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Sept. 25, 2023, SSD200 Board meeting

The Sedalia School District 200 Board of Education met for its regular monthly meeting on Monday, Sept. 25, in the Heckart Performing Arts Center. Board Vice President Sam Kempton was absent.

Byrne and Jones Sports Construction presented their athletics facilities package, which includes soccer, tennis, softball and baseball facilities in front of Smith-Cotton High School in the area that is now youth football fields, and revamped practice fields behind the high school next to Tiger Stadium. Representatives said that if work on the baseball facility began around Nov. 1, it could be completed in mid-March, in time for the 2024 S-C Tigers baseball season. Cost for the entire project is about $12 million. Mid America Sports Construction presented its plan at the August board meeting. 

The board approved a bid from Professional Contractors and Engineers (PCE) for $4,650,000 for building upgrades. The focus of the upgrades is guided and secure entries, as well as renovations to the Sedalia Middle School gym and former pool area. Assistant Superintendent Chris Pyle said the district received seven bids for the work and that Hollis and Miller, the architectural firm that worked on the district’s long-range facilities plan, said PCE is highly regarded. Superintendent Dr. Todd Fraley said the upgrades were originally expected to cost more than $8 million.

Also Monday:

— Assistant Superintendent Chris Pyle informed the board that the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education reported that the district’s special education program is in compliance with all state and federal regulations and no corrective actions are required. Pyle said that Julie Harris from the Regional Professional Development Center stated that 100 percent compliance was unheard of in a district of Sedalia 200’s size, especially for the past two assessment cycles.

— A memorandum of understanding with Missouri Valley College was approved. It is a non-exclusive collaborative agreement opening potential opportunities for Sedalia 200 students and staff to obtain college and graduate level credit, discounts, and shared resources.

— The board approved a request by Team SCREAM’s board to sponsor the FTC team at Smith-Cotton Junior High by paying for registrations, materials, and a stipend for the teachers for this school year. The total estimated cost is $9,770. SCJH teachers Maleah Perkins and Shelly Heritage-Paxson have volunteered to be the coaches for this first year. The team will be made up of a maximum of 15 students from SCJH who meet after school twice a week throughout the school year and will attend 4-5 competitions in the central Missouri and Kansas City area (November - March).

— Approved was a collection of policies and regulations, most either mandated by the state statute or case law, or recommended by Missouri Consultants for Education. 

— The Title I.C. Migrant Program evaluation and Title III Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students evaluation both were approved. The district has seen a 23 percent increase from last school year in the number of EL students in the district requiring services. 

— The board approved purchase of a van, not to exceed $55,000, for daily student transportation support and by the athletics and activities departments when the size is more appropriate as compared to a bus. In September, vans were used 28 times to transport athletic teams to competitions. 

— The district’s Comprehensive Communications and Community Relations plan for the 2023-24 school year was approved. 

— Megan Hartman of Callis and Associates provided the board with a presentation on helping the district with upgrades and concept changes for the district website. She also discussed the advantages of a districtwide branding campaign to better market the district to potential employees and students.

— Changing the Jan. 29, 2024, meeting to Jan. 22, 2024 was discussed. This is due to the number of weeks between the December and February board meetings.

— Administration recommended that district facilities rental schedule changes not be implemented until the start of the 2024-2025 school year. The rental schedule has not been addressed for many years, and the current rates are far below fair market value.

— L.J. Hart & Co. has proposed financing options for the board’s consideration to help pay for the proposed activities complex and other district capital improvements. Lease certificates that are sold locally at first, then if not sold out are offered more broadly. Enough working capital to start any project. 

-- Sedalia School District Foundation President Deidre Esquivel said the foundation has secured a tent for the Homecoming tailgate party. There will be eight reunions during Homecoming weekend. 

-- Sedalia NEA President Tyler Janke said elections were held but all incumbents retained their seats by acclamation. The group is up 12 members from last year, and is hoping to reach 100 members by the end of the semester. Members are being polled to determine the group’s focus for this school year, with salaries and benefits currently a priority. 

-- Sedalia Community Educators Association President Misty Tow said membership is up to 379 members, and they are still accepting members. New businesses were added to the member discount card. SCEA provided lunch for new staff during orientation. The group is holding an open meeting in October at S-C High for anyone interested in learning more about the organization.