Friday, November 17, 2017

Board Briefs from Nov. 14, 2017 Work Session

This information includes highlights of information received by the Ladue Schools Board of Education at the Nov. 14, 2017 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 announced that this is American Education Week. As a small way to thank and celebrate all employees who contribute to the success of our students, baskets of fortune cookies filled with specialized messages were delivered to each school early in the week.  
  • Dr. Jahnke encouraged Board of Education members, as well as those in the audience, to take advantage of the many opportunities PreK-12 to enjoy the phenomenal art and music programs that always take place in our schools during this time of year.  
ACTION ITEM

High School Building Project: Contractor Payment Requests. Project Director for S. M. Wilson, Kort Cole, presented Change Order Request (COR) 090 which includes the following amendments in the West Wing: USB extenders at each classroom, solid surface wall cladding, multipurpose room lighting and lighting controls, and added steel and additional terrazzo in the stair landings and the Ramshack Store. This cost is already figured in the overall project budget.

This change order is for $346,674 and the largest two contractors affected include:
  • Kay Bee Electric: $152,550
  • Waterhout: $89,300

INFORMATION ITEMS

Bid Review for 10601 Clayton Road Property. Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance Dr. Jason Buckner presented the bids received for the purchase of the 10601 Clayton Road Property, where the former Ladue Early Childhood Center is located. These bids were in response to the district’s Request for Proposals with an Oct. 31, 2017 deadline for bid submission. Amounts of the six purchase offers are available by clicking on the header to this paragraph.

The district will be responding to each of these companies as to whether or not they will be moving forward in the process at this time. Within the next few weeks, those who submitted proposals that will be considered further by the district will be contacted again with requests for any additional information required for the district to determine which (if any) offer will be accepted.  

School Improvement Plan: Leadership Sharing. Each building principal presented the School Improvement Plan for their respective schools. The district’s Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP) which was also developed in concert with (and is aligned with) the district’s Strategic Plan, houses the goals for each building. The CSIP is required by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for every district in the state and is a culmination of months of discussion, surveying, analysis and development of district priorities.

2018-19 LECC Tuition and BASK/TAS Rates. Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Ken Rossics presented the 2017-18 tuition rate recommendations for early childhood programming and the district’s before and after school care programs (BASK/TAS).  

Currently, the district alternates years for rate changes for preschool programs and BASK/TAS.  Therefore, this year, no rate changes are being proposed for BASK (K-8). Tuition rates for all preschool/toddler programs (residents and non-residents) for the 2018-19 school year are recommended to be increased by 3.5%.  More detailed information can be found by clicking on the header to this paragraph.  

The Board will vote on administrative recommendations for rate changes at the Nov. 27, 2017 Board of Education meeting.

Update on High School Expansion Project. Dr. Jahnke led a conversation about the status of the district’s plans to expand the renovation of Ladue Horton Watkins High School to include portions of the campus not included in the initial phase.  Components are anticipated to include:  
  • Improvements to the northwest section of the high school, including the expansion of the Nielson Gymnasium lobby, restrooms, concessions area, and fitness center
  • Development of a new multi-purpose turf field
  • Competition track and field event areas
  • Grandstand with press box and viewing area
Extensive information about the project are included in the Project Expansion section of the High School Renovation website.
Board Goals Review. Board of Education Vice President Andy Bresler provided an outline of the formal Board of Education’s objectives being developed for the 2018-19 school year.

Objectives being discussed include: timely completion of the high school renovation within budget by the beginning of the 2018-19 school year; developing long-range plans for continued facility improvements across the district covering a period up to June 2030; managing spending parameters and compensation plan structures; Board member training, including diversity training; continuing initiatives to improve student achievement; and developing a schedule and structure of the superintendent’s performance evaluations.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

The next Board of Education meeting will be a Business Meeting on Monday, Nov. 27, 2017 at 6 p.m. at the Administrative Center, 9703 Conway Road. Tentative agenda items include the following.  

