2012-2013 Board meeting recaps

Review of June 27, 2013, School Board meeting
The Ray-Pec Board of Education on Thursday, June 27, 2013, approved a budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, which begins July 1. The district's budget for 2013-2014 includes estimated total revenues of $59,299,365. The school district receives most of its revenue from property taxes, the state’s foundation formula, the state Classroom Trust Fund, and sales tax. Additional funding comes from some other federal, state and local sources.

The budget includes estimated total expenditures of $61,320,207. The district has implemented budget cuts, staff reductions and conservative spending over the last several years. As a result, it is expected that the district will end the 2012-2013 year with a reserve balance of more than 29 percent. In planning for 2013-2014, the dollar amount for estimated expenditures exceeds the amount for revenues because the district plans to spend some money from its reserve account to accomplish several needed projects.

The budget includes funds to cover district software licensing, curriculum support, the purchase of wireless access points for all classrooms and common areas, along with the creation of a single sign on portal for remote access to district resources via a common web port. Also included in this budget is the upgrade to 500mb internet bandwidth and the completion of the project to install 10 GB fiber optic connectivity to all buildings.

Budget allocations for 2013-2014 will focus on these district initiatives: K-12 literacy, standards referenced reporting, International Baccalaureate, and the transition to Common Core State Standards.

There are no major textbook adoptions this year.  The digital transformation process will have a significant impact on textbook decisions in the future.

The district plans to invest approximately $1 million in capital improvements, lease payments, or equipment. Capital improvements planned for 2013-2014 include district-wide safety and security improvements, exterior roof improvements at Peculiar Elementary, building repairs at the south high school, HVAC replacements at Timber Creek Elementary, playground improvements at Raymore Elementary and Stonegate Elementary, irrigation installation at several locations, new scoreboards in the south high school main gym, and weight room improvements at the south high school.

Operating expenses also included moving each employee on the salary schedule, increased pay for employees who earn additional education, and increased health insurance premiums.

The debt service fund includes amounts needed to pay principal, interest and fees on outstanding bond issues from 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2011. Total principal payments, fees and interest payments are scheduled and budgeted for $6,828,900.

The board on June 27 also approved bids for wireless access points, food, milk and bread, carpeting and cabinetry.

The board heard a review of the Extra-Curricular Athletics and Activities Program. Tom Kruse, Activities Director, presented a report about athletics and activities in the district.

Kruse said that during the 2013-2014 school year, the district will continue the ImPACT concussion testing program for all middle school and high school athletes. The program includes a baseline test on all athletes, which is used for comparison after a suspected head injury occurs. Athletes are held out of participation until there is a clear medical release.

Approximately 740 students, or 68 percent of the high school student body, were involved in one or more Missouri State High School Activities Association-sponsored activities throughout the 2012-2013 school year.

To read his report, go here: Athletics/Activities

To read the entire board meeting review, go here: Board Update

To read the 2013-2014 budget plan: 2013-2014 budget

Here are some other documents presented at the meeting:
Wireless Access Points memo
Wireless Access Points bid tabulation
Timber Creek carpeting bid
Raymore Elementary cabinets
Prime Food vendor memo
Prime Food vendor bid tabulation
Milk and bread quote memo

Review of May 23, 2013, School Board meeting
The board of education met on May 23, 2013.

The board approved bids to replace part of the roof at Peculiar Elementary School and to carpet six classrooms at Ray-Pec East Middle School. The board also received updates on the Technology Program and the Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction Program.

To review the entire board meeting, go here: Board Update

Here are some of the documents presented at the meeting:
Banking services contract extension with UMB
MOSIP resolution to change authorized signers
Change order for wall restoration project at Administrative Services Center
Bid tabulation: Peculiar Elementary roof replacement
Bid tabulation: Ray-Pec East Middle School classroom carpeting
Bid tabulation: Timber Creek Elementary carpeting
Dual enrollment agreement with Metropolitan Community Colleges

Review of April 18, 2013 meeting
The board of education on April 18, 2013, approved bids to improve fiber optic cable connectivity and to purchase Chromebooks. The board approved an agreement for athletic trainer services and heard a review of the gifted program. Board President Kim York was out of town, so Vice President Leo Anderson presided over the meeting.

The board of education took action to improve and upgrade connectivity between its facilities and its computer servers. The improvements will give facilities in the district the capability to transmit more information faster. The board approved a bid of $175,081 from Unite Private Networks, LLC to install single mode fiber optic cable to bring all schools to the same level of connectivity. The district will also pay an annual lease free of $84,054 for 10 years, beginning July 1.  The annual lease fee is eligible for federal e-rate reimbursement. Most recently, that reimbursement rate has been 40 percent. To read more about this project and a recap of the entire meeting, go here: Board Update

Here are some of the supporting documents from the meeting:
Fiber Connectivity
LEAP Program Review
Athletic Trainer Services Agreement
Chromebooks bid

Sequestration resolution

Review of April 15, 2013, special meeting

The Ray-Pec School Board on Monday, April 15, elected Kim York as president and Leo Anderson as vice president for the next year. This was the second meeting at which the board was scheduled to elect officers, as the first meeting last week resulted in three tie votes, with the board split in support of York and Board member Joe Anthuis for president.

Anderson was out of town, and although available via speakerphone, was unable to vote because he had not received the oath of office to begin his next term. The board re-convened on Monday, April 15. Board Secretary Pam Steele administered the oath of office to Anderson to begin his next term. This time, Board member Ruth Johnson was out of town, but participating via speakerphone. In a repeat of the previous week’s meeting, Board member Kyle Gillespie nominated Anthuis for president, and Johnson nominated York for president. Anthuis then requested a roll call vote, which allows only those board members physically present to vote. The result was a tie, with Anderson, Maria Davies and York supporting York; and Anthuis, Dana Hille and Gillespie supporting Anthuis. Kyle reiterated his support for Anthuis, and Johnson repeated her support for York. Anthuis said he believed that York could make positive contributions, regardless of the chair she holds on the board. Anderson apologized for being out of town for the previous meeting, and asked fellow board members to ask themselves, “Who is right for the position at this time?” Johnson repeatedly expressed frustration that she was not able to vote on the issue. A second and third round of voting yielded the same result. There was additional discussion about the public perception of the board and how Anthuis or York might best lead the board. Facing a deadlock, the board began to make plans to schedule a meeting for the evening of Tuesday, April 16, when all seven board members could be present. Superintendent Dr. Jeff Kyle said the board had until midnight April 16 to meet the deadline for reorganization. York said that it did not appear that any board member would change his or her vote. York asked Anthuis to remove the roll call requirement to avoid another meeting. Anthuis ultimately lifted the roll call request, and the board voted 4-3 to elect York president. For the position of vice president, Gillespie nominated Anthuis, and Johnson nominated Anderson. The board voted 4-3 to elect Anderson as vice president.

Before electing officers, the board approved a salary increase for employees for 2013-2014 and the renewal of employee benefits for 2013-2014. The district will continue to pay the premium for the base health insurance plan for employees. Coverage for spouse, children or families is available at an additional cost to employees.

Review of April 9, 2013, reorganization meeting
The Ray-Pec School Board on Tuesday, April 9, certified the April 2 election results, but failed to elect a board president after reaching a tie vote three times. The board is scheduled to meet again at 5 p.m. Monday, April 15. At that time, the board plans to elect officers and consider proposed salary increases and employee benefit renewals for 2013-2014.
The special reorganization meeting began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday with a unanimous vote to certify the April 2 election results which showed that voters re-elected Leo Anderson and Joe Anthuis to three-year terms on the board. Anderson was out of town, but was available via speakerphone to vote his approval.
Board Secretary Pam Steele then administered the oath of office to Anthuis so that he might begin his new three-year term. Steele explained that she will administer the oath of office to Anderson after he returns, as he must be physically present.
Next on the agenda was election of officers. Steele moderated that portion of the meeting, due to the absence of Superintendent Dr. Jeff Kyle. She asked for nominations for board president.
Board member Ruth Johnson nominated Kim York, who served as president the past year. Board member Kyle Gillespie nominated Anthuis. With no additional nominations, the board voted, and tied with three votes for York and three votes for Anthuis. Voting for York were Johnson, York and Board member Maria Davies. Voting for Anthuis were: Gillespie, Anthuis, and Board member Dana Hille. Anderson was unable to vote and break the tie because he has not officially begun his new term as a board member.
Steele said that rules require the board to continue to vote until a majority vote is reached. Before voting a second time, Gillespie commented in support of his nomination of Anthuis. He said that the board had a regular practice of rotating members to serve as vice president and president, and noted that Anthuis was the most experienced member of the board. He said Anthuis’s depth of knowledge and experience would be beneficial for the board in a year with a transition to a new superintendent.
Johnson commented in support of her nomination of York. She praised York for her job as president this past year, especially in working through the information and details of searching for and hiring a new superintendent.
A second vote yielded the same results, with three votes for each.
York then suggested that she and Anthuis each say a few words. Anthuis stressed his experience and the board’s succession plan for different board members serve as officers. York said she felt it was a privilege to serve as board president and said that her job afforded her the flexibility to attend events at which the district might want board president representation. She said she would like to continue serving as president through the transition with a new superintendent.
A third vote yielded yet another tie.
At that point, board members asked for options. Steele explained that a majority must select the president, and that the board must complete its reorganization within 14 days of the April 2 election. After some discussion, the board agreed to meet on Monday, April 15. At that point, Anderson could be sworn in to participate. Board member Ruth Johnson is scheduled to be out of town, but it was noted that she could vote via speakerphone because she is already a sitting board member. The meeting will be in the board room at the Administrative Services Center, 21005 S. School Rd., Peculiar, and is open to the public. The next regular meeting of the board is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, April 18, at the same location.

