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Dr. Jeremy Burright

jburright@fxbulldogs.net

(660) 686-1010

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Superintendent's Update:

Fairfax R3 Response to 4/3/2020 Governor's Address

This afternoon, at 5 p.m., Governor Parson extended his stay at home order to all counties within the state of Missouri through April 24th. While this presents a change in policy at the state level, Fairfax R3 has already taken preemptive steps to ensure we are monitoring the safety of our students, staff, and wider community. We are  employing formal distance learning initiatives in regular and special education starting Monday, April 6th and staff are working reduced hours in order to limit their exposure to each other and the community. Additionally, our custodial crew has been working diligently to clean the building for our eventual return to regular classroom instruction.
 
At this time we will continue in Phase 2 of our closure until one or both of the following occurs:
 
  1. There are specific directions regarding the closure of public schools that describe steps to take with contracted and hourly employees.
  2. The governor or other governing body bans non-essential work.
  3. We reconvene onsite classes 5/4/2020.

Currently, neither of these two qualifying factors have occurred and we are in compliance with direction from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued after Governor Parson's address.

 
It is always our primary function to provide safety to students, staff, and stakeholders. At this time of so much worry and uncertainty, it is our goal to provide as much stability and security as we can manage. The people of the Fairfax R3 School District take today's Covid-19 environment seriously and we will do our best to support and protect our families.
 
Please review the governor's proclamation from 4/3/2020 here: Stay at Home Missouri Order.pdf
 
Please review the district's Covid-19 plan here: https://www.fairfaxk12mo.us/index.php/covid-19-information/fairfax-r-3-closure-plan/
 
If you have questions or comments, please contact the Office of the Superintendent.

 

 

Special Board Meeting Summary 3/30/2020

In accordance with state statute, the board had what would qualify as an emergency meeting on 3/30/2020 to discuss a prolonged shutdown of the Fairfax R3 School District. This meeting was held via Zoom and invitations to the meeting were sent to all individuals who expressed interest after mass notification via Textcaster. The content of this meeting dealt specifically and only with a change to school services due to the Covid-19 virus.

 

Phase Two Closure:
Starting Monday, 4/6/2020 we will move into a phase two closure and will remain in a phase two closure until May 1st or such a time that the governor lifts the social distancing order. Please review the Covid-19 Emergency Shutdown Plan under the Covid-19 Information Link on our website for more details.
Administration and the board will review progress during the regular board meeting on April 16th and information will be included with the regular board update. 
 
Questions and answers during last night's meeting:

 

Q: What about graduation?

 

A: If we are able to resume on May 1st (or a date that close to it) graduation will be on May 17th as planned.

 

Q: What about prom?

 

A: There will be a prom but it may have to take place after graduation.

 

Q: What about senior trip?

 

A: At this time the itinerary for senior trip will have to be redone. The timeline for spending senior class fund-raising money will need to be adjusted and that expenditure timeline change, along with a new itinerary will have to be approved by the board.

 

Q: What will the responsibilities of the teachers be?

 

A: Teachers will be expected to maintain regular contact with students and their families while implementing Phase 2 of the instructional plan. SPED teachers will have the responsibility of providing services  with the added responsibilities of documenting parent contacts, minutes of service, and complying with IDEA regulations.

 

Q: Was the Presidential recommendation of 30 days of social distancing taken into consideration in this decision?

 

A: Yes. The length of the current closure coincides with the timeline established by the federal government. A May 1st return date will give us a total of 31 work days or 6 weeks of separation. However, experts have been clear that the virus determines its own timeline. The virus is in all 50 states and each state is at its own point in the spread of the virus. It is possible that the virus will peak nationally or in other states before Missouri hits its peak. Our consideration to open will be based on our most current and close-to-home reality.
 
As of 3/31/2020 local health professionals have issued a "Safer at Home" order requesting that the public focus on staying at home unless engaged in activities essential activities like work or going to the grocery store. The order can be found here: http://acema.4unow.us/p/default.aspx?id=1764&pid=5b4afd98-c60b-45f2-b08c-c0812b36e1fd

 

Q: Have we given consideration to opening our facility to the hospital if space is needed?