Tentative Agenda Items for Business Meeting Nov. 27, 2017:

ACTION
  • SSD Reimbursement of ECSE Costs
  • Public Hearing and Approval of 2019-20 School Calendar
  • Acceptance of Auditor’s Report
  • High School Building Project
    • Project Report #20
    • Contractor Payment Requests
INFORMATION

  • 2018-19 High School and Middle School Course Change Proposals
  • 2017-18 Revised Budget
  • 2018-19 LECC Tuition and BASK/TAS Rates
  • Board Policy Changes

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Board Briefs from Oct. 23, 2017 Business Meeting

This document includes highlights of information received by the Ladue Schools Board of Education at the Oct. 23, 2017 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
Patricia Chavez
Art Teacher, Ladue Horton Watkins High School

National Merit Semifinalists
Abhay Cashikar, Justin Chen, Levi Dyson, Macey Goldstein, Lily Hauptman, Joel Hsieh, Evyn Levy, Sophia Li, Albert Liu, Annie Liu, Charles Loitman, Ryan Miller, Glen Morgenstern, Anthony Schuster, Aleesha Shi, Aaron Umen, Audrey Wang, Julia Wang, Edward Wu, Eric Yang and Xiwen Zhang.

Board President's Remarks
  • Board President Andy Bresler congratulated Patricia Chavez on receiving the Excellence in Education Award and the 21 students who are 2017 National Merit Semifinalists, noting what a joy it is to be able to celebrate such outstanding accomplishments in our district.
Superintendent Remarks
  • Superintendent Dr. Donna Jahnke also congratulated Ms. Chavez, noting that through her dedication to sharing fine arts with her students, as well as her personal passion for the visual arts, she embodies the district’s goal to nurture the “whole child.”  
  • Dr. Jahnke noted that over 500 people attended the open house at Ladue Horton Watkins High School last Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, in order to tour the renovated areas of the building and the portions under construction.  A great mix of alumni, students, community members and staff attended, reflecting the excitement in the community for this project.  She also thanked the Ladue Education Foundation for being at the open house and sharing their information and enthusiasm about this project with attendees.
ACTION ITEM
Superintendent Evaluation Process. Mr. Bresler presented, and the Board approved, the new process for superintendent evaluations, noting that the evaluation tool and additional information about the procedures to be used are available on BoardDocs. This process was derived by a subcommittee of the Board and the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources.

High School Building Project: Project Report #19; Contractor Payment Requests. Project Director for S. M. Wilson, Kort Cole, presented Construction Progress Report #19, which includes the September pay application and updates on the work completed, the construction timeline and the project budget. Photos of various components of the project are included in the linked document.  

At this time, anticipated savings identified on the project as originally defined are anticipated to be approximately $4.76 million, which is not inclusive of the $1.79 million construction contingency in the construction budget for unidentified or unforeseen expenses incurred during the remainder of the project.

INFORMATION ITEMS

Ladue Education Foundation Report. Dr. Jahnke introduced Ladue Education Foundation (LEF) and Alumni Association President Julie Schuster and Executive Director Kristen Wild, who provided the Board with an update on current accomplishments and recent activities of the LEF, including the incorporation of the Alumni Association, the Capital Campaign for the high school renovation, and grant allocations.  

Enrollment and Residency Report. Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, Ken Rossics presented the annual Enrollment and Residency Report.  As of this year’s official state Count Day, the district had total enrollment of 4,227 students, an increase of about 100 resident students from the year before.  Due to the significant resident student increase, projections now suggest slightly increasing resident enrollment in the next few years.

English as a Second Language (ESL)  Program Coordinator Lou Galloway-Zapiain shared information about the increase in the number of students being served by the ESL program.  Additional details are available by clicking on the heading of this section.

MAP Data and Report. Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction Dr. Jennifer Allen presented the district’s Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) results.  Overall district results are noted below and other detail is available by clicking on the heading of this section. Comparative information with other districts will not be released to the public until Nov. 15, 2017.
  • The Ladue School District earned a perfect score in Academic Achievement, meeting the 2020 target in all four content areas.  
  • Subgroup Achievement is measured separately with each student counted once, although they may represent multiple subgroups.  The district earned additional progress points, but has not yet met the 2020 targets for Subgroup Achievement.
  • The district met the 2020 target for all College and Career Readiness (CCR) Indicators.
  • The district met the 2020 target for Attendance with 91.1% of students attending 90% (or more) of the time.
  • The district met the 2020 target for Graduation Rate with a four-year graduation rate of 98.3%.
  • The Ladue School District earned 138.5 of 140 points (98.9%) for the Annual Performance Report, the exact percentage as 2016.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

The next Board of Education meeting will be a Work Session on Nov. 14, 2017, at the Administrative Center, 9703 Conway Road at 6 p.m..  The following meeting will be a Business Meeting at 6 p.m. on Nov. 27, 2017, at the Administrative Center.  Tentative agenda items include the following.

Tentative Agenda Items for Work Session Nov. 14, 2017:

INFORMATION
  • Principals Share School Improvements
  • Board Objectives
  • High School Campus Renovation
Tentative Agenda Items for Business Meeting Nov. 27, 2017:

ACTION
  • SSD Reimbursement of ECSE Costs
  • Public Hearing and Approval of 2019-2020 School Calendar
  • Acceptance of Auditor’s Report
  • High School Building Project
    • Project Report #20
    • Contractor Payment Requests
INFORMATION

  • 2018-2019 High School and Middle School Course Change Proposals
  • 2017-2018 Revised Budget
  • 2018-2019 LECC Tuition and BASK/TAS Rates
  • Board Policy Changes

Friday, September 29, 2017

Board Briefs from Sept. 25, 2017

This information includes highlights of information received by the Ladue Schools Board of Education at the Sept. 25, 2017 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.


Superintendent Remarks
  • Superintendent Dr. Donna Jahnke encouraged Board members, and all members of the Ladue Schools community, to visit Spotlight on Ladue on a regular basis. This website is dedicated to highlighting the accomplishments of students, staff, alumni and the district as a whole. All posts to the site also feed to the district’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. More than 300 entries are posted each year so the many great accomplishments of our district can be shared and celebrated.    
  • Dr. Jahnke shared that the administration is currently in the process of researching the possibilities and logistics of expanding the high school renovation project to the full campus.  With the current project currently $4.5 million under budget and nearly $2 million raised by the Ladue Education Foundation, the district is in a position to follow the direction provided by the Board in 2015 to address additional needs on the campus not included in the original scope of the project.  These components include updated multipurpose athletic fields, grandstand, and an expansion of the Nielson Gymnasium lobby.
ACTION ITEM

Approval of 2017-2018 Operating Budget Tax Levy. Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance Dr. Jason Buckner presented, and the Board approved, the administration’s recommendation for setting the operating and debt service levies for 2018.

  • Preliminary data from St. Louis County indicates an increase in property assessments of approximately 6.7%. Due to the Hancock Amendment, the district’s operating tax rate ceilings have been lowered in each subclass of property as follows: $3.0307 (residential), $3.0590 (commercial), $.0500 (agriculture) and $3.2400 (personal). If St. Louis County used a single rate method, this would result in a rate of $3.0554 ($.1091 lower than last year).  
  • The debt service levy will remain at $0.78, the same rate as 2016.

Approval of CSIP Action Plan. Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction Dr. Jennifer Allen presented, and the Board approved, the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP) which is also developed in concert with (and is aligned with) the district’s Strategic Plan. The CSIP is required by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for every district in the state and is a culmination of months of discussion, surveying, analysis and development of district priorities.

High School Building Project: Project Report #18; Work Package Approvals. Project Director for S.M. Wilson Kort Cole presented Construction Progress Report #18, which includes the August pay application and updates on the work completed during the summer, the construction timeline and the project budget. Photos of various components of the project are included in the linked document.  

At this time, anticipated savings identified on the project as originally defined are anticipated to be approximately $4.76 million, which is not inclusive of the construction contingency of $1.95 million in the construction budget for unidentified or unforeseen expenses incurred during the remainder of the project.

INFORMATION ITEMS

Transportation/2017-18 Bus Routes/Mileage. Dr. Buckner presented an overview of the current bus routes, including a breakdown of routes per school, and information regarding adjustments to Fifth Grade Center routing, detours around Ladue Road construction and seating capacity.

Board Policy ADF - District Wellness Program. The District Wellness Program is undergoing revision due to the Smart Food mandates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which attempt to stem childhood obesity by requiring healthier food choices for students during the school day (on or off campus) and until 30 minutes after the school day ends. The district meets the standards in regards to food allergies, and Chartwells, the district’s food service provider, has already implemented the Smart Food guidelines. Parents are permitted to send whatever food they wish to school for their own children to consume, but any food provided to other students must meet the guidelines.

