Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Board Briefs from May 14, 2018 Business Meeting

This information includes highlights of information received by the Ladue Schools Board of Education at the Monday, May 14, 2018 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.

Introduction of the New Spotlight on Ladue
Webmaster D’Ante’ DuCasse’ and Communications Specialist Bailey Otto

Seniors Kaycee Little and Jaylen Sykes

Board President's Remarks
  • Board President Andy Bresler shared that the presentation on the operating budget later in the meeting is being done on behalf of the Finance Board Advisory Committee, as careful planning of expenditures over the next few years could have great impact on the future revenue of the district. He said this discussion will continue at the Board Retreat scheduled for June 12, 2018, at which time, the Board will have a similar discussion regarding capital (bond levy) payment and spending.
Superintendent Remarks
  • Superintendent Dr. Donna Jahnke said there is a flurry of state legislation currently under consideration that could impact education. Specifically, SB 949 has been fast-tracked this past week and could have significant ramifications on how we teach reading. She encouraged the Board to remain aware as various bills impacting education make their way through our state legislature.
  • Dr. Jahnke congratulated Daniel Raedeke’s painting class, who recently completed a mural on the wall of the City of Ladue firehouse, on a great school/community collaboration.

Board Policy Changes. Dr. Jahnke presented, and the Board approved, the administration’s recommendations for three policy changes. These changes are being made at the recommendation of the Missouri School Board Association (MSBA) in order to keep district policies in compliance with state and federal law, and to accurately reflect current district practices in policy.

  • IGBD - At Risk Students
  • JHD - Student Guidance and Counseling
  • JHDF - Suicide Awareness and Prevention

2018-19 High School Course Change Proposal. Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction Dr. Jennifer Allen presented, and the Board approved, the administration’s recommendation for an additional course provided by the Special School District entitled Cooperative Work Experience (COOP), which is available for qualifying high school students with disabilities whose IEP indicates the need for work experience and who are also eligible as clients of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Recommended Patron Appointments to Board Advisory Committees. Mr. Bresler presented, and the Board approved, nine patron appointments to three district Board Advisory Committees:

  • Amy Walker for the Finance Board Advisory Committee
  • Andrew Cohen, Susie Sachs and Shaun Carr to the Facility Board Advisory Committee
  • Lolita Flinn, Kevin Korenblat, Jessica Paik, Tango Walker, and Dr. Jennifer York to the Curriculum & Instruction Board Advisory Committee

Summer Capital Projects. Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance Dr. Jason Buckner presented, and the Board approved, 2017-18 budgeted capital projects to be completed over the summer, including:
  • Repair and overlay of asphalt on High Downs Lane
  • Rebuild of a centrifugal chiller at the high school
  • Replacement of the lockers in the pool locker room at the high school
  • Replacement of various carpets throughout the district
  • Replacement of the rubber tiles comprising the playground surfaces at Conway and Reed Elementary
  • Replacement of various roofs throughout the district

Public Gifts to Conway School. Dr. Jahnke and Conway Elementary School Principal Dr. Lane Narvaez presented, and the Board approved, a public gift of playground equipment for Conway Elementary.

High School Building Project: Project Report #25 and Payment Applications. Project Director for S. M. Wilson Kort Cole presented Construction Progress Report #25, which includes the April 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 million, which is not inclusive of the contingency of $423,902 in the construction budget for unidentified or unforeseen expenses incurred during the remainder of the project. Of the remaining contingency, $150,000 is being earmarked for anticipated overtime exposures for the aggressive summer schedule required to successfully complete the project before the start of school on August 20, 2018.

Spending Parameters for 2018-19. Dr. Buckner presented recommended alterations to the spending parameters put in place in September 2016. When the plan was put into action, it was anticipated that utility costs would decrease when high school renovations were completed. As a result, the 2018-19 spending benchmark was set at a 1.7% increase rather than a 2% increase over the prior year. Recently, administration was notified by the district’s architect and engineering consultants to expect utility costs to remain level, due to the additional square footage added during the project.


Operating Budget Spending Review. Former Board Treasurer Carolyn Jaeger and Dr. Buckner presented an overview of the dynamics of the operating budget to assist the Board in making current and upcoming financial decisions.

