Trenton Board of Education meeting results for Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Trenton R-9 School District

The Trenton R-9 Board of Education approved winter weather plans and hard surface bus routes November 8th.

Announcements about cancellations, early outs, late starts, and/or use of hard surface bus routes will be made on the school district’s Twitter account, Facebook pages, and website. They will also be made on the Bulldog Text Alert System as well as through KTTN, the Republican Times, and Kansas City TV stations 4 and 5.

If there is a late start, schedules for kindergarten through 12th grade will be on a two-hour delay. School will start at 10 o’clock, and bus routes will be delayed by two hours. There will be no breakfast served throughout the district.

If weather conditions force the district to release students early, after school activities and programs will be canceled.

On late start days, there will not be morning sessions of preschool, but afternoon sessions will meet. On early out days, there will be no afternoon sessions of preschool.

District personnel will use information from local, state, and national weather organizations to make determinations about dismissing or canceling school. Road conditions, wind chills, and student safety will be evaluated.

Superintendent Daniel Gott said he wanted to have leeway on making decisions about canceling activities like sports practices. He does not want to have “a blanket policy,” and decisions will be based on the safety of students.

He noted that sometimes conditions get better during the day, and practices could be held in the afternoon. If it is determined not to be safe, practices will not be held.

Gott said he would make determinations early on, and they would not be made only an hour in advance. He added that if he cannot be reached to make a decision about practices, the decision would be made by High School Principal Chris Hodge.

Gott reported there were no major changes to hard surface bus routes.

The board approved purchasing PowerSchool as the district’s next student information system vendor. The cost will be $25,722.57 initially. Annual ongoing fees total $17, 974.83.

Gott reported the current student information system, Tyler SIS, will not be available after this school year. Trenton R-9 was looking for a replacement and asked for quotes from two different vendors. The other vendor was Infinite Campus, which purchased Tyler SIS. Infinite Campus would have cost $31,015 initially. There would have been a $26,315 annual recurring total.

Gott noted PowerSchool will start working with the district in December.

The board approved new phone service through Mid-States Services, LLC. Mid-States Voice Over Internet Protocol telephone lines will be about $461.45 per month after fees. AT and T would have been about $1,195 per month after fees.

Gott said he was informed the cost of the current AT and T lines would increase. He noted the current copper lines had been down multiple times since August.

He added that Mid-States was more cost friendly with the VoIP because Trenton R-9 gets its internet through Mid-States. The district will not need new phones, and there will not be a charge for the change over.

The current phone contract ends in January. Gott plans for the switchover to take place on Martin Luther King, Junior Day.

The board approved updates to the Title 1 Parent Handbook. Rissler Elementary School Principal Susan Gott reported she updated the assessment section to include the assessment chart included from the Rissler Assessment Calendar to replace outdated assessment information.

After a closed session for student and personnel matters, it was announced the board accepted the resignation of Bruce Wallace with the Maintenance Department, effective December 31st. A substitute teacher list was approved, which included Wes Croy and Lathan Croy.

Two students were also approved for early graduation.

Teachers of the quarter were recognized at the Trenton R-9 Board of Education meeting November 8th. The teachers of the quarter are Art Teacher Amy Overstreet for Rissler Elementary School, Fifth Grade Mather Teacher Alexis Whitney for Trenton Middle School, and Vocal Music Instructor Tyler Busick for Trenton High School.

Superintendent Daniel Gott congratulated the THS Marching Band for being the Parade Competition State Champions for Class 3. He reported the event was the first ever, and it was the first time the award was given.

Board Member Melissa King asked if the school district will have a banner for the band like it does with sports. Gott said he thought the band should have something to commemorate the award.

Election filing information was discussed for the April 4thelection.

School board terms expiring at the April 11th meeting will be those of board members Brandon Gibler, Andy Burress, and Jason Hostetler. The open positions will be for three-year terms.

The first date to file for the terms is December 6th, and the last date to file is December 27th. Anyone wanting to file should come to the Trenton R-9 School District Office weekdays from 8 to 4 o’clock from December 6th through 22nd. The office will be closed December 23rd and 26th in observance of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The office will be open on the final day of filing, December 27th, from 8 to 5 o’clock.

Gott reported that candidates filing on the first day, December 6th, would have to draw for the order they would appear on the ballot.

He said first semester emergency drills are complete. Another round will be done in the spring, including SafeDefend.

All SafeDefend boxes will be checked this month to make sure they are working.

Gott reported a Buildings and Ground Committee meeting was October 24th. There was discussion at that meeting of things to be done at each school building.

For Rissler, that included a new enclosed playground fence and work on a chair lift. For TMS, discussion included concrete pillars, replacing lockers, and awning work. For THS, there was discussion on replacing lockers and tile replacement. For the school district, discussion included fluorescent lights being changed to LED, an HVAC online system upgrade, and vans. Sidewalk repair and resurfacing of parking lots at each school were discussed. There was also discussion at the Buildings and Ground Committee meeting October 24th of repairing and remodeling C. F. Russell Stadium, its fence, and its turf.

Gott reported there was also talk about the Success Center and leaving the building where it is or having it more on the district’s campus. He likes how the building is not connected to the campus, but if it was closer, he said it could have better security. Gott noted space-wise the building is fine. However, the building is getting older.

The committee will meet again and talk about when, where, and how projects will be done. Gott reported some of the projects will not be able to be done until the district has a bond issue, which will likely be in spring 2024. He talked to a bond representative and determined that time might be the best.

Gott attended the fall Missouri Educators Trust conference in Branson last month. He reported health insurance usage is down.

Trenton R-9 needs good participation in health screenings January 3rd. He said at least 50% of staff members need to participate.

He noted that the screening process will change next school year. Staff will be paid $50 from MET for a wellness checkup with a primary care physician. Gott reported nothing will have to go through the school district.

Director of Special Education Tara Hoffman reported 47 students are enrolled in the Gifted Program, and more students are being tested.

She said sixth, seventh, and eighth grades are participating in a virtual science fair sponsored by the United States Army. Students do activities locally. Support documents, photos, and videos are uploaded to a secure website, and they are judged by experts in fields related to their topics.

Gifted Instructor Nancy Link is participating in professional development to better support 2E students. Hoffman explained 2E students are those who are gifted and have another diagnosis, such as autism, ADHD, anxiety, depression, or dyslexia. The Gifted Program has several students at Rissler and Trenton Middle School who are 2E.

Director of Academics Doctor Jill Watkins gave an update on the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan. She reported two sets of walk-throughs had been done at Rissler, and walk-throughs are planned at the middle school and high school. Positive feedback will be left after walk-throughs, and teachers will be emailed before the walk-throughs to know when they will be.

Board President Dorothy Taul attended the Missouri School Boards Association conference last weekend. She reported different schools told what they were doing. Speakers included an astronaut, an Olympic runner, and safety personnel from schools where incidents happened.

Trenton High School Principal Chris Hodge reported a mock drunk driving simulation will be November 17th.

Rissler Elementary School Principal Susan Gott reported permission slips were sent home with students to allow them to take a veteran to the book fair after the Veterans Day program November 11th. The Veterans Day program will start in the gym at 10 o’clock that morning.

Jennifer Thies

Jennifer’s interest in radio began at a young age. She started as a news reporter at KTTN in January 2017, but previously worked almost a year and a half as an on-air announcer and with news at the NPR affiliate KXCV/KRNW, which serves Northwest Missouri. Jennifer was born and raised in St. Joseph, Missouri. She received a Bachelor of Science in Mass Media: Broadcast Production with an Emphasis in Audio Production from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville.