burr.JPG

Dr. Jeremy Burright

jburright@fxbulldogs.net

(660) 686-2421

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save

Superintendent's Update:

 

Evacuation Update 1/16/19

The Fairfax R-III School District wants you to know that above all else, we value the safety and health of our children and work consistently to ensure they are safe within our care.

We want to take this opportunity to inform you of an incident that occurred today that required us to evacuate our school building. Fairfax R-III experienced an electrical fire which originated in our business classroom with one of our laptops. All students, K-12, were evacuated and the fire was put out by a staff-member using a hand-held fire extinguisher. Emergency personnel were notified, came on site, and offered assistance where needed. When the fire department had given the all clear, we allowed elementary students to return to class, but kept high school students in the Vocational Building so that neither groups of students would be exposed to the fumes from the smoke and fire extinguisher.

Because all students were safe, we kept students at school until our normal dismissal time.

We thank you for being such great supporters of our district and for allowing us the opportunity to help care for your students. 

 

 

Board Meeting Summary 11/15/18

 

Good afternoon! What follows is my summary of the Board Meeting from 11/15/18. Our next meeting will be on 12/20/18 with a work session prior to the regular session. Times will be posted on the Draft Agenda, prior to the meeting, on the door to the Elementary School Entrance.

 

Financial Report:

 

Our district’s current fund balance is $888,601.39. This is up from last year due to the leftover insurance payment from our roof work. When that work is done this spring, the district will pay out the remainder of that money. Expenses this month were $100,391.35, an increase over last year of $8000. This is primarily due to the purchase of a floor scrubber for the building, but there has also been a slight increase in payroll and more repairs on our heating system than last year.

 

There is currently a situation at the County and State level regarding the funding provided by windmill developments. To summarize the situation and give a simple explanation, wind farms currently pay property taxes as a private industry. The next development is considering selling to Ameren and if this is done, because Ameren is a public utility, they will not be taxed the same. As a private company and after tax abatement, the new wind farm would have brought us approximately $250,000 per year of new revenue. If it is purchased by Ameren it would provide us very little. Because Ameren is a public utility, state statute dictates that they are taxed at a different, lower rate than private industry. Allen Andrews and representatives from the County Commission are working to get this statute changed so that wind farms are held separate and taxed as a private industry regardless of ownership.

 

Our lease purchase funds have $411,589.00 remaining of the $450,000. This is after payments to the architect have been made. Our first payment to our contractor was approved by the Board and will be made this week.

 

Construction Update:

 

The bricklayers are almost done with tuck pointing and the work around our gym windows. Braces for our beams will go in next week, and the electrician is nearly done in the locker rooms. Thank you for working with us while we continue to try to get work done.

 

Transportation Update:

 

We need certified bus drivers. We are looking at ways to streamline the practice transportation so that we don’t have multiple vehicles running multiple trips in different directions. If you get a chance please thank Melissa Comstock, Chris Easley, and Jeremy Palmer for driving our buses. Bus drivers are few and far between these days and we couldn’t have school without their help.

 

Also, if you get a chance, thank a winter coach. It is likely that they are transporting kids to and from practice in order to make our EA Wolves COOP work. We love the COOP and so we are thankful that they are doing the transportation.

 

Wellness:

 

We met with teachers the week of 11/12/18 to discuss the tracking and incentive system for elementary and secondary student wellness programs. We feel we have ironed out some of the kinks and that when the wellness committee meets again we will be able to finalize the plan for presentation to the staff in January. Roll-out of the program will be in February, so get ready to help students track their healthy choices.

 

Selection of an Auditor:

 

The district has decided to partner with Conrad and Higgins for school auditing services for the next three years. Conrad and Higgins come recommended by NW Missouri superintendents and book keepers and they were also the lowest bid.