2018-19 Budget and Financial Discussion. Dr. Buckner presented information on the 2018-19 preliminary budget. Starting this year, the Department of Secondary and Elementary Education has required all districts to implement a new Missouri Public School Accounting System. The Preliminary Budget will have numerous alterations throughout next school year as staff works within the boundaries of the new accounting system. The Board of Education will receive detailed information at the June 12, 2018 Board Retreat and be asked to approve the Preliminary Budget at its June 25, 2018 Business Meeting.

Prop R Final Bond Issuance. Dr. Buckner introduced Matt DeLeo, Sentry Financial Municipal Advisor, who presented details on issuing an estimated $2,850,000 of additional bonds from the April 2017 Proposition R election. Due to the premium generated from the original sale, the district did not issue the entire $85.1 million that was approved by taxpayers in the initial offering.

Dyslexia Presentation. Dr. Allen introduced Curriculum Coordinator Laila Crabtree who presented information on recent state legislation regarding screening students for dyslexia in public schools. While districts are not diagnosing the learning disorder, all K-3 students must be screened. Fourth grade and up will be screened only by parent or teacher request. Parents will be notified of screening results, including information about how instruction and intervention will be provided to address each student’s reading needs. Ms. Crabtree also discussed curriculum, classroom support and intervention components built into this process. An informational letter will be sent to parents this summer.

2018-19 Testing Schedule. Dr. Allen shared the districtwide 2018-19 testing schedule by grade and by test.

2018-19 School Lunch Prices. Dr. Buckner presented information from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s review of the Food Service Program. DESE has required that the district spend the excess balance of $181,280 on kitchen equipment, remodeling and supplies. Administration has collaborated with Chartwells, the district food service vendor, and a plan is in place to update the high school kitchen, as well as any equipment necessary in other buildings.

Administration will recommend on June 12, 2018, that student meal prices not be increased for the 2018-19 school year, as a surplus is also anticipated for that school year.

Athletic Trainer Contract. The district released a Request for Proposal for Athletic Training Services on April 25, 2018, and will have a recommendation prepared for the June 12, 2018 meeting.  This expenditure is approximately $50,000.

Custodial Services Contract. Dr. Buckner presented the administration’s recommendation to request that ABBCO, the current custodial services provider, increase their starting hourly pay to $11 per hour, which would culminate in an increase of $101,902.70 over the current contract of night custodial services. Currently, the district uses the base rate of $10 per hour.  This topic will be considered over the next few weeks with approval slated for June 12, 2018 at the Board Retreat.

Board Member Assignment to Board Advisory and Other Committees. Mr. Bresler reviewed Board member assignments to the district’s Board Advisory Committees, as well as a number of other committees. Details can be found by clicking on the heading to this paragraph.

Superintendent Search Consultant Proposals. Mr. Bresler noted that the deadline for search firms to submit proposals for the superintendent search was May 11, 2018. Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Ken Rossics will do a synopsis of the proposals and present it to the Board for consideration in the coming weeks.

Dr. Jahnke will be retiring as superintendent at the end of the 2018-19 school year, giving the Board ample opportunity to both identify the next superintendent and to provide for an effective transition of leadership.


The next Board of Education meeting will be a Business Meeting on June 12, 2018. The following meeting will be a Business Meeting at 6 p.m. on June 25, 2018. Both meetings will be held at the Administrative Center, 9703 Conway Road. Tentative agenda items include the following.  

Tentative Agenda Items for Business Meeting, June 12, 2018:

  • 2018-2019 Student Testing Schedule
  • 2018-2019 School Lunch Prices
  • Athletic Trainer Contract
  • Custodial Services Contract
  • 2018-2019 Preliminary Budget Review
  • Tax Rate Discussion
  • Comprehensive School Improvement Program Review
  • Performance-Based Evaluation Program Updates
  • Extra Duty Stipend Amounts
  • Long-term Financial/Facilities Plan
  • Superintendent Search
  • Board Goals Review
Tentative Agenda Items for Business Meeting, June 25, 2018:

  • Consolidated Application for Federal Grants
  • 2018-2019 Extra Duty Stipend Amounts
  • Final 2017-2018 Bus Routes
  • Hearing and Approval of 2018-2019 Preliminary Budget
  • 2018-2019 Board Goals/Work Plan
  • Comprehensive School Improvement Plan
  • Performance-Based Evaluation Program Changes/Certified Staff
  • 2018-2019 Tuition Rate Per Policy JECA
  • Revenue for High School Campus Expansion
  • High School Building Project
    • Project Report #26
    • Payment Applications

  • SAS122 Internal Controls/Risk Assessment Document