Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Board Briefs from Aug. 27, 2018 Business Meeting

This information includes highlights of information received by the Ladue Schools Board of Education at the Aug. 27, 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.

Board President's Remarks
  • Board President Andy Bresler reported that the sale of the old Ladue Early Childhood Center property on Clayton Road has been finalized. The property was sold to McBride Berra Arbors at Frontenac, LLC for $5.5 million. The developer plans to build 31 luxury villas on the site.
Superintendent Remarks
  • Superintendent Dr. Donna Jahnke congratulated Sarah (Semmel) Kirksey, journalism teacher at Ladue Horton Watkins High School on receiving the Journalism Education Association Rising Star Award which is given to journalism teachers who have made a significant impact in their school program and scholastic journalism in their state and in the country.
  • Dr. Jahnke reported a successful opening of the high school following a summer of heavy renovation construction in an effort to have the building near completion at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year. She commented on the outstanding learning spaces that have been created and the positive reaction of both staff and students as they entered on the first day.  
  • Dr. Jahnke went on to comment on an overall smooth start to the school year. As is typical, a few transportation issues are in the process of being resolved.

Approval of Ladue Early Childhood Center Certified Staff Evaluation Manual. Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Ken Rossics presented, and the Board approved, the new LECC evaluation manual.

High School Building Project: Report #27; Payment Applications. Project Director for S. M. Wilson, Kort Cole, presented, and the Board approved, Construction Progress Report #27, which includes the July pay application and updates on the construction completed and work yet to be finished. 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 approximately $4 million. The remaining construction contingency was spent on overtime and detail work over the last few weeks. Crews will be completing remaining items by the end of September.

In addition, ATG, the company selected to construct the track and field at the high school campus, reported they have begun rolling out turf and have completed the retaining walls, drainage, field rock, and storm sewers. Work will continue over the next few weeks with the field anticipated to be available for practice by Sept. 18, 2018. The Board approved pay applications four ($452,810.50) and five ($650,122.05) for ATG Sports.

Recommended Scoreboard Vendor. Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance Dr. Jason Buckner presented, and the Board approved, the administration’s recommendation to contract with Digital Scoreboard to purchase a high school stadium scoreboard. The project was bid through ATG Sports who received two bids:

  • Daktronics: $379,376
  • Digital Scoreboard: $343,000

The purchase of the scoreboard will be paid with funds received from the Ladue Education Foundation. The scoreboard will provide the capabilities for both digital and static advertisements, and an advertising plan is in the early stages of development. The scoreboard will be installed in two phases, with the second phase complete by March 15, 2019.


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 2018-19 school year. This is a tentative calendar and topics will be added and potentially rescheduled during the course of the year.

Budget Update: 2017-18 Actual; 2018-19 Preliminary. With the district’s fiscal year having ended on June 30, 2018, Dr. Buckner presented the final 2017-18 budget update. The district ended the year $155,603 under the benchmark targeted by the Board.

The 2018-19 Preliminary Budget totals approximately $62.4 million and keeps the district on track to meet the spending parameters set by the Board of Education. These spending parameters have been instituted to delay the need for requesting an increase in the operating tax levy for as long as possible, while meeting educational needs. At this time, projections indicate that an additional increase will not be needed until at least 2025.

2018-19 Board Goals/Work Plan. The Board discussed their goals for the 2018-19 school year. These goals are being developed to support the Board of Education’s mandated responsibilities for overseeing the superintendent, district policy and district finances.


The next Board of Education meeting will be a Work Session on Sept. 11, 2018.  The following meeting will be a Business Meeting at 6 p.m. on Sept. 24, 2018. Both meetings will be held at the Administrative Center, 9703 Conway Road. Tentative agenda items include the following.   

Tentative Agenda Items for Work Session Sept. 11, 2018:

  • Curriculum Review
  • District Finance and Tax Rate Discussion
  • Staff Attendance Report
  • Spending Parameters and Program Needs Follow-Up
  • Board Goals
Tentative Agenda Items for Business Meeting Sept. 24, 2018:

  • Excellence in Education
  • STARS Awards for Excellence
  • American Heart Association

  • Tax Rate and Debt Service Hearing and Approval
  • High School Building Project
    • Project Report #28
    • Contractor Payment Requests
  • Board Goals

  • Transportation/2018-19 Bus Routes/Mileage
  • Facility Use Information
  • High School Administrative/Counseling/College-Career Report
  • Start Times
  • Finance Update
  • Hiring Plan for 2018-19
  • Superintendent Search Update