School Calendar: Length of Day/Start Times. Dr. Allen presented research gathered by the Calendar Committee, a group assembled to study school calendars and start times based on best practices in education, as well as logistics and needs specific to the Ladue School District.  The presentation includes comparisons with surrounding districts.  The committee will move forward with their work using direction provided by the Board to continue developing recommendations for the 2019-2020 calendar. .  

Superintendent Evaluation Process. Mr. Bresler presented the new process for superintendent evaluations, noting that the evaluation tool and additional information about the procedures to be used are available on BoardDocs. This process was derived by a subcommittee of the Board with input from Dr. Jahnke.  The Board will continue to review this information and vote on its adoption at the Oct. 23, 2017 Board Business Meeting.  

UPCOMING MEETINGS

The next Board of Education meeting will be a Business Meeting on Oct. 23, 2017 at 6 p.m. at the Administrative Center, 9703 Conway Road. Tentative agenda items include the following.  

Tentative Agenda Items for Business Meeting Oct. 23, 2017:

National Merit Semifinalist Student Recognition

ACTION
  • 2017-18 Bus Routes/Mileage
  • Superintendent Evaluation Process
  • High School Building Project
    • Project Report #19
    • Payment Applications/Change Orders
INFORMATION

  • Enrollment and Residency Report
  • LEF Report
  • MAP Data and Report

Monday, September 18, 2017

Board Briefs from Sept. 12, 2017 Work Session

This information includes highlights of information received by the Ladue Schools Board of Education at the Sept. 12, 2017 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.


Board President's Remarks
  • Board President Andy Bresler Board requested that two Board members volunteer to assist him in the selection of the instrument to be used in the upcoming year for superintendent evaluation.  Sheri Glantz and Jeff Kopolow agreed to assist in the process and the three of them will meet with Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Ken Rossics to review options with the goal of making a recommendation to the entire Board on at the Board Business Meeting on Sept.25, 2017.
Superintendent Remarks
  • Superintendent Dr. Donna Jahnke let the Board know that this is the week for the annual Sixth Grade Camp.  She mentioned that Ladue Middle School Industrial Arts Teacher Mark Biernbaum does an excellent job leading the coordination of the camp which provides students an opportunity to team build, connect as a class, and gain new experiences.
  • Dr. Jahnke announced that this year, there are 21 National Merit Semifinalists. This is the highest number ever for Ladue School District, and also the most of any school (private or public) in the state. She said that these students honor themselves, their school and their families by achieving at such a high level.
REPORTS

C&I Curriculum Review. Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction Dr. Jennifer Allen, STEM Coordinator Dr. Kevin McColgan and ELA/Social Studies Coordinator Laila Crabtree presented an overview of Curriculum Development plans for the coming years.  These plans were revised as part of the Strategic Planning process. The curriculum development process occurs over three years, and each department is reviewed on a six-year cycle. Click on the header of this paragraph for details.

Comprehensive School Improvement Plan. Dr. Allen presented the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP) which is also developed in concert with (and is aligned with) the district’s Strategic Plan.   The CSIP is required by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for every district in the state and is a culmination of months of discussion, surveying, analysis and development of district priorities.

Tax Rate Hearing Discussion. Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance Dr. Jason Buckner presented an update on the district’s current financial status, including the current tax rates and future projections for revenue, expenditures and the fund balance.

Board Policies. Mr. Rossics presented revisions to the Policy HH-1: Teacher Negotiating Representatives. This policy includes procedures to be used in the event the Ladue Educators’ Association (LEA) is found to no longer represent a majority of eligible district employees, and outlines parameters for potentially changing representation.  The policy will be aligned to the Master Agreement language regarding the recognized bargaining unit.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

The next Board of Education meeting will be a Business Meeting on Sept. 25, 2017 at 6 p.m. at the Administrative Center, 9703 Conway Road.  Tentative agenda items include the following.  

Tentative Agenda Items for Business Meeting Sept. 25, 2017:

STARS Awards for Excellence in Research

ACTION
  • Tax Rate and Debt Service Hearing and Approval
  • Board Policies
  • High School Building Project
    • Project Report #18
    • Payment Applications/Bid Approvals
INFORMATION

  • Transportation/2017-2018 Bus Routes/Mileage
  • MAP Data and Report