Trenton R-9 Board of Education reviews Winter Weather Plan and bond issue details

Trenton R-9 School District

The Winter Weather Plan was shared at the Trenton R-9 Board of Education meeting on November 14th. Superintendent Daniel Gott reported it is basically the same last year.

Announcements about cancelations, early outs, late starts, and/or the use of hard surface bus routes will be made on the Trenton R-9 website, Facebook pages, and X (formerly Twitter) account. Announcements will also be made on the Bulldog Text Alert System, on KTTN Radio, and through the Republican-Times newspaper.

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

If school is in session, and weather conditions force the district to dismiss 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. There will be no afternoon sessions of preschool on early out days.

Trenton R-9 personnel will use information from local, state, and national weather organizations to determine if school should be dismissed early or canceled. Road conditions, wind chills, and student safety will also be evaluated.

Gott noted that it was added last year that if the weather is not good in the morning, but it is fine in the afternoon, he will talk to the administration and the Missouri Department of Transportation. He will then determine if afternoon activities and practices should be canceled, or if conditions are safe enough to drive. He commented he would err on the side of caution.

Gott reported that, for the most part, last year, afternoon activities were canceled if school was called off that morning.

The school board terms of Melissa King and Bill Miller will expire at the April 9th meeting. They are three-year terms.

Candidates can file for the April 2nd Election from December 5th through 26th. Candidates can file at the district office on weekdays from December 5th through 15th from 8 to 4 o’clock and December 18th from 8 o’clock to noon. The office will be closed December 22nd and 25th, respectively, to observe Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The district will be open on December 26th from 8 to 5 o’clock.

Director of Academics Doctor Johannah Baugher gave a Comprehensive School Improvement Plan update.

She reported curriculum work continues in all buildings for this school year. Eight curriculum submissions have been finalized so far this school year, and they have been linked to the master document. November 3rd was the deadline for more, and the next deadline will be in early April.

Baugher reported individual coaching cycles continue with program participants in Years 1 through 3. She said the coaching is done based on her observations, and she follows the observations with conversations.

A mentorship workshop was held for Year 1 program participants on October 13th. It focused on curriculum implementation and using student assessment data to analyze and modify instruction.

Baugher said one November target is using content knowledge and perspectives aligned with appropriate instruction. Another November target is understanding and encouraging student learning, growth, and development.

She noted second quarter classroom walk-throughs will start this week. Walk-throughs are done quarterly with building administrators.

At a professional development day on November 1st, Leigh Ragsdale discussed trauma-informed strategies that can be implemented in preschool through 12th grade. Project access-facilitated skills training was held with the special education team focusing on instructional strategies for learners with autism. The next scheduled professional development day is January 2nd, and Baugher reported that is historically used as a teacher workday.

Gott reported that Get the Lead Out LLC did lead testing at Trenton R-9. Lead testing is required for school districts. He said the district would get a report and recommendations for mitigation.

Gott reported he and building principals participated in a Grundy County emergency preparedness tabletop exercise on November 9th. He explained it focused on if there was a hazardous materials spill and how to respond quickly if needed. He said 16 people were identified to be emergency school bus drivers, if needed, to take students to safety.

Gott also reported the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is now a partner with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The program sends free books to children. Information on how to receive the books is on the Trenton R-9 website.

Gott said a committee met twice to discuss the possibility of a four-day school week. The committee has worked on potential scenarios. He noted the committee wants to see the reaction from staff about possible calendars.

Rissler Principal Susan Gott reported Muffins for Military was November 9th. Wild Onion donated the muffins. Some students took veterans to the book fair that was at the school last week.

Superintendent Gott presented the Gifted Program Review. The program recognizes that there are academically advanced students whose mental capacity and learning potential are advanced, and they need services beyond the level of those ordinarily provided in a regular classroom.

The Trenton R-9 Board of Education on November 14th discussed a potential bond issue the district could place on the April ballot.

Brent Blevins from Stifel Spoke to the board via Zoom. He reported the district could run a no-tax increase bond issue up to $3.5 million. That is based on the district’s assessed valuation for 2024 of $83,212,822.

