Trenton R-9 Board of Education meets with lengthy agenda

Trenton R-9 School District

The Trenton R-9 Board of Education approved a bond resolution for the proposed district building project at a meeting Wednesday evening.

The approved ballot question to appear on the April 2nd ballot asks if the school district should borrow seven million dollars to construct, renovate, improve, furnish, and equip district facilities.

The question says the project would include safety and security improvements, construction and equipping a performing arts center/storm shelter, and completing facility maintenance and improvement projects.

The debt service levy is estimated to stay at 90 cents per $100 of assessed valuation of real and personal property. Superintendent Dan Wiebers said Trenton R-9 has the lowest debt service levy of five area districts.

Representatives from Ellison-Auxier Architects of Saint Joseph presented preliminary drawings of the building project. The drawings included a performing arts center at the high school between the Music Building and Commons Area with corridors to the Vo-Ag Building and middle school, remodeled media center with a “Bullpin” for librarians to work and two large computer areas, a new vestibule and remodeled office at Rissler to make the school more secure, and a new concession stand at the football stadium.

The preliminary estimate of probable costs for the proposed building project costs $6,878,904, which meets the goal of being under seven million dollars. The total estimated cost includes $3,932,390 for the performing arts center, theater, and stage, $920,325 for the corridor and theater support spaces, $231,000 for a courtyard space and $544,300 for the media center and science room remodel.

The total projected cost for the project also includes about $280,000 for the new concession stand and restroom building and $147,900 for the Rissler administration office remodel. Soft costs come out to $822,989. Three-dimensional drawings of the proposed building project are to come for a campaign.

The board approved several Missouri School Boards Association policy updates. Wiebers reported the updates also included one on school board elections saying that districts that have a bond issue appearing on the ballot, the board of education election must also appear on the ballot. That is why even though only Dorothy Taul and Marcie Cutsinger filed for reelection of their positions on the board, the election must appear on the April 2nd ballot.

Another update involves state law now counting attendance in hours and not days. Wiebers noted districts are required to have at least 1,044 hours of academic time each school year.

The board approved an agreement with Tyler Technologies for the SISfin financial program. Trenton R-9 uses Chalkable as its financial program, but updates will stop being provided for the program in January 2020. The district uses Tyler SIS for student data management, and the agreement will add additional features to the services, however, Director of Supportive Services Kris Ockenfels said the SISfin would stand alone, and services will not be integrated.

One of the service options in the agreement includes converting the last three years of Chalkable information to SIS. The total cost for the software and services is $31,520. Annual support and maintenance cost is $5,434 with Wiebers noting the cost will not be paid for until next year’s budget.

The board approved the payment of $1,919.85 to the Grundy County Jewett Norris Library. Superintendent Wiebers said the funds came from the Frank Drake Library Fund, for which Trenton R-9 is the steward.

A contract extension was approved with Apple Bus Company to provide transportation services for students. The cost for next year is $216 per route per day, which is a three percent increase.

Ockenfels said the district will pay about $513,000 to the bus company this year. He reported Apple Bus Company made an offer to the district, and the district recommended five changes to the contract. Those changes included a being fixed five-year contract, only having a two-hour trip charge and dropping the shuttle charge, the Vo-Tech route being considered as 50% of a route, upping the rent charge for the bus company to $350, and having personnel answer calls.

The board approved the Grundy County Breast Cancer Support Group to host Pink Out Night games for the Trenton R-9 School District. Representatives from the support group shared several statistics with the board, including that 13 individuals were diagnosed with breast cancer in Trenton in the 11 months the group existed last year. The group is now a nonprofit and will be one year old next month.

Wiebers reported the district will hold classes May 17th to make up a snow day this week. He also reported fire alarms at district buildings were inspected over Winter Break, and the alarms were found to be in working order.

Trenton Middle School Assistant Principal Kasey Bailey presented the Health Services Evaluation Report. He reported nurse office visits totaled 7,062 at Rissler in preschool through fourth grade, 4,187 at the middle school, and 1,311 at the high school. The report noted an increase in the number of diabetic students and said the staff is trained at the beginning of each school year on Epi-Pen use, allergic reactions, bloodborne pathogens, and diabetes.

Trenton R-9 received a gift of $3,010.55 from Citizens Bank and Trust from the Bulldog Debit Card Program. Each swipe of a Bulldog debit card earns the district five cents. There have been more than one million swipes, and Citizens Bank has given the district $53,391.80 since 2011.

The board received certificates from the Missouri School Boards Association for School Board Recognition Week, which is February 10th through 16th. Rissler Principal Tiffany Otto reported Lunch Buddies recently started at the school. There have been three visitors so far for the program.

Director of Special Services Tara Hoffman presented the Early Childhood and Parents as Teachers reports. Bailey introduced middle school January Students of the Month.

The Trenton R-9 Board of Education accepted two resignations during a closed session Wednesday evening.

The approved resignations were for second-grade teacher Denni Berti and Success Center teacher Trent Ireland. Both resignations go into effect at the completion of this school year.

The board also approved several substitutes: Dane Stiles, Adele Rowland, Madeline Barone, Kellen Overstreet, and Dakotah Mathews.