 

EA Wolves COOP Meeting Report:

 

The COOP Board met October 30th. At this meeting we discussed the handling of finances related to the COOP including the payment of coaches and the sharing of the cost of single-site facilities. We also discussed the difficulty of after-practice transportation and the potential to cancel district transportation for students after practices are finished each day. Though there was general agreement that the issues discussed were valid, at this time the Board has made no indication that Fairfax R-3 will work to modify the current financial agreement and as of 11/19/18 we are still working with Tarkio to plan transportation before and after practice.

 

We work with Tarkio under two EA Wolves agreements. The first is the original COOP agreement that grew from our partnership in football, and the second is an administrative agreement which defines details for supervision, coaching, purchasing, etc. I have reached out to Mrs. Coleman, the superintendent in Tarkio, so that we could work together to combine these two documents into a single COOP agreement which can then serve as a guide for our decision making moving forward.  Our current agreement with Tarkio for EA Wolves is valid for another school year.

 

Work Session in December:

 

It is the time of year to begin looking at next year’s budget, calendar, facility needs, and salary schedule. I have completed collecting information for a salary study and am in the process of summarizing data for presentation to the board during our December work session. We will also look at facility priorities and hopefully be able to present a first draft of next year’s calendar. Once we have completed the work session I will solicit input from the staff to discuss recommendations for next year’s salary schedule and calendar. We are still working from the recommendations given by the Facilities Committee in 2017-2018 to guide our discussion on facilities.

 

It’s my goal to have a calendar that is best for all stakeholders, a salary schedule that is as competitive as possible, and continue to upgrade/care for our facility in the best way possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Board Meeting Update 10/15/18

 

We always want to keep you updated as much as possible and to accomplish that I am sharing the notes from our Board meeting.

 

Date Change: Normally our Board meets on the third Thursday of each month. However, this month that conflicts with Parent/Teacher conferences so they instead chose to meet Monday, October 15th.

 

Construction Update: Contractors are onsite and we have cleared out the locker rooms in order to prep them for demolition. The substantial completion date (date when the architect evaluates finished work) is December 17th and the final completion date is January 4th. We should start seeing work on the exterior bricks of the new gym along with electrical work in the locker rooms soon. A demo team will work over weekends to prep the areas that will need demo and with any luck our construction/repairs will be completed by the deadline.

 

Bus Grant: We will be participating in a bus grant this year which will hopefully get us a new bus for free! We will have to pay licensing etc. but thanks to the fines leveled against Volkswagen, money is available for schools to update their bus fleets with buses that get better emissions. In return, we have to demolish a bus or at least make it so the bus can't be used. I'm happy to do that and have some creative ways to be in compliance with that requirement.

 

SPED, Title, and PAT information: I have shared a document with the Board that details information about our intervention programming. I will share this document with you via email if requested. We currently service 16 students in our SPED program, 15 students in Title, and 12 students in our PAT program. Most students receive interventions for multiple needs so the time required to service students is multiplied based on need. If you have questions, please let me know.

 

Communication Plan: I spoke with the Board regarding communication from the Superintendent's office and about when and how that communication will be disseminated. I discussed communication on two different levels:

 

  • Non-emergency: this communication is broken into three different categories with each category having its own schedule.
    • Staff Communication: Staff can expect communication from me each month after the Board meeting and timely updates with information as a need for information arises.
    • Board Communication: The Board gets weekly communication from me in one form or another as well as timely information when needed.
    • Public: The public gets monthly information from me and timely information via the Superintendent's Webpage and other electronic media.
    • All: have access to the articles we submit to the Newspaper which detail important events and summaries of school information like test scores and sporting events.
  • Emergency:
    • Immediate Communication: Goes to staff, 911, utility (if necessary), and Board Members. Parents will not be notified at this point at the beginning of a situation unless it is clear we will need parents to pick up students from school. Students may be expected to return to class if the assessment determines there is no danger. 
    • After assessment: Once we determine that students will be returning or not returning to class we will alert parents, staff, and Board Members.
    • Post Event: A debrief/explanation of events will be sent to everyone after the event.
    • All communication will contain essential, verified information. We will work to give the most complete information possible and talk about what we know for sure.
    • While this piece discusses what and how communication will happen, our primary concern is always for student safety. If an even occurs that may be a danger to our students, we will always act in a way that keeps our students as safe as possible.
2019-2020 School Calendar: Next year's calendar will only be calculated by hours instead of hours and days. We will be required to schedule 1044 hours for the regular year plus 36 hours of makeup time. Additionally, any amount of time attended during the school day will count towards the 1044 required hours. As of now, the 1044 hours are the only requirement. 

