Trenton R-9 School District receives highest score ever on annual performance report

Trenton R-9 School District

The Trenton R-9 Board of Education approved refinancing of bonds at its meeting Tuesday evening.

Doctor Brent Blevins of George K. Baum provided the board with information on the sale of the General Obligation Series 2010A Refunding Bonds. He said investors were confident in the district’s bonds, and it was a “great sale”. Blevins said the district saved just under $200,000. Trenton R-9’s debt will not be extended.

The board approved the final audit by Conrad and Higgins, LLC. Superintendent Dan Wiebers said there were no changes made to the rough draft presented at November’s meeting. He called it a “positive audit”.

The board also approved Jayden Roeder as the recipient of the Missouri School Boards Association Future Builders John T. Belcher Scholarship. Board member Cliff Roeder abstained from voting.

Wiebers reported the Trenton High School Guidance received six applications for the $250 scholarship. He said students had to write an essay on what the board could do to improve the school district. Roeder would go on to compete at the regional level for a $750 scholarship.

Board member Brooke McAtee brought up the topic of using iPads in the classroom. She said a recurring theme in the John T. Belcher Scholarship essays was that the students felt the iPads were not being utilized.

Trenton High School Assistant Principal Kasey Bailey said he and Technology Integration Coach Taya Ray doing observations of classrooms to provide teachers feedback on how they use technology in general in their classrooms, but not specifically iPads. He noted students are strictly to use the iPads for educational purposes. High School Principal Ron Franklin said students use to be able to do a lot more on their iPads, including looking at social media sites, but they are now restricted.

Wiebers also presented the district’s Annual Performance Report. Trenton R-9 received 137 and a half points out of 140 possible for 98.2%. That is the highest the district has scored in the past four years. Wiebers said the district has earned at least 95% of the points for the past four years, though. He and Board President Doug Franklin congratulated the students and teachers for their achievement.

The district earned 100% of the points possible in three Missouri School Improvement Program standards: academic achievement, attendance, and graduation rate. The district received 85.7% for subgroup achievement and 98.3% for college and career readiness. Wiebers reported that Trenton scored second highest among other Grand River Conference schools. He said 49.1% of students scored in either advanced or proficient in state math tests and 53.2% in science, which were both above the state average.

The Algebra 1 End of Course exam was not included in the math report. Fifty-nine point two percent of students scored either advanced or proficient in English Language Arts. However, Wiebers said the high school English 2 End of Course exam was not included in the report. Trenton ranked just below the state average with 57.3% for social studies, which solely involved the high school government test. Wiebers reported Rissler Elementary School’s Annual Performance Board Report was 100%, and the middle school’s was 85.7%.

Wiebers provided information concerning the maximum refund for health insurance from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City. Last month, the board considered using the district’s Maximum Refund Settlement of $132,437 to reimburse employees and retirees paying for health insurance their portion of the Max Refund. Wiebers reported the district has used 135% of its insurance premium since July 1st. He said the insurance company suggested the district hold onto the savings from last school year to help pay for the anticipated rate increase for next year.

Wiebers gave an update on the addition to the district’s maintenance building. He said the building had to be moved forward 15 feet to accommodate for a storm sewer discovered where the building was originally going to be built. Employees were paid the prevailing wage for the day they work before they located the storm sewer. Wiebers said extra materials were purchased, and the gas meter was moved. He noted the change orders added $4,400 to the project’s cost. The added that actual dimensions of the building will remain the same.

Wiebers reported Keller Fire and Safety inspected all of the schools’ kitchens. He said the equipment was found to be in good working order.

Fire extinguisher chemicals were refilled. Wiebers said Simplex will perform annual fire alarm inspections this month, and the district will receive a report on the findings in January. He added that the boilers at the district’s buildings were also inspected and found to be in good working order. The district should receive the final report on the boilers later this month.

Trenton R-9 received a donation of $286 from Hy-Vee from funds collected from a cookie sale.

Wiebers said for each “Back to School” box of cookies sold, 50 cents were distributed to local school districts. He reported a Secret Santa also donated $125 to help pay lunch costs for some students.

High School Principal Ron Franklin presented the Guidance Program Evaluation. He said Bright Futures had been added since last year’s evaluation. The evaluation shows 70% of seniors go to postsecondary institutions or into the military.

Middle School Principal Daniel Gott introduced the Students of the Month for the character trait kindness.

The board recognized Wes Croy for his induction into the Missouri Football Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame.