The Trenton R-9 Board of Education set the district’s tax rate prior to the regular board meeting the evening of Tuesday, August 11th. The proposed property tax rate was approved at $4.4135. That includes $3.5135 for the Incidental Fund and 90 cents for the debt service. This year’s tax levy is 28.65 cents higher than last year’s.
During the regular meeting, the board approved new meal prices. High school and middle school lunch increased by 10 cents to $2.60, Rissler Elementary School lunch increased by 15 cents to $2.50, and breakfast at all the schools increased by 10 cents to $1.75. Reduced meal prices will be 40 cents for lunch and 30 cents for breakfast. Adult breakfast and lunch increased by 25 cents each, with lunch at $3.50 and breakfast at $2.50. A la carte milk remained at 30 cents.
Director of Supportive Services Kris Ockenfels reported the increases meet the Weighted Average Price Requirement of $2.57 per paid lunch meal as determined by the United States Department of Agriculture’s paid lunch equity tool. He noted the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 requires school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program to ensure sufficient funds are provided to the foodservice account for lunches served to students not eligible for free or reduced-priced meals.
Ockenfels also recommended increasing the adult meal prices to offset increasing foodservice costs incurred by the district for everyday operation. The increase in adult prices also complies with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s regulations.
The first day of school for Trenton R-9 was moved to August 26th. Superintendent Mike Stegman said that would provide the district an additional day for staff training.
The board approved early graduation requests. Board Member Corey Leeper abstained from the vote. High School Principal Kasey Bailey reported six students were on track to have credits to graduate at the end of the Fall Semester. Those students were Cierra Bettis, Kasen Christy, Camdyn Leeper, Maci Moore, Chase Otto, and Alexis Palmer.
The board approved the 2020-2021 graduation ceremony being held in the Ketcham Community Center on the afternoon of May 9th at 2 o’clock. Bailey noted he had received a lot of positive feedback on this past school year’s graduation.
Three grant applications were approved for GEC Community Foundation grants. One was from Band Teacher Ethan Stewart for $559.84 for a Jupiter Wind Instrument Try-Out Kit with a flute head joint, clarinet/saxophone mouthpiece, and high/low brass mouthpiece for the middle school. The two others were for fourth-grade teachers Amy King and Carolyn Schmidt for $948 each for math manipulatives to help develop abstract thinking.
The board adopted the updated Missouri State Plan for Special Education and the required Local Compliance Plan. A memorandum of understanding was also adopted with Green Hills Head Start to facilitate an alliance and address issues related to children with disabilities and their families as well as the needs of young children in the specific service area. The Conflict of Interest Policy was readopted.
The board voted to have a one-hour refresher member training. The board could do a three-hour training once every three years or a one-hour training once each year. Board Secretary Susan Leeper said all of the members had to do one or the other. She could not do it one way for some members and the other way for other members.
The Annual Secretary of the Board Report was approved.
Building Project Spokesperson Dennis Gutshall provided a construction update. He said the work at Rissler is mostly complete and was that way by August 3rd when some staff reported back, which was the goal. The media center is 95% complete. Furniture is scheduled to be installed August 19th.
The HVAC system has been installed in the performing arts center, drywall is starting to be hung, and the ceiling is being installed. Gutshall said students will be able to use hallways around the performing arts center for access and remain indoors.
He noted all of the projects are on track. However, the manufacturer of the seating for the performing arts center shut down for the pandemic, and there is no definite date for completion of the seating. Gutshall hopes to have the performing arts center done in February. It might be done by that time, except for the seating. He thinks he will receive more definite answers in the Fall.
The board moved into a closed session for personnel.