2019-2020 Board Meetings
Board approves 2020-2021 budget plan
The School Board on June 25, 2020, approved the budget plan for fiscal year 2020-21. The budget reflects the priorities of the 2018-2022 Strategic Plan and anticipated growth. It also includes plans and contingencies for current economic uncertainties due to the pandemic.
The District’s property tax levy is not projected to increase, but new construction within the District will generate additional revenues. Projected growth in enrollment of nearly 100 students will generate additional state revenues even though state support per student is expected to decline. Salary increases for both certified and non-certified staff average 2%.
In accordance with the Strategic Plan, the budget supports the expansion of real-world learning opportunities for students, expansion of the early childhood program, additional student and staff social-emotional supports, and continued investment of $2 million per year in facility maintenance and improvements. The budget also includes additional technology resources to ensure remote learning tools are available to any student who might need them during the course of the pandemic.
The budget is based on historical analysis and projections through 2024 to ensure that fiscal year 2020-21 budget decisions can be carried into the future and result in continued financial health for the District. These projections indicate that reserve levels can absorb additional spending required in response to current needs, and still be maintained at the 18% to 22% reserve ratio target in the Strategic Plan.
Questions regarding the budget may be directed to Cyndee Byous, Chief Financial Officer.
Superintendent Dr. Kari Monsees was named the 2020 School Business Official of the Year by the Missouri Association of School Business Officials (MoASBO).
Ray-Pec Chief Financial Officer Cynthia Byous, left, serves on the MoASBO Board of Directors. She presented the award to Dr. Monsees on June 25 during his last Ray-Pec School Board meeting. He is retiring at the end of June from Ray-Pec to start work as the deputy commissioner of the Division of Financial and Administrative Services for the Department Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
Retiring Athletic/Activities Director Tom Kruse was honored at the June 25, 2020, School Board meeting.
He was congratulated on his recent induction into the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame, which includes Kansas City area football coaches, players, and writers. He was also presented with a Resolution from the Missouri House of Representatives.
Kruse has retired after 20 years in the District, with 18 years as the Activities Director.
During his 20 seasons as head football coach at Ray-Pec, Kruse amassed a record of 147-90 and won three Class 5 state football championships. During that time, he was named Coach of the Week 16 times and was honored three times as Coach of the Year.
From left: Ruth Johnson, Paul Coffman, and Kim York were sworn into office during a special School Board reorganization meeting on Thursday, June 11.
Coffman, Johnson, and York take oath of office
Paul Coffman, Ruth Johnson, and Kim York were sworn into office during a Board reorganization meeting on June 11, 2020. All three were re-elected to 3-year terms.
Board Secretary Pam Steele administered the oath of office after the Board certified the results of the June 2 election. (See table below.)
The Board elected Ruth Johnson to continue as President, and Paul Coffman to continue serving as Vice President.
Pam Steele was re-appointed to continue as Secretary, and Cynthia Byous to continue as Treasurer. The Board also elected Ruth Johnson to serve as Missouri School Boards Association Delegate and Billy King as the Alternate Delegate.
The next regular meeting of the School Board is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, June 25, at the Administrative Services Center, 21005 S. School Rd.
Board Meeting: May 28, 2020
The Board on May 28, 2020, met for its regular monthly business meeting. The meeting was held virtually using Google Meet and was streamed live via Facebook.
