2013-2014 Board Meetings
Dr. Monsees noted that in Cass County, Raymore-Peculiar is among the bottom two or three school districts in expenditure per pupil, but is at or near the top in terms of student achievement.
“It indicates how well we use the resources we have,” he said.
The budget includes estimated total revenues of $62,033,663. The school district receives most of its revenue from property taxes, the state’s foundation formula, the state Classroom Trust Fund, and the Proposition C statewide sales tax. Additional funding comes from a variety of other federal, state and local sources. The local property tax levy is projected to be $5.0397, which has remained the same since 2003.
The budget includes estimated total expenditures of $64,074,528. The expenditure budget includes targeted use of reserve funds for specific purposes identified in the planning stages of budget development. Budget priorities were based on the focus areas identified in the District’s Strategic Plan.
Total balances in all funds are budgeted to decline by $2,040,865. The Capital Projects Fund anticipates the use of $607,617 in reserve funds to support specific improvement projects. The Debt Service Fund anticipates the use of $738,686 in reserves as anticipated in the bond payment schedule, with approximately $2 million remaining in reserve at the end of the fiscal year. Operating balances are projected to decline by $694,562 to support targeted investments in non-recurring expenditures. The total Operating Fund balances at year end are projected to be $14,084,868, which represents approximately three months of annual operating expenditures.
Hutsell also reported on the status of the 2013-2014 fiscal year, which was coming to a close. She said that revenues were two percent above budget, and expenditures were one-half percent below budget. As a result, the district anticipates ending the year with Operating Fund reserve balances of about 30 percent of annual operating expenses, similar to June 2013.
Approximately 75 percent of the district’s Operating Fund budget is comprised of salary and benefits for staff. Existing staff received an average three percent salary increase for 2014-2015. The budget for benefits was increased to reflect higher health insurance costs.
The Capital Projects budget funds facility improvements, large equipment purchases, and lease-purchase payments including copier. For 2014-2015, the total is $2,258,609. Planned projects include lease-purchase payments, the installation of secured entrances at Peculiar Elementary, Raymore Elementary, Shull Elementary and the South High School, a new back parking lot at Timber Creek Elementary, and site improvements for accessible parking at the South High School. About $485,000 is budgeted for equipment and maintenance projects throughout the district.
The district has budgeted $7.04 million in Debt Service. Of that total, $5.2 million is budgeted for principal payments, and the remainder will cover interest payments and fees.
During the meeting, the Board recognized and congratulated high school students for their achievements at the state speech, debate and theatre competition. The Board also recognized and congratulated high school students for their achievements at the state Track and Field meet in May.
The Board heard an update on Summer School, and a review of the Activities/Athletics Program.
Read more: Activities/Athletics presentation
The Board approved the purchase of Common Goal, an online grade book and reporting tool, at a cost of $26,738.17 for the 2014-2015 school year. Teachers in grades PreK-7 will use the program for reporting student grades. Board members approved a list of committee assignments for the 2014-2015 school year. The Board approved a lease agreement with Knighton Business Solutions for digital document imaging and copying equipment and services.
A motion to approve a technology infrastructure lease agreement failed to receive approval. The vote was 3-1-1 with Board Member Barbara Boucher voting against the lease, and Board President Leo Anderson abstaining. Board Members Joe Anthuis and Dana Hille were absent. A lease agreement requires a quorum of the entire Board, or at least four votes, to pass. The lease addressed the financing related to a bid that was approved at the May Board meeting. A special meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 2, to reconsider the lease agreement.
For a review of the entire board meeting, go here: Board meeting update
The agenda topics made for a full day of review, discussion and interaction between the Board members and the district administrative leadership. Important dialogue took place, as Board members increased their understanding on particular topics and provided valuable feedback to district leaders.
The Board did not take action on the subjects at hand, but had the opportunity for extended conversation and to ask additional questions. Action items related to topics discussed will be considered at future Board meetings.
The list of topics discussed at the retreat included:
- Board President Leo Anderson led a discussion on Board vision and purpose, along with a proposed list of committee assignments.
- Superintendent Dr. Kari Monsees and Chief Financial Officer Kendra Hutsell provided an overview of the 2014-2015 budget, which is scheduled for approval at the June 26 Board meeting.
- Jay Harris, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services, outlined a schedule to update the district’s long-range facility plan during the 2014-2015 school year.