 

MUSIC Credit: Because of the low number of MUSIC claims our district will be receiving an 8% credit on premiums. MUSIC insures our facility and provides liability coverage for our district. They are not our health care provider.

 

Science Certification: DESE is working to reduce the number of different HS Science certifications from nine to four. Teachers who gain their science certification will also be able to teach introductory level courses in all of the science disciplines.

 

Selection of an Auditor: Art White and Associates will no longer be providing our auditing services due to health issues. Our thoughts go with Mr. White as we search for someone to fill his void. School districts undergo yearly audits in order to ensure that the records kept at the district level match what is reported to DESE. Annual audits are not fraud audits but with a new auditor, it may be a good time to engage in that activity. While our annual audits have always been good, starting with a new auditor and a clean slate regarding our financial work just seems like a good idea. Because we have additional time to review auditors, this item was tabled for the November meeting.

 

Approval of ACES Contract: Each year we contract with ACES to provide Special Education services that our staffing pattern cannot provide. The contract for services includes consultation, behavioral observations, OT/PT, and special education testing. This contract was approved for the 18-19 school year.

 

Football Field Improvements: Two items emerged from the football field discussion. Bleachers and irrigation. I am currently seeking rough estimates on new bleachers which would be funded through fund-raising and irrigation will most likely be done by volunteers. I will keep you posted on both. However, if you'd like to donate to the Bleacher Project, please let me know. I feel confident that we will be successful in achieving the installation of both of these items.

 

Thank you all for always being supportive of each other and the work we do. Public education was originally purposed to create citizens. Let's make sure we exercise our right as citizens to vote. No matter what camp you are in, show up and let your voice be heard on November 6th.
 
The next Board Meeting is set for November 15th at 6:30 p.m.
 

Evacuation Update 10/3/18

Special thanks to Jeff Jobs for making the necessary repairs to our kitchen oven to properly vent Carbon Monoxide out of our kitchen. Mr. Jobs made these repairs on 10/2/18 in order to have us ready for school on 10/3/18. Mr. Jobs is one of many community members who gives time to our school and we deeply appreciate his work.

At this time, all issues cited by our Empire Gas inspector for repair have been remedied. At no time did the inspector detect any gas leak within the building.

Evacuation 10/2/18

In an effort to maintain open communication, I want to take advantage of an opportunity to debrief today's evacuation. Thanks goes to all Fairfax R-3 staff for acting so quickly and responsibly in regards to student safety today. Our students are always the foremost concern for us and I feel we did a good job moving them to a safe area and ensuring the building was secure while inspectors did their jobs.

 

We evacuated in response to staff reports of a natural gas smell on the third floor. When this report was received, Mrs. Burke communicated with me and I gave the go-ahead to evacuate the building. Emergency personnel were contacted as well as the gas company. At that time the gas company advised us to evacuate and not to activate switches, windows, etc. To facilitate a safe evacuation, teachers received a visitor to their rooms informing them of the steps to evacuate their students.

 

Personnel from the gas company and volunteer fire department inspected the building and found no gas leak inside the building. They detected only a minor leak on our gas meter, which was not deemed a risk, and steps are being taken to repair it.
 
Additionally, they checked for CO2 emissions and found that one of our ovens in the kitchen was not properly vented. Our repairman is scheduled to be here before school tomorrow morning to make repairs and he has the authority to give us the all clear once those repairs are made.  

 

We are happy that all of our students were kept safe, that a possible danger was appropriately reported, and that no significant danger to students was actually present. Once the all clear was given to re-enter the building, students returned to the building to finish the school day.

