The Trenton R-9 School District is one step closer to possibly building a performing arts center and making several renovations to district buildings.
The Trenton Board of Education approved the posting of a request for qualifications for architectural services at its meeting Tuesday evening. Superintendent Dan Wiebers reported the district will be eligible for a no-tax-increase levy for the projects listed in the request for qualifications, which include building a performing arts center connecting the Trenton Middle School/High School Complex to the Music Building.
Plans also include renovating the S. M. Rissler Elementary School office to update the space and create a meeting room, moving the C. F. Russell Stadium restrooms to a new concession stand and renovating underneath the stadium for improved locker rooms, and renovating the Trenton Middle School/High School Library Media Center to create a learning commons as well as testing and meeting rooms.
The request for qualifications are due to the district office by the morning of October 3rd at 10 o’clock.
Approval for architectural services will be made during the October 9th board of education meeting. Wiebers noted that by approving the architectural services, it does not commit the district to do anything specific and a price will not be set with the request for qualifications. The project would need four-sevenths approval from voters of the school district during the April 2019 election to move forward.
Wiebers said these projects are all included in Goal Number 3 of the Trenton R-9 Comprehensive School Improvement Plan, which includes providing and maintaining appropriate instructional resources, support services, and function as well as safe facilities. The plan also specifically mentions researching and developing a plan for constructing a performing arts center on the Trenton R-9 campus. The board also re-approved the board of education’s goals.
Other goals for the district based on the CSIP include developing and enhancing quality programs to improve performance and enable students to meet their personal, academic, and career goals; recruiting, attracting, developing, and retaining highly qualified staff; promoting, facilitating, and enhancing parent, student, and community involvement; and governing the Local Education Agency in an efficient and effective manner. CSIP Strategy Teams will meet throughout the school year to discuss strategies to achieve the board of educations goals.
The board approved several 2018-2019 budget amendments. The updates to the budget involved increases in Title 2 (II)A Classroom Reduction revenue, Basic Formula Funds, special education supplies line items, and capital outlay and projects as well as adjustments to summer school codes and professional development adjustment, additional supply funds for each building, and an addition to Title 4 (IV)A revenue.
Wiebers reported that with the updates, the operational budget will be “in the black” by $9,033 with the total budget to be “in the red” by $121,477.
The board approved the full maintenance service agreement with the Missouri School Boards Association. The membership grants the district the services from September 1st, 2018 to August 30th, 2019 at a cost of $3,479, which Wiebers reported is the same amount as last year’s agreement.
With the full maintenance agreement, the MSBA monitors state and federal law and assists the district in updating policies and procedures to incorporate the changes, reviews monthly board minutes, advises the district on policy-related topics, maintains a current copy of district policies, and provides legal reviews of forms at the district’s request.
The board discussed an MSBA delegate question about Proposition D, which is an initiative to raise taxes on motor fuel from the current 17 cents per gallon to 27 cents per gallon by July 1st, 2022.
Non-certified pay dates were also discussed with Wiebers noting certified staff are paid on the 17th day of each month. Non-certified staff is paid on the last day of the month, except in November and December when non-certified staff receives checks before Thanksgiving and Winter breaks.
Wiebers noted this caused some of the non-certified staff members to be paid for work they have not yet done, which can cause problems if there is a snow day or they do not show up to work on a day for which they got paid. Staff members are eligible for direct deposit of their paychecks into their bank accounts, however, it is voluntary, and only about half use the direct deposit.
Bus routes for 2018-2019 were approved with Director of Supportive Services Kris Ockenfels noting there are rural, in-town, vocational-technical, special education, and preschool routes.
Wiebers mentioned fire, tornado, and intruder drills either have taken place or are scheduled to be held at the schools this month. Drills are also scheduled to participate in the Great American ShakeOut Earthquake Drill October 18th.
Wiebers announced that Citizens Bank and Trust donated $2,989.65 to the district. The funds generated through the Bulldog Debit Card Program will go toward purchasing $1 books for kindergarten students. Each swipe of a Bulldog Debit Card raises five cents for the district.
Wiebers also reported the Trenton High School Foundation Trust donated $1,000 to be used to purchase a new popcorn popper for Trenton High School concession stand to use as well as the expansion of the concrete pad behind Rissler Elementary School. The funds “came just in time” because the popcorn popper being used at the concession stand stopped working recently.
Steve Maxey with the Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri shared information on several scholarships available to Trenton High School students.
The Foundation Trust for THS will administer the Trenton High School Alumni Scholarship, which Maxey said would be reactivated and presented to a graduating senior in Spring 2019. First THS Alumni Association President Rollin Richardson of Little Rock, Arkansas provided the seed money for the scholarship, and the criteria has yet to be determined. Maxey noted the Association will celebrate its 70th anniversary in 2019, so he said it was appropriate to reactivate the scholarship.
The Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri will administer the Lenhart Legacy Scholarship, which was established to honor the Lenhart family in the newspaper industry in Trenton for more than 50 years. The scholarship focuses on community journalism, which can include writing, business, advertising, or media relations and is open to any high school graduating senior in the Green Hills area. The amount to be paid will come from interest earned in investment.
The Tyler Davis Memorial Wrestling Scholarship will also be administered by the Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri. Family and friends of THS graduate Tyler Davis established two separate scholarships for $1,000 each in memory of Davis.
Maxey said they also hope to promote awareness of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which is a progressive disease of the brain found in individuals with a history of repetitive brain trauma, often involving athletes and including concussions. The scholarships will be awarded to high school wrestlers in pursuit of collegiate wrestling at a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics or Division 3 (III) college or university.
The scholarship is open to high school wrestlers in the 18-county region served by the Community Foundation plus Staley and Platte County high schools. Maxey noted that the same student could receive both scholarships.
The Community Foundation is also working on four more scholarships to benefit THS seniors directly.
To acknowledge that Tuesday was Emergency Services Day, board president Doug Franklin and member Brandon Gibler lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Franklin and Gibler both serve as emergency services personnel.