- Dr. Monsees reviewed the next steps to implement the district’s Strategic Plan, which was adopted by the Board in February. Many of the goals in the plan require performance measurement, and the district will monitor a range of indicators. As part of the data collection process, the district recently conducted a survey of staff and patrons.
- Lisa Hatfield, Director of Human Resources, updated the Board on the revision of the District’s teacher evaluation tool. The revisions are necessary to meet specific requirements by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
- The Board discussed the latest work by the Policy Review Committee and also proposed revisions to a policy about the District’s assessment program, a policy on criminal background checks, and a policy about administering medication to students.
- Dr. Kevin Daniel, Assistant Superintendent for Academic Services; Dr. Karen Hurst, Director of Curriculum, Assessment and Elementary Education; and Kristel Barr, Director of Student Services and Secondary Education; presented information to the Board about revisions to the math and English Language Arts curriculum.
- Board President Leo Anderson presented a plaque to Dr. Kevin Daniel, Assistant Superintendent of Academic Services. Dr. Daniel has resigned, effective at the end of this month, to accept a position with the Lee’s Summit School District. The Board thanked Dr. Daniel for his 12 years of service and leadership in the district.
To review information presented during the retreat, go here:http://www.boarddocs.com/mo/rpsd/Board.nsf/Public
The board approved the purchase of 600 Samsung Google Chromebook computers to be used by students as supplemental devices in classrooms participating in the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program. The board also approved the purchase of 116 Macbook Air computers and one MacMini server computer from Apple. These computers will be used by teachers participating in the BYOD rollout. The board also approved the purchase of Cisco infrastructure equipment from AOS. The equipment includes replacement of network switches to enhance wireless performance, network speed and network capacity.
In a continuing effort to enhance school safety, the board approved a bid of $414,000 from Imperial Construction to build secured entrances at Peculiar Elementary, Raymore Elementary, Shull Elementary, and Ray-Pec High School south building.
The board approved increasing the prices for all paid lunches by 5 cents for the 2014-2015 school year. The new lunch prices will be: $2.15 for grades K-6, $2.45 for grades 7-12, and $2.90 for adults.
Salary schedules and recommendations
The board approved salary recommendations, including revised salary schedules for certified employees, classified support staff, classified professional staff, and administrative employees. The revisions come as a result of recommendations from Educational Management Solutions (EMS), a company that the district hired in 2012-2013 to conduct a job classification and compensation study. EMS presented the district with several findings related to the current salary structure and practices.
District administration and Team Ray-Pec have worked over the past year to develop and prioritize these recommendations for 2014-2015:
- Continue to fully cover health/dental/life insurance premiums for eligible employees using Health Insurance Renewal Option 1.
- Provide a step increase for all staff on the 2014-2015 salary schedules, if a step is available on the employee’s salary grade.
- Adopt and implement a new classified salary schedule recommended in the EMS study.
- Provide an additional half-step for staff frozen in 2010-2011, if a step is available on the salary grade.
- Implement classified internal equity recommendations from the EMS study.
- Increase the teacher salary schedule by $500 in the cells for bachelor’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees plus additional educational hours; and by $200 in the cells for master’s degrees and master’s degrees plus additional educational hours.
Wellness Program Review
Proposed revisions to 2014-2015 calendar
LEAP Program Review
Staffing plan for 2014-2015
The board elected Pam Steele to continue to serve as board secretary, and Chief Financial Officer Kendra Hutsell to continue as board treasurer.
The board certified the results of the April 8 election. The vote totals for the candidates, listed in order of filing, are: Barbara A. Boucher, 1,175 votes; Ruth Johnson, 1077 votes; Kim York, 1,328 votes; Melinda Houdyshell, 1,031 votes; Tonya Long, 723 votes; and Mary DuBray, 484 votes.
There were three seats up for election. Board Secretary Pam Steele administered the oath of office to Kim York, Barbara Boucher, and Ruth Johnson.
Unofficial election results from Cass County show these vote totals for candidates, listed in order of filing:
- Barbara A. Boucher, 1,175 votes
- Ruth Johnson, 1077 votes
- Kim York, 1,328 votes
- Melinda Houdyshell, 1,031 votes
- Tonya Long, 723 votes
- Mary DuBray, 484 votes
Board member Kyle Gillespie's term ends in April 2014. He did not file for re-election.