Review of March 28, 2013, School Board meeting
The board of education on March 28, 2013, approved the district submitting an application for candidacy in the International Baccalaureate program. Dr. Kevin Daniel, assistant superintendent for academic services, and Steven Meek, high school teacher and IB coordinator, updated the board on the district's progress to implement the IB program. You may read the IB information, including cost projections and an overview of the authorization process, here: http://www.raypec.k12.mo.us/index.aspx?NID=770

The board approved a 10-cent increase to lunch prices for 2013-2014. The student lunch price for grades K-6 will be $2.10. The student lunch price for grades 7-12 will be $2.40. The adult lunch price will be $2.85. The price increase was necessary to meet requirements by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for districts that participate in the National School Lunch Program.

The board approved the February ridership report, a list of early graduates, and heard reviews of several district programs, including energy management, A+, vocational programs, and federal programs.

The board also learned that instead of adding another day at the end of the school year, the district will have an early-release day for students on Monday, April 22. (That date was originally planned for a full day of professional development.) The last day of school will remain as an early-release day on Friday, May 31.

To review the entire board meeting, go here: Board Update

Review of Feb. 28, 2013, School Board meeting
The board of education on Feb. 28, 2013, approved the calendar for 2013-2014. The first day of school is Wednesday, Aug. 14. Preview Day, for students in grades 5, 7 and 9, will be Monday, Aug. 12. Registration is scheduled for July 25 and 30. Winter break will begin with an early release on Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, and conclude when students return to school on Monday, Jan. 6, 2014. The calendar includes a full week spring break, March 17-21, 2014. The last day of school will be an early release day on Thursday, May 22, 2014. One change to the calendar is the addition of several early release days to allow staff to participate in collaboration and professional development activities.
You can see the 2013-2014 calendar here:
The board approved a five-year agreement with Apple Bus Company to provide contracted transportation services to the school district. For the first year of the contract, there will be no price increase and Apple will provide six additional bus monitors.  For the second year, the price will increase 2.5 percent. For the third year, the price will increase 2.8 percent. The cost for years four and five remain negotiable, and could range from no increase up to a maximum of 4.5 percent.
The board also approved a proposal for Westbrook & Co. to provide auditing services for three years.
To read a recap of the board meeting, go here: Board Update

Review of Jan. 24, 2013, School Board meeting
The board of education on Jan. 24, 2013, approved transferring $1 million from the General Fund to the Capital Projects Fund to cover capital project expenditures for this fiscal year. This transfer was included in the budget for 2012-2013 that was approved in June 2012. The board also approved a bid to carpet six classrooms at the middle school and approved updates or revisions to many district policies. The board rejected bids for bread products and audio/visual upgrades to the board of education meeting room. The board also heard reviews of the health services and student interventions programs. To read a recap of the board meeting, go here: Board Update

Candidates for school board election
Four candidates have filed for election to the Ray-Pec School Board. Two seats are up for election on April 2. The seats are currently held by Leo Anderson and Joe Anthuis.

Candidates are:
  • Leo Anderson of Raymore
  • Joe Anthuis of Raymore
  • Louise C. Large-Gurin of Raymore
  • Tonya R. Long of Raymore

The top two vote-getters will be elected to three-year terms. Each year, two or three of the seven seats are up for election.

Review of Dec. 20, 2012, School Board meeting
The board of education on Dec. 20 approved nominating Ray-Pec High School Senior Kelsei Bowie for the John T. Belcher Scholarship. Board members Maria Davies, Ruth Johnson, and Kyle Gillespie reviewed the applications and recommended the nomination of Kelsei. A $740 scholarship is awarded annually to a winner in each of the 17 regions of the Missouri School Boards Association. From that group, a statewide winner is selected to receive an additional $750.