You can watch the meeting here:
Work session: March 12, 2020
The Board on March 12, 2020, met in a work session. The sole agenda topic was budget planning for 2020-2021. Superintendent Dr. Kari Monsees and Chief Financial Officer Cynthia Byous led the discussion through the budget planning documents:
Board honors All State Choir students
- Payton Ballinger, Soprano, All State
- Chloe Coons, Soprano, All State
- Robbie Keays, Bass, All State
- Austin Planker, Bass, All State
- Samuel Reicher, Tenor, All State
- Mark Moorhead, Tenor, All State Alternate
- Carinne Williams, Soprano, All State Alternate
Board honors All State Band students
- Hayden Smith, Trumpet, All State Honorable Mention Band
- Aeryn Mitchell, Bassoon, All-State Honorable Mention Band
- Zaran Jathaul, Snare Option, All State Band Alternate
- Lucian Howlett, Snare Option, 1st Chair, All State Band
- Lilah Manning, Flute, All State Band
- Sage Buckley, Clarinet, All State Band
Board Appreciation Week
Board members were recognized at the Feb. 27 meeting in honor of School Board Appreciation Week! From left: Board President Ruth Johnson, Bill Lowe, Billy King, Aaron Howlett, and Ashley Jones. Not present: Board Vice President Paul Coffman and Kim York.
Board meeting: Feb. 27, 2020
The Board on Feb. 27, 2020, approved employee health insurance and benefit plans for the 2020-2021 school year. Dr. Lisa Hatfield, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, told the Board that there will be a 0 percent premium increase from Blue Cross Blue Shield related to medical insurance for 2020-2021. Weight loss management was added to the plan offerings for the next year. Hatfield reported that dental and life insurance will also be offered to eligible employees with a 0 percent premium increase. Eligible employees have the option to voluntarily purchase other benefits.
The Board heard about plans for Summer School 2020. Dr. Al Voelker, Assistant Superintendent for Academic Services, said that Summer School is scheduled from June 1 to June 25, 2020. Students entering grades K-5 will attend at Bridle Ridge, Creekmoor, Eagle Glen, and Raymore elementary schools. Students entering grades 6-12 will attend classes at Ray-Pec High School. This year, students in grades 9-12 have the option to earn 1.5 credits. Morning and afternoon transportation will be offered to all students, as needed. Summer School Overview
The Board approved applying for a vocational enhancement grant in the amount of $653,367, with a possible reimbursement up to $467,546. If approved, the District would use the funds to expand/enhance current course offerings for students to prepare them for postsecondary options in a variety of areas, including engineering, biomedical science, and computer science. Through the grant, equipment and technology will be purchased to offer the Biomedical Innovations course, which is the fourth course in the Project Lead the Way biomedical sequence; offer the Computer Science Principles course, which is the third course in the PLTW computer science sequence; and offer a new machining program in coordination with Metropolitan Community Colleges.
The Board heard an Energy Management report from Energy Manager Van McLain. His review of utility usage during 2019 showed the District’s savings with a cost avoidance rate of 35.7 percent. Over more than 13 years of the energy management program, the District’s cumulative cost savings are more than $6 million.
The Board approved appointments to the Peculiar Tax Increment Finance Commission.
The Board approved these bids:
- Peculiar storefront replacement - $68,515 from Duranotic Door Inc.
- Stonegate Rooftop Units - $373,821 from F&G Mechanical
- Stonegate Fire Alarm - $95,685 from All Systems Designed Solutions, Inc.
- Stonegate Building Controls - $158,162 from Control Services Co.
- Copy paper bid - $53,308.80 from Liberty Paper. Eight vendors responded to the bid notice.
- Ford Transit bid - $25,991 from Blue Springs Ford.
Work session: Feb. 13, 2020
The Board on Feb. 13, 2020, reviewed the High School Course Guide and provided feedback on the structure and formatting of the information. View the Course Planning Guide Presentation to the Board.
The Board also heard an update on Real World Learning. View the Real World Learning presentation.
Board honors Ray-Pec spelling bee champion
The School Board on Jan. 23 honored Audrey Mitchell, winner of the Ray-Pec School District Spelling Bee. Audrey is an 8th grader at South Middle School. She is pictured with School Board Member Ashley Jones.
Board honors All-State football players
The Board on Jan. 23 honored the All-State Football players, from left: Graham Sutherland, Gabe Shanklin, Ethan George, and Gabe Sappington. They are pictured with Board Member Ashley Jones. (Not pictured: Luke Grimm.)