During a presentation about the budget, Superintendent Dr. Kari Monsees showed how the budget priorities being considered align with the recently approved Strategic Plan. There was extensive discussion about the budget as it relates to three key areas of the Strategic Plan: Student Success, Workforce Satisfaction and Engagement, and Technology Optimization. Board members asked many questions about the budget plan and provided valuable feedback for Monsees and Chief Financial Officer Kendra Hutsell as they continue to refine the budget plan.
The next meeting of the board is a reorganization meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 15. The next regular business meeting is at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 17, at the Administrative Services Center.
To read a recap of the work session, go here: Board Update
The board reviewed preliminary budget information for 2014-2015. The school district fiscal year begins July 1. To have a budget ready for board approval in June, district leaders begin planning in January. Superintendent Dr. Kari Monsees and Chief Financial Officer Kendra Hutsellprovided an update on the budget planning. Materials presented to the board included a summary of Operating Funds, along with the past year actual revenues, current budget amounts and budget projections for next year. Total operating revenues are anticipated to increase by approximately $2.5 million, or 4.7 percent, for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.
More information will be shared at the April 1 board work session. During the work session, board members will hear about potential expenditure items, including allocating funds for salary and, adding new staff positions and programs, increases for supplies and purchased services, and capital improvements and maintenance projects.
2014-2015 Preliminary Budget Report
Jay Harris, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services, and Kristel Barr, Director of Student Services and Secondary Education, presented a bullying prevention update to the board. Before their presentation, three patrons spoke on the topic during the public comment portion of the meeting.
A highlight of the report was the announcement of a new method for reporting concerns. Sometime in April, the district plans to debut a new online reporting tool called “Quick Tips.” The Quick Tips site allows users to report any issue of concern. A user may also attach a photo or document. The user may remain anonymous, or may provide contact information.
Bullying prevention update
The board meeting included special recognition of Maddi Brusick, who earned All-State honors by placing 14th in the 50-yard freestyle event. Fifth grader Joel Miles also received special recognition at the meeting. Joel won the Ray-Pec Spelling Bee and the Cass County Spelling Bee. He will represent Cass County at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in late May in Washington, D.C.
In other action, the board approved hiring Strategos International, based in Grandview, to provide Active Shooter and Intruder Response Training (ASIRT) for all Ray-Pec staff for the 2014-2015 school year. The board also re-hired Kendra Hutsell as Chief Financial Officer. (She had resigned last month, but then reconsidered.)
The board approved the district’s application to become a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate Program for the 2015-2016 school year. The board also approved an updated agreement with Belton Regional Medical Center for athletic training services, and the February pupil transportation ridership report. The board also heard reports about the A+ Program, the district's Federal Programs, and the Technology Program.
To read the recap of the entire board meeting and see links to other supporting documents, go here: Board UpdateInternational Baccalaureate application
The plan is organized into eight focus areas, with a total of 22 SMART goals, 30 strategies, and 107 action steps. An important part of the plan is the ongoing review and analysis process.
The eight focus areas are:
- Student Success
- Workforce Satisfaction and Engagement
- Fiscal Responsibility
- Technology Optimization
- Leadership and Governance
- Performance Measurement
- Stakeholder Satisfaction and Engagement
You can read the entire plan, a summary, or a one-page overview:
The board recognized students selected for the Missouri All-State Bands. The board approved a high school band trip to Hawaii and a contract for architectural services.The board also received updates about the Energy Management program, the Public School Foundation, and the International Baccalaureate program. To read a recap of the entire board meeting, go here: Board update
The board recognized Raymore Elementary School Principal Michelle Hofmann, who was named the 2013-2014 Distinguished Principal by the Kansas City Suburban Elementary Principal Association. She will be recognized at the Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals (MAESP) Leadership and Learning Conference March 8-11 at Tan-Tar-A Resort.
The board approved the selection of incite Design Studio to provide design services identified in the district’s Capital Improvement Plan for the next three years for projects estimated to cost $1.5 million and below. A formal contract is expected to be presented at the February school board meeting for approval. The board also heard a review of the district’s health services program. To read a recap of the meeting, go here: Board Update
Filing will begin at 8 a.m. Dec. 17, 2013, and will continue during the district's regular business hours, which are Monday through Friday from 8 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 not occur on the following holidays when the school district's offices are closed: Dec. 24 and 25, 2013, and Jan. 1 and Jan. 20, 2014. Filing will end at 5 p.m. on Jan. 21, 2014.
