Trenton R-9 Board of Education approves 2019 tax rate

Trenton R-9 School District

The Trenton R-9 Board of Education approved the 2019 tax rate at a hearing prior to its regular meeting on Tuesday evening.

The board set the tax rate at $4.127 cents per $100 of assessed valuation which includes $3.227 for the incidental fund and 90 cents for the debt service. The 2019 tax levy is one point eight cents less than the 2018 levy. The amount of property tax revenues budgeted, assuming 100% collection, is $3,342,424.

The assessed valuation on which tax revenue is received for Trenton R-9 for 2019 is estimated at $80,989,18 which includes real estate and personal property and is up a total of $490,814 from 2018. New construction and improvements make up $1,751,294 of the assessed valuation.

During the regular meeting, the board of education approved memorandums of understanding with Preferred Family Healthcare and the Grundy County Health Department. The Method of Understanding (MOU) with Preferred Family Healthcare allows the agency to collaborate and provide behavioral health services within Trenton R-9 buildings.

Trenton High School Principal Kasey Bailey said Preferred Family approached him about additional services, which may include a dedicated therapist. Superintendent Mike Stegman said the North Central Missouri Mental Health Center would still be a provider.

The MOU with the Grundy County Health Department assists the department in its Continuity of Operations Planning by consenting to be a potential alternate worksite if an emergency or unforeseen threat necessitates the need for relocation of the health agency’s services. It also develops a point of a dispensing site that could be used for the distribution of life-saving medication, immunizations, or other necessary supplies for the public.

The board approved a contract agreement with Wright Memorial Hospital for physical and occupational therapist services. Stegman noted there was a slight change in fees. A fully certified therapist will cost $80.00 per hour, and therapist assistants will cost $60.00 per hour.

Special board meetings were scheduled regarding the sale of bonds and the building project with a bond sale date of August 20th. The board will meet to approve the sale of bonds the morning of August 21st at 7:30. Stegman said the due date was pushed back for bids for preformed concrete panels. The bids are now due August 22nd with the board meeting to accept bids the morning of August 28th at 7:30. Architects will present information about the building project during that meeting.

The board approved an amended 2018 fiscal audit. Stegman reported a sentence was missing about refinancing of general obligation bonds issued by the district in 2010, and it looked like the district had more bonds out than it really did.

Two student requests from Maddi Cutsinger and Mary McNabb were approved for early graduation. High School Principal Kasey Bailey noted the students will still be involved in prom and graduation activities. Trenton High School graduation was approved to be held May 10th, 2020.

The Special Education Compliance Plan Part B was readopted with a few changes. Director of Special Services Tara Hoffman said Trenton R-9 uses the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Compliance Plan. She noted changes involved eligibility criteria, which made it harder for students to qualify. Hoffman reported the district received a four in all areas for the Special Education Determination Category which means the district is meeting the requirements and the purpose of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

The board also readopted the Conflict of Interest Policy. Stegman said the Conflict of Interest Policy needs to be readopted annually. Multiple Missouri School Boards Policy updates were approved regarding various matters.

The Annual Secretary of the Board Report was also approved with Stegman noting the report showed the board has maintained financial balances through the ups and downs of the economy in the last few years.

Stegman reported on items that the district is required to do prior to the start of the school year regarding safety. They included online training for the Missouri United School Insurance Council Sexual Misconduct: Staff to Students, group suicide training, group active shooter training, and group Trenton R-9 policies and civil rights.

Director of Supportive Services Kris Ockenfels reported on summer projects. Major projects completed included a drain at the Rissler Elementary School playground, a new HVAC unit at the high school art room, remodeled fourth-grade rooms, and multiple roof spots fixed at the high school and middle school. There is one leak Ockenfels knows about, and it is to be fixed. Other summer projects completed included new bottle fillers, new furniture in sixth-grade science, and new televisions in the middle school.

The Fall Missouri School Boards Association meeting will be held September 26th through 29th. Dorothy Taul was the only board member confirmed as going to the conference.

Board member David Whitaker mentioned he received clarification from High School Principal Kasey Bailey on the cell phone policy discussed at a previous meeting. Whitaker said he thought it sounded like the administration came up with a “good plan” to make sure students pay attention to teachers in classes. He added that he does not know why students would need to have a cell phone in the classroom, however, he does believe there may be times students may need cell phones to contact parents.

The board entered into a closed session for personnel.