Board Meeting Jan. 23, 2020
The School Board on Jan. 23 approved the calendar for the 2020-2021 school year. As a result of a change in state law regarding school starting dates, the first day of school will be Monday, Aug. 24. For winter break, students will be dismissed early on Dec. 23. Classes are not in session through Jan. 5. School resumes on Jan. 6, 2021. Spring break is scheduled from March 29 to April 2, 2021. There are two possible make-up days for inclement weather: Feb. 16 and April 5. The last day of school is an early release on May 25.
The Board heard a report from Dr. Bryan Pettengill, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services, about the District’s Transportation Program.
The Board approved roofing bids for sections of the roof at Peculiar Elementary School and Ray-Pec HIgh School. The Board approved adding a teaching position in the Industrial Arts Department at Ray-Pec High School for the 2020-2021 school year. The Board also approved early graduates of Ray-Pec Academy: Nikkolette Brooke Liloia, Raymond Lee Harris, Jr., and Megan Runions.
School Board honors state champion cheerleaders
Board honors JV Cheerleaders
Board honors Sarah Chellberg
The School Board on Dec. 19, 2019, recognized Ray-Pec Director of Child Nutrition Sarah Chellberg, at left. Sarah is the current president of the Missouri School Nutrition Association Board of Directors. She is pictured with School Board President Ruth Johnson.
Board honors Marissa Dick
The School Board on Nov. 21, 2019, recognized Senior Marissa Dick for placing 4th in the Class 4 state cross country meet. She is pictured with Board Member Billy King.
Board honors boys cross country team
The School Board on Nov. 21, 2019, honored the boys cross country team for winning the state championship! Congratulations to Head Coach Jamin Swift, on being named Greater Kansas City Cross Country Coach of the Year. Jamin teaches math and also coaches track at Ray-Pec High School. He also received this award in 2013. In front, from left: Carson Eve, Luke Voelker, and Chase Cunningham. In back: Assistant Coach Alan Shields, Marlon Williams, Tyler Swift, Josh Patterson, Coach Jamin Swift, and Board Member Billy King. Not pictured is Braden Zaner, who was out of town and unable to attend the meeting.
Board honors softball team
The School Board on Nov. 21, 2019, recognized the Ray-Pec High School softball team for placing 2nd in the state! Front row, from left: Madison Busby, Elizabeth Pace, Alexis Helzer, Brooke Law, Lexi Blackmon, Haley Smuder, and McKenna Wilson. Middle row: Natalie Bates, Kerstyn Finch, Laney Killpack, Kate Lewis, Katlynn McConville, and Camryn Stickel. Back row: Head Coach Jim Brown and Board Member Billy King. Not pictured: Players Aubrey Brown and Izzy Messer, Coaches Bruce Sharp, Gary Renshaw, and Lauren Way.
Board honors Finance Department
The Board honored the Finance Department for receiving the Meritorious Budget Award. From left: Chief Financial Officer Cynthia Byous, Bookkeeper Cheryl Tipton, Finance Specialist Pam Hecker, and Board Member Kim York.
Board Meeting: Nov. 21, 2019
The Board on Nov. 21, 2019, heard a school safety update. Dr. Bryan Pettengill, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services shared a School Safety Checklist that included a threat assessment model from the U.S. Secret Service, components of a multidisciplinary threat assessment team, training and policies, law enforcement intervention, threat assessment procedures, risk management options, and efforts to create and promote a safe school climate.
Board Members Ruth Johnston, Billy King, and Bill Lowe agreed to serve on a committee to select a high school student to represent Ray-Pec School District in the John T. Belcher Scholarship competition. The Board learned that American Education Week is Nov. 18-22, 2019. The Board approved the October ridership report.