 

 

9/21/18

We are getting closer to creating a student wellness program! Our connected contact at 4H, Mrs. Sam O'Riley has filed a grant that we hope will help fund our program. Keep your fingers crossed!

Homecoming was a success! Not only did we dominate the football game (which should have ended at half-time) but the 5th quarter was fun for all. Thank you to all of the community members and staff who helped make that happen.

On 9/20/18 the Fairfax R-3 School Board met for Regular and Executive session meetings.

When the meeting began, Kay Rosenbaum presented a concern regarding the lack of lighting on the South side of the football field. She presented a petition citing safety concerns signed by multiple community members. KCPL has been contacted to install area lights to address this concern. Their personnel have inspected the site and the facility is scheduled for the installation of two area lights. These lights should properly illuminate the field and should cost the district $52.58 per month.

Our roofs on the Elementary, High School, and Cafeteria have been replaced with a cost of $575,632.00. Total replacement, including the gym, will be $855,157.00. The roof replacement is completely funded by insurance except for our $1000.00 deductible. The roofers also presented a check to the District in the amount of $2000.00 to cover damaged items from a leak that occurred when the elementary roof was being replaced.

The Board approved the construction contract with The Wilson Group for the 2018 Construction Project. Currently, the project involves repairs to the gym infrastructure, and upgrades to windows, bathrooms, and locker rooms. Additionally, repairs to the High School Science room and updates to the High School bathrooms will be performed. The projected completion date for this work is January 4, 2019.

The District is exploring the possibility of a grant for the purchase of a new bus. While it is in our Seven Year Budget Blueprint to purchase a bus in 2019, the grant deadline is Fall 2018. More information and a Board decision regarding the purchase of a bus will be discussed at the October Board Meeting.

During the principal’s report Mr. Barnes cited that our 2017-2018 test scores will be released October 29th.

As mentioned, the Board approved the first item of New Business, the construction contract.

The second item, Board Policy additions and changes, were discussed and approved. The new/updated policies are listed below. Please feel free to review them on our District Website:

P1445

P2745

PR2765

P2810

P2825

R2850

P3470

P4130

PR4411

P4560

PR4831

P4865

P5610

P6116

P6135

P6140

P6160

PR6190

P7230

 

The Board approved travel costs for our FCCLA Cluster trip in excess of $2000.00. This trip is paid for by student fund-raising but requires Board approval for costs in excess of $1000.00.

The Board approved the cost for rubber crumbles for our playground surface at $1540.00.

The Board accepted and approved the 2018 Annual Audit. We will amend the current budget after we received our actual, local taxes and again at the end of the year. This is necessary to ensure our money is assigned to areas where it can be  properly utilized and that we budget based on actual revenue.

We can welcome Kriston Wheeler onto our staff again as our permanent Votec driver and kitchen help! She has worked as a sub driver and sub kitchen help while we have transitioned our custodian and maintenance positions out of those responsibilities. Mrs. Wheeler will drive the Votec route daily, perform food pickups from Hy-Vee twice per week, and assist in the Kitchen one hour each day.

Kerry Baker was approved to transition to a full time schedule. She will have an additional hour in the morning and afternoon. This additional time will be utilized to help us achieve a District goal of a well-maintained facility. 

The Board also approved the purchase of a floor scrubber! This machine will be used to clean hallways, cafeteria, gyms, and classrooms. We know from testing them last year that they make a huge difference in the cleanliness of our building and Kerry can’t wait to get started using it.

Our next Regular Session Board Meeting will be October 15th at 6:30 p.m. in the school library.

Good afternoon! What follows is a summary of our Board meeting on 10/15/18.
 
Date Change: Normally our Board meets on the third Thursday of each month. However, this month that conflicts with Parent/Teacher conferences so they instead chose to meet Monday, October 15th.
 
Construction Update: Contractors are onsite and we have cleared out the locker rooms in order to prep them for demolition. The substantial completion date (date when the architect evaluates finished work) is December 17th and the final completion date is January 4th. We should start seeing work on the exterior bricks of the new gym along with electrical work in the locker rooms soon. A demo team will work over weekends to prep the areas that will need demo and with any luck our construction/repairs will be completed by the deadline.
 