 

A: Though no one has contacted us yet, we always maintain a policy that the hospital need only ask and we will do everything we can to accommodate their needs.

 

Q: What about families that aren't asking their students to observe social distancing outside of school? Why are kids still going to parks and playing basketball together at the park?

 

A: There aren't any qualifiers for social distancing and groups less than 10. At this time social distancing and cleanliness are our primary weapons against the virus. While, based on current data, the age demographic of the K-12 student doesn't present significant risk to complications from Covid-19, they do run the risk of spreading the virus without knowing they are infected. Social distancing should be observed by all age groups at this time regardless of perceived health. One thing we do have to keep in mind is that the virus is spread through droplets in the air AND on surfaces. While time outside is needed for all children, wisdom should be used regarding when, where, and how that occurs. We all have to do our part. 

 

Q: Is there a treatment for Covid-19 yet?

 

A: Up to this point, Dr. Fauci has been clear on this topic. No. There is not a treatment or cure. There is anecdotal evidence that some treatments my impact the virus, but there is nothing substantiated by medical research. Anecdotal means, "maybe, maybe not" and people should be very careful adopting "cures" that aren't approved by healthcare professionals and the FDA. We will know there is a reliable treatment and/or cure when it is widely adopted by health care professionals in our nation and around the globe.

 

Q: If this is just like the flu, why is everybody so worried? Can't we just get it and get over it like any other flu virus?

 

A: According to Dr. Fauci this strand of the flu is 10 times more dangerous than the strands of flu we normally see. As of the governor's daily address on 3/30/2020, Dr. Williams, Missouri's Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services, reports that of 100 cases of infection, roughly 81 will resolve (recover) without any complications, 16-18 people will need medical assistance, and 6-8 of 100 cases will need severe care in an ICU or with a respirator. While Dr. Fauci believes that, like the normal flu, the body will develop its own antibodies after recovering from Covid-19, re-exposure tests have not yet been conducted to confirm this. 

 

Thank you for your hard work and for dealing with all the stress of this shutdown. The unknown is far scarier than the known and hopefully knowing the length of the closure will allow us all to adjust to a new rhythm and new practices. As I have said in other communication, stay sharp, keep a schedule, and don't go native. However, it is perfectly acceptable for district and homeschool teachers to teach in your sweats right now. Just remember the camera on your computer sees the whole room.

 

 

 

Lunch Service Update 3/30/2020

In this evolving situation, it is advisable to make sure whatever process we have in place for lunch services keeps everyone as healthy as possible. At this time, I have not been notified that any of our personnel have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. However, as the virus continues to spread we feel it is wise to make our lunch system as safe as possible.

 

In order to make our lunch services safer, we will be implementing these changes to our lunch program.

 

  1. Individuals working in food service, either delivering or preparing, should wear plastic gloves. Currently, kitchen staff wear gloves but drivers do not. Though drivers have no direct contact with food, this will be an added safety measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19 while we try to serve our community.
  2. Pickups for lunches will now be made through the kitchen service window inside the cafeteria. This window will be clearly marked.
  3. As much as possible, remember 6 foot distancing between coworkers and with the community. While drivers deliver food, it is important to maintain the recommended distance. A great idea is to designate a location by the door, safe from animals, where the meals could be dropped off. All deliveries are occurring between 11:00 and 12:00. 
  4. When possible we will set food at the door and not hand it off to anyone. Food hand-offs violate the 6' rule and we want everyone involved in this process as safe as possible. 
  5. Please ensure that dogs and other animals that might cause issues are properly restrained during delivery times. 
  6. If you have signed up for lunch pickup, please be here by 12:00. Due to lack of participants, the kitchen will no longer be open until 1:00. 
Our goal is to continue this service as long as possible and keep everyone involved healthy. While it is not a required action, we would love notification if someone in your household contracts the coronavirus so that we can make a plan to continue to provide lunch service while ensuring the safety of our staff and their families.