The Board approved these policies:
- P0370 – Board Training
- P1210 – Calendar Requirements
- P1425 – School Volunteers
- P1430 – Visitors to Schools
- P2200 – Admission and Withdrawal
- P2230 – Admission of Students
- P2710 – Reporting Student Abuse
- P2742 – Sexual Abuse Awareness Training
- P3470 – Average Daily Attendance – Early Childhood Program
- P4120 – Employment Procedures
- P4411 – Professional Activities, Training and Professional Growth
- P4540 – Group Insurance Benefits
- P5250 – Use of Tobacco Products
- P7210 – Construction Contracts, Bidding and Awards
Read about these or any other Board policies here.
The Board also approved these early graduates:
- Ray-Pec High School: Jasen Blevins, Nora Burlison, Kaysie Collens, CosmoLino Costanzo, Aubrey Creek, Dalton Francy, Joseph Graber, Luke Grimm, Hunter Hatfield, Celinda Hefner, Keely Nitzschke, Dylan riddle, Chloe Schumaker, Aurelia Solis, Montgomery Stafford, Samuel Steinke, Regan Wright, Davin Young, Ximena Vazquez-Sanchez, and Amanda Votava.
- Ray-Pec Academy: Seth Ferwalt, Anika Prickett, Kaylee Provance, Dillion Russell, and Loriaunna Ramsey.
- MO Options: Kaylee Coulson, Marcus Pedigo, Dylan Wagner, and Bryan White.
Work Session: Nov. 14, 2019
The Board met on Nov. 14 to discuss Long Range Facility Planning and to hear an update about planned capital improvements.
Enrollment in the Ray-Pec School District is projected to reach nearly 6,800 students (grades K-12) by 2023-24 and nearly 7,100 students by the 2029-2030 school year.
Those projections were shared by Rob Schwartz with RSP Associates, an educational planning firm, during a presentation on Nov. 14 to the Board of Education. The report provided detailed enrollment, demographic, and development information.
The enrollment analysis is part of a process under way to develop a 10-year facility master plan, based on current and anticipated future needs. A group of Ray-Pec Board members, educators and city planners have been meeting with architects and the demographer to determine options to handle the expected growth.
As the District moves forward, several issues must again be considered, including timelines for possible construction of new facilities, additions to current facilities, and facilities for specific programs. Public feedback opportunities on options under consideration will be presented next semester as part of the planning process.
Board Meeting: Oct. 17, 2019
The Board approved the 2018-2019 audit and a bid for asphalt/concrete repairs. The Board approved legislative priorities for the 2020 legislative session, and approved eight policies. The Board heard a report on the District’s Guidance and Counseling program and a recap of the 2019 Summer School program. In addition, the Board recognized Teacher Karla Penechar as recipient of the 2019 Wayne Brown Outstanding Speech and Theatre Teacher award and Ruth Johnson as the recipient of the 2019 Carter D. Ward Excellence in Advocacy Award. Read a recap of the meeting: Board update
Board honors Teacher Karla Penechar
The School Board on Oct. 17 recognized Ray-Pec High School Teacher Karla Penechar for being named the 2019 Wayne Brown Outstanding Speech and Theatre Teacher for the state of Missouri. The award was presented last month by the Speech and Theatre Association of Missouri. She is pictured with Board Vice President Paul Coffman.
Board honors President Ruth Johnson
The School Board on Oct. 17 recognized Board President Ruth Johnson for receiving the Carter D. Ward Excellence in Advocacy Award at the recent Missouri School Boards' Association conference. She is pictured with Board Vice President Paul Coffman.
Work Session: Oct. 10, 2019
The focus of the Oct. 10, 2019, work session was Student Achievement. The Board also heard an update about the Annual Performance Report and the Launch online program.
Annual Performance Report
Superintendent Dr. Kari Monsees said that the Annual Performance Report has not yet been published. This year, the format of the report will look different. The state will report on each category, but will not assign a total numeric score to each area. Dr. Monsees said that Ray-Pec did well as a district, and if a numeric score were assigned it would be strongly in the 90th percentile. Without the specific score, the results will be more difficult to share with the community.