There are three (3) positions available with three-year terms. Board members whose terms expire in 2014 are Kyle Gillespie, Ruth Johnson and Kim York.
Placement on the Ballot
Order of filing will determine the placement on the ballot. This is in accordance with Board Policy BBB - School Board Elections.
Steele said the district had a clean audit with no state or federal 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, 2013. The district’s financial status, as reflected in total net assets, increased by $1,456,585. He reported on the district’s outstanding long-term debt. Outstanding debt decreased to $58,022,595 from $61,664,184 in 2012.
Steele said the district’s reserves were at 30.65 percent on June 30, 2013, down slightly from 31.28 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 school district hired Educational Management Solutions (EMS) to conduct the job analysis and classification study. EMS has been working with Lisa Hatfield, Director of Human Resources, on the project. The first part of the project was to gather input from staff and supervisors to create up-to-date, consistent, understandable and legally compliant job descriptions. The project also included a market analysis that included a review of internal equity, salary placement practices, salary structures, and a comparison of salary and benefits to competing employers. EMS has recommended several changes to include modifications to salary schedules, changes in some job titles, changes for internal equity, and adjustments for market competitiveness.The recommendations come with price tags, and board members and administrators discussed how to prioritize implementation of some of the proposed changes. To review the presentation, go here: EMS Update
Board members also learned more about the district's capital improvement planning process. The district identifies its needs by conducting a facilities assessment study, a roof assessment and from a review of work orders and feedback from Buildings and Grounds staff. In addition, school administrators submit requests as part of the budget process. Facility assessments include many categories; site, structural, mechanical, safety and security, and educational adequacy. Assistant Superintendent Jay Harris showed a matrix that summarized facility assessments at Ray-Pec schools.He showed roofing studies, and information from an audit to determine accessibility for persons with disabilities. Some capital improvement funds are spent on leases. Improvements to athletic facilities are generally more visible than some other improvements. Areas of focus include safety and security enhancements, ADA compliance, parking lots and roads, and technology infrastructure. To review the presentation, go here:Capital Improvements Presentation
To review the Capital Improvements Plan, go here: Capital Improvements Plan
The board approved bus routes for 2013-2014. The board also heard reviews of the district's library media center program and the safety and security program. To read a recap of the board meeting, go here: Board Update
To see the safety and security presentation, go here: Safety and Security Program Review
The board took action to handle the disposal of surplus property in a new way. The board approved a memorandum of understanding with GovDeals to handle the sale of surplus property through an online auction service similar to Ebay.
The board also heard reviews of the public relations and buildings and grounds programs. To read a recap of the board meeting, go here: Board Update
The approval followed a public hearing at which no members of the public spoke.
Notice of tax rate hearing
Tax rate history
To read the staff wellness program review, go here: Staff Wellness
To read a recap of the entire board meeting, go here: Board Update
Monsees, who officially began work on July 1, thanked York for the welcome, and said he has spent the first few weeks meeting with year-round employees, including those at the Administrative Services Center. He has attended chamber of commerce meetings in Peculiar and Raymore, and is beginning to meet people in the community. He also has been spending time meeting with the Cabinet and preparing for the start of the new school year. He noted that an Administrative Retreat was scheduled for July 26 and a School Board Retreat for Aug. 1. Both retreats will include discussion of major district initiatives, including the strategic plan.
New Associate Principal
The board approved hiring Kristina Martin as the new Associate Principal at Ray-Pec High School, pending her release from her current contract. Martin was the assistant principal at the Ray-Pec Freshman Center before leaving Ray-Pec in 2009 to accept a position as head principal at Archie High School. She is returning to Ray-Pec from the Park Hill School District, where she was Coordinator of Educational Programs during the 2012-2013 school year. Martin will replaceRyan Gooding, who is the new Technology Director for the district.
Tax levy hearing
The board scheduled the annual tax levy public hearing for 6:45 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22. The hearing will immediately precede the regular monthly meeting.
Child Nutrition Program Review
The board also heard a review of the district's Child Nutrition program:
Child Nutrition Program Review
To read the entire board meeting review, go here: Board update