 

Lunch Service Update and Board Summary 3/20/2020

There is a new development for us in this evolving Covid-19 closure process. DESE has allowed us to use only our high school numbers for free and reduced lunch as the determining percentage for community-wide lunches. Because our district-wide numbers would not have qualified us this is an exceptional  accommodation. This is an amazing opportunity to serve all children in our district ages 0-18. 

 

Here is what you need to know:
  • ALL lunches are now free for ALL children ages 0-18.  
  • Once your children are signed up, they receive lunch every day. There is no daily lunch count.
  • If you have already signed up, you are still signed up. However, if you would like to add children to the list for your family you can do so by the new deadline.
If you have not signed up yet please do so. Here is the information we still need.
  • Name(s) of child(ren)
  • Chocolate or white milk.
  • Address within our district.
  • Pickup or Delivery
To sign up call (660) 686-2421 ext 2 or email kburke@fxbulldogs.net. All signups are due by 8:00 pm, Sunday, 3/22/2020. Due to signups taking place over the weekend, the best communication will be via email. Please feel free to use the phone to leave a message as well. 

 

Board Update
Good morning! Thank you for your dedication to our shared, educational purpose. The fact that you are reading this tells me that you are still connected and ready to care for our children and our community. There is important information in this communication so be sure to read it completely and look at the attachment.

Salary Schedule:
The board approved a 2% raise to the base of our certified staff salary schedule and $0.59 raise for non-certified staff. These increases will be represented on teacher contracts and go into effect in the 20-21 fiscal year. This consistent action by the board over the last few years represents a change for our district in terms of pay. In the past salaries were heavily debated and sometimes frozen due to finances. This illustrates that the board is willing to invest in our people. Please thank them if you see them.
 
State Testing:
Yesterday afternoon, Margie Vandeven, the Missouri Commissioner of Education, announced that we will not be administering MAP and EOC tests this year. This puts the state at odds with federal requirements, but DESE will be filing a waiver request that will most likely exempt us from any fallout for non-compliance with ESSA.
 
School Closures:
As of 1:30, 3/19/2020, all schools in Missouri are closed.
 
Makeup Days:
We continue to hear that we will not have to make up days lost to Covid-19 closure.
 
Mowing Bids:
We are now in the process of soliciting mowing bids. If you know someone that might be interested, please spread the word. 
 
Transportation:
  • One of our buses passed inspection with flying colors, one needed a windshield wiper, and the other two need a number of items repaired. We're in the process of getting those repairs done.
  • We are using a tracking system on our bus route now called BusWhere. This allows us to track the bus by GPS, plot stops and stop times, notify parents when the bus is near, and gives a daily route history. 
 
Board Reorganization:
New board members will be brought on-board in April as planned. Because we do not need an election, we can proceed as we normally do.
 
Covid-19 Shutdown Plan
The board approved the plan as presented. This decision showed a strong, collective, moral compass and a willingness to care for our staff members in a time of uncertainty. In a time when many businesses and some school districts are stepping away from supporting personnel through this crisis, the Fairfax board demonstrated an understanding that in order to keep a great school, we have to take care of our good people. They unanimously passed a plan that will ensure financial support for all of our employees. If you see a board member, please thank them. This was truly a decision made out of a desire to do good in our district. For more information on this please call.
 
Alternative Method of Instruction Plan
Mr. Barnes shared the instructional plan that will be used during this shutdown and it will be posted and shared today with staff via Google Docs. For information on this please feel free to call.
 
Facility Condition:
  • The Facility Condition Committee will still meet Monday, March 23rd. We will complete the prioritizing of the inside-the-building walkthrough and walk the outside of the facilities.
  • We are looking at the possibility of moving to microfiber mops and consolidating the many custodial cubby holes onto carts. These time saving measures will hopefully help us maintain a cleaner, more orderly facility.  
 