The school board also heard reviews of the Library/Media Center program and the Guidance program. To read more about these items and the rest of the board meeting, go here: Board update

2013 School Board Candidate filing information
The Raymore-Peculiar R-II School District will accept declarations of candidacy from any person interested in running for a position on the School Board in the April 2, 2013, election. Persons interested may file at the superintendent's offices, located at 21005 S. School Rd., Peculiar, MO 64078.

Filing will begin on Dec. 11, 2012, at 8:00 a.m. and will continue during the district's regular business hours, which are Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Filing will not occur on days that the school district's offices are closed due to inclement weather. Filing will also not occur on the following holidays when the school district's offices are closed: December 24, December 25, and January 1. Filing will end on January, 15, 2013, at 5:00 p.m.

There are two (2) positions available with three-year terms. Board members whose terms expire in 2013 are Leo Anderson and Joe Anthuis.

Placement on the Ballot
Order of filing will determine placement on the ballot. This is in accordance with board policy BBB - School Board Elections. (Policy BBB)

Please contact School Board Secretary Pam Steele at 816-892-1311 or at with any questions.

Qualifications for candidacy
Board policy BBBA - Board Member Qualifications (Policy BBBA)

Review of Nov. 29, 2012, School Board meeting
The board of education on Thursday (Nov. 29) approved 7-0 the audit of the district’s finances for the year ending June 30, 2012. Brad Steele, a certified public accountant and firm partner from Westbrook & Co., P.C., Richmond, Mo., presented a summary report.

Steele said the district had a clean audit with no findings. In audit terms, a “finding” is an area of weakness or deficiency that needs modification or correction. A finding may occur for a variety of reasons. For example, the auditors may note missing documents, improvements needed in travel procedures or record keeping, or make suggestions to improve cash handling or internal audit procedures.

The audit included fund balances as of June 30, 2012. The district’s financial status, as reflected in total net assets, increased by $3.4 million. He reported on the district’s outstanding long-term debt. Outstanding debt decreased to $61,664,184 from $86,826,216 in 2011. During the 2011-2012 school year, the district paid more than $14 million toward debt as it paid off bond issues for past construction and leases.

Steele said the district’s reserves were at 31 percent on June 30, 2012, up from about 25 percent the year prior. He said the balance indicates that the board and administration have been proactive and said the auditing firm likes to see “healthy” reserve balances at 20 percent and higher. The audit report stated that “The Raymore-Peculiar School District continues to be in good financial health and is committed to strong financial management. The district is limiting spending by budgeting conservatively and planning for future projects.”

The board of education on Thursday also approved bus routes and ridership and applications for early graduation. In addition, the board heard reviews of the Transportation, Parents as Teachers, Early Childhood, and Special Education programs. To read a recap of the board meeting go here: Board Update

Pacemaker Award
Pacemaker winners
Pacemaker winners
During the Nov. 29 Board of Education meeting, Ray-Pec East Middle School Journalism Teacher John Van Pelt, left, introduces students who were editors of The East Edge middle school newspaper during the 2011-2012 school year. The school board recognized Van Pelt and the student editors for winning the Pacemaker Award, which is presented to the top junior high/middle school newspaper in the country. Superintendent Dr. Jeff Kyle, standing at right, displays the awards the middle school received for being a finalist and for winning the Pacemaker. Attending the meeting with Van Pelt were three of the editors, from left: Caleb Daniels, Jeana Scott, and Guin Wright.

Review of Oct. 25, 2012, School Board meeting
The board of education on Oct. 25, 2012, approved hiring DLR Group to provide Long Range Facility Planning and district-wide Master Planning Services. The board approved paying DLR Group at a rate of $150 per hour for a total not to exceed $40,000 to complete steps 1-3 in the plan.

Dr. Kevin Daniel, assistant superintendent for academic services, and several others provided an overview to Common Core State Standards. The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort to establish a clear set of educational standards for English language arts and math. States may voluntarily adopt the standards, which are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared for college or to enter the workforce.

The board approved a draft of the district's new Strategic Plan. The 30-page document provided an overview of the process, and an outline of goals and objectives around eight goals areas. The plan, once complete, is designed to guide the district from 2012-2017, with annual reviews and updates. The five goal areas are: Student Success, Workforce Satisfaction and Engagement, Fiscal Responsibility, Technology Optimization, Leadership and Governance, Performance Measurement, Stakeholder Satisfaction and Engagement, and Communication.