Blevins noted the assessed valuation was down by 1.39% from 2023. It is a reassessment year, and he commented it is unusual for the values to have decreased compared to other districts in Missouri.

Blevins said that, based on a 98% tax collection rate, the total revenue for Trenton R-9 would be $888,843. He reported the collection rate was 96.12% in 2022 and 98.59% in 2021. He noted the average tax collection rate in Missouri is 99%, and Trenton R-9 Superintendent Daniel Gott was talking with the Grundy County assessor to try to determine why the collection has been lower than that.

Blevins reported the 90-cent levy for the debt service fund the district has paid for past and future bond issues. Stifel’s goal is to get as many proceeds as possible for a bond issue without raising taxes. He said a district can run a bond issue every five to seven years. The last no-tax increase bond issue for Trenton R-9 was in 2019.

Blevins commented that the district was in a good place.

Information Blevins shared is available on the Board of Education section of the Trenton R-9 website.

Gott reported he would start working on draft ballot language for a bond issue with Stifel. The board will decide in December if the issue will go on the April ballot. If the board approves of putting the issue on the ballot, the information would then go to the county clerk.

Gott said a $3.5 million no tax increase bond issue would take care of work the district needs to do on the Trenton Middle School roof, HVAC, and a j-system. It could also involve smaller projects, like the phone system.

Gott noted hail storm damage repair is allowing some roofs in the district to be replaced but not at TMS. He said the TMS roof leaks, and it would be pricey to fix.

The board accepted the request for a quotation for performance contract selection submitted by Veregy for the bond issue. Gott reported the district will not approve a contract with the company unless voters approve a bond issue.

The company would get paid an estimated eight to 10% if the ballot measure passes. The district would have no link or obligation to the company otherwise.

Gott said the company would take care of bidding and insurance. He added it would also have a manager making sure everything was done right.

He reported that Veregy would make Trenton R-9 more energy efficient. The district will also not have to pay more if a project ends up going over budget.

He noted that Veregy is vendor-neutral and transparent. The company would help with election support, like signage, pamphlets, and mailers.

The district is currently working with Veregy on its insurance claims from the hail storm this spring.

The Trenton R-9 Board of Education on November 14th approved the district’s recipient of the Missouri School Boards Association John T. Belcher Memorial Scholarship. Cade Claycomb will receive the $250 local scholarship, and his application will be sent to the Northwest Region competition.

Superintendent Daniel Gott reported four Trenton R-9 students applied for the scholarship. The identifying information was removed, and the essays were sent to district board members. The members then read the essays and voted on them.

A $1,000 annual scholarship is awarded to a student in each of MSBA’s 17 regions. Applicants are judged on academic performance, extracurricular activities, and the quality of their essays. A state winner is selected from the regional winners and awarded an additional $1,500.

The board approved the signers of a certificate of deposit at the Farmers Bank of Northern Missouri for the Herbert Everly Brown Memorial Endowment Fund. Gott, Board Secretary Michelle Hixon, and Board President Brandon Gibler were approved as signers. Gibler abstained from voting.

Gott reported the endowment fund had not been touched since 1990 or 1991 when it was given to the district. He said no one on the account is still around.

The CD has $1,072 in it. Gott wants to use the money on for something for students.

The board approved hard surface bus routes. Gott reported they were similar to last year. They can be found on the Board of Education part of the Trenton R-9 website.

After an executive session, it was announced the board approved personnel matters.

Preschool Paraprofessional Brandi Peniston’s resignation was approved, effective October 31st.

New hires were Sabrina Frost as a preschool paraprofessional, Sarah Allen as a varsity basketball cheer sponsor, and Brad Ewald as a varsity baseball assistance coach.

Substitutes approved were Kailey Caldwell, Alyssa Abu Sinni, Lesa Petrov, and Kaylor Farris.

Volunteers approved were Amy Dixon and Josh Lisle as varsity boys basketball assistants and Cole Henderson as varsity boys and girls wrestling assistant.