Bus Grant: We will be participating in a bus grant this year which will hopefully get us a new bus for free! We will have to pay licensing etc. but thanks to the fines leveled against Volkswagen, money is available for schools to update their bus fleets with buses that get better emissions. In return, we have to demolish a bus or at least make it so the bus can't be used. I'm happy to do that and have some creative ways to be in compliance with that requirement.
 
SPED, Title, and PAT information: I have shared a document with the Board that details information about our intervention programming. I will share this document with you via email if requested. We currently service 16 students in our SPED program, 15 students in Title, and 12 students in our PAT program. Most students receive interventions for multiple needs so the time required to service students is multiplied based on need. If you have questions, please let me know.
 
Communication Plan: I spoke with the Board regarding communication from the Superintendent's office and about when and how that communication will be disseminated. I discussed communication on two different levels:
  • Non-emergency: this communication is broken into three different categories with each category having its own schedule.
    • Staff Communication: You can expect communication from me each month after the Board meeting and timely updates with information you need as a need for information arises.
    • Board Communication: The Board gets weekly communication from me in one form or another as well as timely information when needed.
    • Public: The public gets monthly information from me and timely information via the Superintendent's Webpage and other electronic media.
    • All: have access to the articles we submit to the Newspaper which detail important events and summaries of school information like test scores and sporting events.
  • Emergency:
    • Immediate Communication: Goes to staff, 911, utility (if necessary), and Board Members. Parents will not be notified at this point. Students may be expected to return to class if the assessment determines there is no danger. 
    • After assessment: Once we determine that students will be returning or not returning to class we will alert parents, staff, and Board Members.
    • Post Event: A debrief/explanation of events will be sent to everyone after the event.
    • All communication will contain essential, verified information. We will work to give the most complete information possible and talk about what we know for sure.
    • While this piece discusses what and how communication will happen, our primary concern is always for student safety. If an even occurs that may be a danger to our students, we will always act in a way that keeps our students as safe as possible.
2019-2020 School Calendar: Next year's calendar will only be calculated by hours instead of hours and days. We will be required to schedule 1044 hours and 36 hours of makeup time. Additionally, any amount of time attended during the school day will count towards the 1044 required hours.
 
MUSIC Credit: Because of the low number of MUSIC claims our district will be receiving an 8% credit on premiums. MUSIC insures our facility and provides liability coverage for our district. They are not our health care provider.
 
Science Certification: DESE is working to reduce the number of different HS Science certifications from nine to four. Teachers who gain their science certification will also be able to teach introductory level courses in all of the science disciplines.
 
Selection of an Auditor: Art White and Associates will no longer be providing our auditing services due to health issues. Our thoughts go with Mr. White as we search for someone to fill his void. School districts undergo yearly audits in order to ensure that the records kept at the district level match what is reported to DESE. Annual audits are not fraud audits but with a new auditor, it may be a good time to engage in that activity. While our annual audits have always been good, starting with a new auditor and a clean slate regarding our financial work just seems like a good idea. Because we have additional time to review auditors, this item was tabled for the November meeting.
 
Approval of ACES Contract: Each year we contract with ACES to provide Special Education services that our staffing pattern cannot provide. The contract for services includes consultation, behavioral observations, OT/PT, and special education testing. This contract was approved for the 18-19 school year.
 
Football Field Improvements: Two items emerged from the football field discussion. Bleachers and irrigation. I am currently seeking rough estimates on new bleachers which would be funded through fund-raising and irrigation will most likely be done by volunteers. I will keep you posted on both. However, if you'd like to donate to the Bleacher Project, please let me know. I feel confident that we will be successful in achieving the installation of both of these items.
 
Thank you all for always being supportive of each other and the work we do. Public education was originally purposed to create citizens. Let's make sure we exercise our right as citizens to vote. No matter what camp you are in, show up and let your voice be heard on November 6th.