Return to Headlines

Nov. 13, 2023, SSD200 Board meeting

The Sedalia School District 200 Board of Education met for its regular monthly meeting on Monday, Nov. 13, in the Commons area at Smith-Cotton High School. All members were in attendance.

Assistant Superintendent Chris Pyle noted that during the October meeting, elementary school boundary changes were discussed, primarily moving students from Skyline to Horace Mann and moving students from Parkview to Washington. The district has determined the best course of action is to first decide if either the fourth grade or the sixth grade should be moved into SMS. Then redistricting should coincide with that decision during the 2025-26 school year after all renovations to SMS have been completed. Superintendent Dr. Todd Fraley suggested that a decision to move fourth grade to SMS would create new spaces at the district's elementary schools. This space could then be repurposed in different ways to address current district issues. A couple of possible suggestions included creating alternative schools within the schools for chronic behavioral issues as well as creating a potential location for a district employee daycare.

The board approved termination of the lease agreement with the Sedalia Parks and Recreation Department for district property located at Smith-Cotton High School that is used as youth football fields. This property and its improvements will return ownership to the district, allowing it to move forward with the construction of new athletic facilities on that space. 

The district’s special needs population is growing; since the 2018-19 school year, there has been an increase of 141 IEP students without additional administrative-level support. The board and district administration have supported additional teaching positions and paraprofessional positions to meet the additional needs from this growth. Pyle and district administration now see a need to add additional leadership for board consideration. Pyle discussed making the current ESSER-funded special education supervisory position permanent starting next school year and to consider other leadership options for the department to help continue meeting needs and maintaining expectations for compliance.

Filing dates for the April 2024 Board of Education election were set as 8 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday, Dec. 5-26 at the district Central Office, 2806 Matthew Drive. Qualifications, as provided by statute, are that candidates be citizens of the United States and resident taxpayers of the district, who have resided in the district for a minimum of one year immediately preceding the election, if elected, and who are at least 24 years of age. Two members, each to serve a three-year term of office, will be elected.

Also Monday

-- A contract was approved between the district and the Department of Health and Senior Services, which provides financial support of $108,139.45 to the district in reducing lead concentration in schools as part of the Get the Lead out of School Drinking Water Act (RSMo 160.077). Additionally, a contract with Blackstone Environmental Services ($44,015) was approved for drinking water testing.

-- Assessments of the Early Childhood Education and Parents as Teachers programs were approved.

-- The board accepted a donation of $3,000 from McCollester Construction to go toward student of the month incentives for Smith-Cotton Junior High.

-- Dr. Fraley proposed that the district buy up to four 14- or 15-passenger yellow school buses to begin replacing some of the passenger vans that are no longer being manufactured. Any vehicle transporting students that is manufactured for more than 10 passengers including the driver must be a yellow school bus, by state statute. Yellow school buses that are under 26,000 lbs. and hold no more than 15 passengers are available and do not require a CDL to operate. This will come back for a decision at a later meeting.

-- Smith-Cotton High Principal Wade Norton presented proposed revisions to the Course and Student Resource Guide for the 2024-2025 school year. 

-- The board discussed reinstating a grant writer position for the district. This person would write grant proposals, apply for reimbursements, monitor implementation, and collect data for necessary evaluation and follow-up reporting. A decision will be made at a future meeting. Fraley said a successful grant writer should pay for their own salary tenfold. 

-- Increasing the in-district travel reimbursement rate to the IRS-required rate of $.655/mile was discussed.

-- A donation of land adjacent to Skyline Elementary was approved. The donation is from Peggy Sparks and the late Nolan Sparks through their corporation, Sparking Acres Farms Enterprises, LTD. It is a strip of land between two residential properties that could allow students to walk from the neighborhood to the west of the school directly to the Skyline playground.

-- An RFQ for insurance broker services has been advertised and is due Friday, Nov. 17, at 2 pm to the board office. The district-level committee will evaluate the proposals and then set interviews with selected firms.  A report back to the board will happen in December, with a final recommendation in January for approval.

— The SMS renovation includes updates to the gymnasium and new flooring in the gym area.  The flooring is suspected to have a minute amount of mercury content that requires specialized plans for removal. A request was made to seek bids for removal of the Sedalia Middle School gym floor to ensure proper disposal.

-- Sedalia School District Foundation announced a new scholarship, the C.O. and Gladys Green Scholarships. Both were educators in the district. The scholarships will be for students pursuing education in trade or technical education schools. 

-- Sedalia Community Educators Association announced the building-level Outstanding Associates:

Loftus: Maggie Anderson

Washington: Randy Simons

Horace Mann: Kaylyn Dickon

Skyline: Amanda Couch

Heber Hunt: Erica Pfannenstiel

Parkview: Harley Wolfe

SMS: Mia Anderson

SCJH: Nathan Cramer

Smith-Cotton High: Kevin Fox

Whittier: Lynne Welton

Central Office: Kristie Jonson

SCEA will award four $250 staff scholarships for those who are pursuing an advanced degree.

-- Sedalia NEA’s teacher and associate of the year honors will be awarded in May during Teacher Appreciation Week. The group also is working on its spring membership drive.