The board approved the district’s participation in a consortium of eight school districts working together to pursue grant funds to establish a personalized learning environment for students.  The group, named the Mobile Mastery Consortium, is seeking $40 million in funds from the U.S. Department of Education Race to the Top district grant competition. The grant application is due by Oct. 30, and approval notification is expected by Dec. 31, 2012. There is no district financial match required. The board voted 6-1 to allow the district to submit the grant application. Board Member Ruth Johnson cast the dissenting vote.

To read more about these items and other action and topics from the board meeting, go here: Board Update

Press release about "Magdalene House: A Place About Mercy"

Book presentation
Book presentation
VanHooser presents book
Ernie VanHooser of Raymore presented the Ray-Pec Board of Education on Oct. 25 with a book written by his daughter Sarah VanHooser Suiter, a 1997 graduate of Ray-Pec High School. School Board President Kim York accepts the autographed copy of “Magdalene House: A Place About Mercy.” Suiter’s book, published by Vanderbilt Press, tells about a two-year recovery community in Nashville for women with histories of abuse, addiction and street living. Suiter earned a doctorate degree at Vanderbilt University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Religion, Spirituality, and Health at Duke University Medical Center. VanHooser, a Raymore attorney, is also a former member of the Ray-Pec School Board.

Review of Sept. 20, 2012, School Board meeting
The board of education on Sept. 20 learned about the district's efforts to implement the International Baccalaureate program. As part of the process to implement I.B., the district has scheduled a series of community presentations. The International Baccalaureate Program is a challenging, comprehensive and balanced two-year program that allows students to study courses across all disciplines. Under the current plan, Ray-Pec would offer its first I.B. course during the 2015-2016 school year for juniors (current 8th graders).

The board approved hiring a firm to conduct a job classification and compensation study and approved a fence bid for the athletic field area at Ray-Pec East Middle School. The board also shared plans for the superintendent search process. In addition, the board heard reviews of the Public Relations and Professional Development programs in the district.

To read a recap of the entire board meeting, go here: Board update

Review of Aug. 23, 2012, School Board meeting
The board of education on Aug. 23 set the 2012-2013 tax rate at $5.0397, the same rate since the 2003-2004 school year. That total includes $1.2897 for debt service and $3.75 for the general fund. The district's total assessed valuation for the 2012 tax year is $463,171,516.

The board also hired the Missouri School Boards Association to assist in the search for a new superintendent. The board also considered Ray and Associates, a firm based in Iowa that also has a Missouri office. MSBA will help the school board with a needs assessment to identify desired characteristics people would like to see in a superintendent. MSBA will also help with candidate recruitment, evaluation and screening. To read more about the MSBA search services, read the Letter and the Proposal and the Contract. After notifying MSBA of the approval, the board will begin to develop a timeline for the search process.

The school board also approved a bid for additional playground equipment at Creekmoor Elementary, an agreement with the City of Peculiar for a School Resource Officer, and surplus property bids.

Here is the agreement with the City of Peculiar for a School Resource Officer: Agreement

To read the staff wellness program review, go here: Staff Wellness

The school board learned Ray-Pec students scored above the state average in all but one subject tested on the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) tests and End-of-Course (EOC) exams again this year. Students were tested in the areas of math, communication arts, science and social studies. Testing takes place each year in the spring, and the state released the 2012 results earlier this month. District scores are based on the percentage of students scoring in the top two achievement levels – proficient and advanced. Ray-Pec students scored 9.1 percentage points higher than the state average in communications arts and 13.6 percentage points higher than the state average in math. MAP tests are given to students in grades 3-8 in Communication Arts and Math, with grades five and eight also taking a science test. In each grade level, Ray-Pec students scored above the state average in math, communication arts and science. End-Of-Course exams are taken by secondary students who are enrolled in a tested course, regardless of their grade level. The 2012 courses with EOC exams were English I, English II, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Biology, American History, and Government. Ray-Pec students outperformed the state average in every tested area, except American History.

To read a recap of the entire board meeting, go here: Board update

Review of July 19, 2012, School Board meeting

Superintendent Dr. Jeff Kyle announced that he plans to retire at the end of the 2012-2013 school year. The Ray-Pec Board of Education on Thursday, July 19, 2012, accepted his retirement letter during the closed session before the meeting. Board President Kim York announced the retirement during the open session. Dr. Kyle came to Ray-Pec in 2005 as assistant superintendent and has served as Superintendent of Schools for the last six years. His passion for children and dedication to their success were the hallmarks of his career in education. The board will begin its search for the next superintendent in September and intends to engage a search firm to assist in the process.

To read Dr. Kyle's letter, go here: Retirement letter

To read a recap of the entire board meeting, go here: Board Update