Last year, the District began to offer online courses through Launch, an online academy offering quality instruction through the Springfield, Mo., School District. During spring semester 2018-2019, 49 students in middle school, high school, and the Academy, enrolled in 114 courses. In total, 23 of the students dropped or failed one or more classes. During Summer School, 268 students enrolled in 415 courses. This fall, 78 students enrolled in 182 courses. For more information about costs and completion numbers, see the Launch update.
Dr. Al Voelker, Assistant Superintendent for Academic Services, reported on a number of assessments used by the district to measure student achievement:
- Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) 2019
- NWEA Student Growth Summary Report
- NWEA Growth Insight Report –Quadrant Summary 2018-2019
- International Baccalaureate Assessment Results, 2018-2019
- International Baccalaureate – Ray-Pec scores compared to world-wide scores
- Advanced Placement Score Summary
- WorkKeys Achievement 2018-2019
Board meeting: Sept. 19, 2019
The Board heard a report on the District's Public Relations program and a review of the District’s Facilities and Grounds program. The Board approved an early resignation notification incentive and a letter of support to Metropolitan Community College for a grant application partnership.
Communication Director Michele Stidham provided the annual report about the District’s public relations program. Stidham shared results from the spring 2019 stakeholder survey. Stidham shared analytic statistics about the District web site and YouTube channels. She also reported on the distribution and open rates for the weekly newsletter. Ray-Pec has an open rate that is higher than the average for primary and secondary education organizations. The District has 3,454 subscribers for text messaging; 7,945 followers on Facebook; and 4,114 followers on Twitter. Public Relations Update
Scott Dobson, Director of Facilities, presented a review of the District’s Facilities and Grounds program. He reviewed program highlights, and reviewed results from the spring 2019 stakeholder survey. He outlined three goals:
- Increase the number of positive responses on the staff perception survey in regards to quality of work from 75.5 percent to 85 percent.
- Increase the number of positive responses on the staff perception survey in regards to overall appearance of grounds from 84.7 percent to 90 percent.
- Increase the number of positive responses on the staff perception survey in regards to overall grade for the department from 89.6 percent to 95 percent.
Early resignation incentive
The Board approved an early resignation incentive for certified staff (defined as staff paid from the Certified Salary Schedule). Certified staff members who submit their resignation notice by Dec. 20, 2019, will receive an incentive stipend of $750, and those who provide notice by Feb. 3, 2020, will receive an incentive stipend of $500 to be paid on June 25.
MCC Grant Partnership
The Board approved a letter of support to Metropolitan Community College for a National Science Foundation grant application partnership. Staff from the MCC Business and Technology campus are preparing a grant application designed to support the creation of a satellite machining program to be located at a partner high school. The program would offer dual credit, as well as industry recognized credentials, through a year-long half-day course. The course would include interactive technology, with an instructor at MCC providing primary instruction with support of an on-site staff members to assist and supervise students. The letter of support indicates that Ray-Pec would be a partner district with MCC, if selected and the grant is approved. MCC Executive Summary MCC Grant Letter
Read a recap of the entire meeting: Sept. 19, 2019, Board Meeting
Work session: Sept. 12, 2019
Board begins search for new superintendent
The School Board on Sept. 12, 2019, met with consultants from the Missouri School Boards' Association about the District's search for a new superintendent.
Current Superintendent Dr. Kari Monsees has announced his retirement at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
MSBA Consultants Dr. Paul James and Dr. Robert Watkins will work with the Ray-Pec School Board during the search process, which begins on Sept. 16 with a formal announcement of the vacancy. The consultants will advertise the opening through a variety of methods.
During the time period that applications are being accepted, the consultants will interview the Ray-Pec Board members about the characteristics and qualities they want in the next superintendent. The consultants may also interview staff members and community members, as directed by the School Board. An online survey will be made available for community members to provide input. Information from these interviews and survey results will be compiled to help the MSBA consultants identify candidates who will be the "best fit" for the district.
