3-26-20 Maryville Board of Education

Maryville Board of Education member Roger Baker goes in for a “fist bump,“ with Board President Rob Sparks during last week’s regular board meeting at the school administration building. Sparks and the school recognized Baker for his 15 years serving the community and district. Baker intends to retire from the board, but will stay on through elections, since they’ve been postponed to June 2.

MARYVILLE, Mo. — While sitting in chairs a few feet apart due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maryville Board of Education approved an increase to the base salary for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year during last week’s regular board meeting.

Superintendent Becky Albrecht told board members the district is continuing to meet annual state minimum wage increases and also is working to consolidate the district salary schedules.

The non-certified salary schedule starting rate at $12 per hour, and while those employees don’t see an increase based on education, Albrecht said they do see increases for years with the district.

On the certified staff salary schedule, Albrecht recommended adding $500 to the base, so starting pay for a new teacher in the district is $34,500.

“We’d obviously like to do more … but with the number of people we have to pay off that schedule, that’s what we can do at this point,“ she said.

She told The Forum after the meeting, that all wind turbine construction funding the district receives will be committed to salaries, but it won’t cover it all. The estimated cost for the pay increase for 200 employees in the district will be around $335,000.

“We don’t know for sure, our estimate is about $200,000,“ Albrecht said about how much the district is scheduled to receive from the wind turbine construction.

COVID-19 response

At last week’s meeting Albrecht told board members that the community is going to the school’s website for updated information regarding the district’s plans for school

“It happened pretty quickly,“ she said.

She said part of the reason the school moved so fast to close is that the district has 68 staff members and 37 substitute teachers on payroll who are in the at-risk category. There are 96 students with severe asthma and 31 others with other health conditions that put them in the at-risk category.

There likely are even more students with unknown health risks throughout the district.

“Staff has been instructed to stay out of the buildings,“ she told board members.

Last week, Albrecht said 38 to 40 percent of students in the district are on free/reduced lunch. This matters in how the district will receive funds and pay for the pick-up meals the district began offering Monday at Eugene Field Elementary.

Assistant Superintendent Steve Klotz said Lunchtime Solutions will bill for the meals and that the service is in “very good shape.“

With regard to sports, Albrecht told the board that non-conference games likely would not be rescheduled, because the district will focus on conference games when school is reopened.

She also said that MAP and end of course testing may be waived by DESE for this semester and it is unknown at this time how graduation or A+ program hours will be handled.

Comprehensive School Improvement Plan

Albrecht told board members that the district will begin development of a new Comprehensive School Improvement Plan in the fall. In preparation for that, she spoke with Bruce Johnson with LJ Hart & Company, to discuss the district’s debt service fund status. In her summary, the district is currently paying on three outstanding bonds totaling $14.805 million: Schedule 3 - $4.67 million through March 2023; Schedule 4 - $5.25 million through March 2033; and Schedule 5 $4.885 million through March 2029.

The district has a bonding capacity of 15 percent of the assessed valuation, which currently is $191,147,126.

Albrecht projected that the district could have the capacity to run for around $10 million in the spring of 2021, but could possibly run for more the longer it waits to put a no-tax-increase bond issue on the ballot.

“We will need to do something by 2023 – run an issue or prepay on existing bonds – or we will experience significant changes to our debt service levy,“ said Albrecht in her report to the board last week.

Drug testing policy renewal

The board approved renewal of the district drug-testing program.

According to Activities/Athletic Director Mat Beu’s synopsis, the district tests students in seventh through 12th grade. Parents enter their students into the pool during registration if they want to park on campus or participate in a school activity.

After registration, a spreadsheet is created with students on it and each is assigned a number. Tomo Drug Testing, of Sedalia, Missouri, then receives the number of students in each pool. This number is used to randomly generate testing lists each month.

Beu’s report notes that 20 high school and five middle school students are tested each month. Around 180 high school and 45 middle school tests are conducted each year.

During the 2018-2019 school year, the district spent $3,332 performing drug tests. In that year, the district only received one non-negative test. So far in the 2019-2020 school year, the district has seen four non-negative tests.

Other business

  • Board members approved a fixed-price food service management contract with Lunchtime Solutions.
  • The board approved a bid of $68,107, the only one it received, for gutter replacement from Seaman & Schuske Metal Works Co., of St. Joseph. This bid is for the removal and replacement of all roof guttering at Maryville Middle School excluding the west edge of the building.
  • Jeremy Ingraham, director of the Northwest Technical School, said the Building Trades Class is currently in discussion to build a home in partnership with the Nodaway County Habitat for Humanity organization. He said the school also is in talks to build part of the restroom facility at the Thomson Splash ‘N’ Play.
  • Preceding the regular May meeting of the Board of Education, a reception to recognize employees who have been with the district 10 or more years and have resigned during the 2019-2020 school year will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20, in the administration building conference room.

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