked document.  

Consideration of an Employee Separation Incentive Plan. Mr. Rossics presented the administration’s recommendation for an Early Separation Incentive Plan (ESIP) in accordance with Policy GCPCA.  The purpose of the ESIP is to provide a financial incentive to employees who elect early separation from the Ladue School District, as well as a cost savings to the district.  An outline of the plan can be viewed by clicking on the header above.  The Board will make a decision on whether to approve this recommendation at the Sept. 26, 2016 Board meeting.  

Facility Usage. Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance Dr. Jason Buckner presented the administration’s recommendation for changes to the district’s procedures regarding the renting of district facilities by entities or persons not directly affiliated with the district.  Many of the proposed changes result from planning which took place last school year in preparation for the high school renovation.  Changes to district procedures do not require Board approval, but these changes will have an impact on community access to district facilities and therefore, were brought before the Board for discussion.

Strategic Planning Evaluation and Future Planning. Dr. Jahnke reviewed the status of the Priority Initiatives as outlined in the district’s current 2013-16 Strategic Plan.  During the 2016-17 school year, a revised Strategic Plan will be developed and some, but not all, of these initiatives may be carried forward into the next plan.  It should be noted that these initiatives are not the only projects that have been addressed by the district over the last three years, but are the ones that were specifically identified as being high priorities when the last Strategic Plan was developed.

Dr. Jahnke also updated the Board on plans for development of the next Strategic Plan, specifically plans to survey parents, staff members and students to gain insight into the issues and programs these groups feel are most in need of focused attention going forward.  

First Semester Board Meeting Agenda Calendar. Dr. Jahnke presented a draft of the topics to be addressed by the Board of Education during the first semester of the 2016-17 school year.  This is a tentative calendar and topics will be added and potentially rescheduled during the course of the year.  

Board of Education Goals/Work Plan. Mrs. Glantz led the Board in a discussion about setting Board of Education goals and developing a work plan for the 2016-17 school year.


The next Board of Education meeting will be a Work Session on Sept. 13, 2016, at the Administrative Center, 9703 Conway Road.  The following meeting will be a Business Meeting at 7 p.m. on Sept. 26, 2016, at the Administrative Center.  Tentative agenda items include the following.

Tentative Agenda Items for Work Session Sept. 13, 2016:

  • Discussion of Spending Parameters
  • Discussion of Policy JECA — Admission of Students
Tentative Agenda Items for Business Meeting Sept. 26, 2016:

  • Tax Rate and Debt Service Levy for 2016-17 Hearing and Approval
  • Employee Separation Incentive Plan
  • District Spending Parameters
  • Changes to Policy JECA — Admission of Students
  • Board of Education Goals/Work Plan

  • Update on High School Building Project
    • Project Report #6
    • Administrative Updates
  • Transportation/2016-2017 Bus Routes/Mileage
  • Communications Report