Under a tentative timeline established with the consultants, the Board plans to meet the first week of November to review applications and select finalists. Interviews would begin in mid-November, with a second round of interviews and site visit scheduled later in November, if necessary. The Board hopes to announce the name of the successful candidate in December.
The Board also heard a presentation about the 2019-202 Strategic Plan Priorities, which include the focus areas of Success Ready Students, High Quality Staff, and Financial Responsibility. The Board discussed the possibility of having a student representative at the Board meetings, and also discussed the results of the Board Self Evaluation.
Ray-Pec tax levy rate to decrease by 18 cents
The Raymore-Peculiar School Board on Aug. 22, 2019, approved the 2019 tax levy rate at $5.1823, which reflects a decrease of 18 cents from the 2018 rate. The 2019 rate includes an operating levy of $4.1492 and a debt service levy of $1.0331. The approval followed a public hearing.
The tax rate is calculated based on the assessed valuation of real estate and personal property in the District. The rate is decreasing to offset increases in property values due to reassessment. Tax rate history
Board starts search for new superintendent
As one of the first steps in finding a new superintendent for the District, the Ray-Pec School Board on Aug. 22, 2019, voted to approve a proposal from the Missouri School Boards' Association to assist in the search process. Superintendent Dr. Kari Monsees is retiring at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
A subcommittee of the Board considered proposals from three search firms and then recommended the proposal from MSBA to the entire Board for approval. One part of the MSBA search procedure is the collection of input from a variety of stakeholders about the characteristics desired in the next superintendent. The District also utilized the search services of MSBA in 2012 when Dr. Monsees was hired.
Long-Range Facility Plan update
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bryan Pettengill provided a Long-Range Facility Plan update to the Board at its Aug. 22, 2019, meeting. Board report The District is beginning the process to update its Long-Range Facility Plan. The District is contracting with a demographer to provide growth projections. A planning committee will soon be established to review data and consider facility options for the future.
The Board also approved the 2019-2020 Assessment Plan and a transfer to complete roof repairs at Peculiar Elementary School. Read a recap of the entire meeting: Aug. 22, 2019, Board meeting recap
Board honors Technology Department
The School Board on Aug. 22, 2019, honored the Ray-Pec Technology Department for winning the first ever MOTechTalk Technology Department Excellence Award.
The award was announced in July at the MOTechTalk conference in Osage Beach, Mo. The conference for school technology personnel covered topics including networking, servers, security, and best practices.
Board Member Kim York, at left, is pictured with Department Director Ryan Gooding and Network Administrator Norma Mann.
The Technology Department also includes Jason Smither, network administrator; Jarod Kientz, database administrator; Shelley Presley, technician/help desk; Jennifer Landis, technician; Dan Fisher, technician; and Jonathan Stacy, technician.
Board honors Ella Schnake
The Board on Aug. 22, 2019, honored Senior Ella Schnake for winning the national championship in Program Oral Interpretation at the National Speech and Debate tournament. Her piece was titled "Debate Like a Girl." She is pictured with Board Member Kim York.
Board meeting: July 25, 2019
The Board hired a company to conduct a demographic study. The Board also set Aug. 22 as the date for a public hearing on the tax levy. Read a recap of the meeting: Board update
Board honors Katelynn Jungling
The Board recognized 2019 RPHS graduate Katelynn Jungling. Katelynn won the gold medal in firefighting at the Missouri SkillsUSA competition. She was the first female student to ever win the state title in that event. She qualified for the national SkillsUSA competition, where she received a $1,000 scholarship. She is pictured at right with Board Member Ashley Jones.
Board honors Audrey Huffman
The Board of Education on July 25, 2019, recognized Audrey Huffman for placing third in the nation in Impromptu Speaking at the FBLA Awards of Excellence Program on July 2.
Huffman competed against approximately 200 finalists in her event. She will be a sophomore this fall at Ray-Pec High School. She is pictured with Board Member Ashley Jones.