Long Term Sub Policy
We will be revising the long term sub policy to clarify responsibilities and payment process for those who accept long-term sub positions. Currently, the policy is written so that a long-term sub has to work consecutive days in order to earn the increased pay associated with those responsibilities. We will most likely move to a process similar to a contract for long-term subs. Clear expectations help every relationship and saves headaches.
 
News from DESE:
 An NEW updated Q and A from DESE on COVID-19 has been released. Here is the link: https://dese.mo.gov/sites/default/files/Webinar-FAQ-3-13-2020.pdf. This information is updated daily. Please use this resource.  
 
ACT exam update: April 4th date is now June 13 and SAT exam will not occur in May but will be held in June.  
 
Governor Parson yesterday waived the requirements for any remaining student teaching and internship activities that would have taken place in our schools. This is great for our teacher education students.  
 
A+ Guidelines have been revised for 2020 Seniors. They will be posted on the Higher Ed website and direct information will be emailed to A+ Coordinators. 
 
Finally...
At this time and with the FLOOD of information coming at us, it is easy to begin to allow the cold tendrils of fear to creep in and take over. It is important to remember that you have a purpose and you are part of a community that needs you. Whether we look at our roles as family members or our roles in the educational process, you are needed to be steady, consistent, wise, and caring. This is an opportunity to reinforce how essential we are as educators and I say, "challenge accepted".

 

Lunch Services During Coronavirus Cancellation

Families,

We understand that accommodations during our current shutdown are being made by your families. These accommodations mean changes to work patterns, childcare, and meals. While we are unable to impact work and childcare at this time, we are able to offer food services to families who would like to have lunches prepared for either delivery to the home or pickup from school.

If there is enough interest, Fairfax will be preparing lunches for students according to the following plan:

  • Interested families will need to notify the Fairfax elementary office at 660-686-2421 ext. 2 by 3:00 p.m. on Thursday 3/19/2020 in order to be enrolled in this program.
  • When signing up, families will need to specify the names of the students who will be receiving lunch so the appropriate account can be charged.
  • Families will still be charged for lunches based on their free and reduced lunch qualifications. Those who qualify for free will still be free. Those who qualify for reduced price lunches will still be reduced, and those who are full-pay lunches will still be charged full price.
  • Each day the cafeteria staff will prepare the main lunch meal with sides, and that meal will be served to all students whose families have opted to receive it. No daily lunch counts will be taken and lunches will be served to all students who are opted in by their families.
  • Families will specify the type of milk each student wants when they sign up for this service. This type of milk will be served with the student’s lunch each day.
  • All students who are signed up will receive a meal each day from 3/23/2020 through 4/3/2020. Meals will not begin until Monday, March 23rd.

For ease of communication here is a summary of the information you need at sign up:

  • Names of students who you are signing up.
  • Type of milk each student wants with their lunch.
  • Whether your family needs pick-up or delivery (between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.).

For questions please call 660-686-2421 ext. 2 or email kburke@fxbulldogs.net.

 

Posted 3/17/2020

 

 

School Cancellation 3/16/2020

Atchison County Families,

It is after much discernment regarding the evolving situation with the Coronavirus that we pass the following information on to you. The school districts in Atchison County always keep the safety of our students as the primary factor in any decision-making process we undertake and it is through that lens that we now work.

We feel we have an opportunity to be proactive in a situation that is quickly escalating and will be upon us sooner than we would like. Already, 27 states have closed schools and many cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Missouri and our neighboring states. Whether we realize it or not, our communities are not immune to the spread of the coronavirus. The I-29 corridor passes through our county, we share classroom space with Maryville, and all of our students have contact with each other through family members and activities both inside and outside of school.

It is for these reasons, along with the rate and method of infection related to the coronavirus, that schools in Atchison County are canceling classes and all school activities beginning Thursday, 3/19/2020 until at least 4/6/2020. While classes are canceled beginning this Thursday, activities are cancelled effective immediately. Prior to reconvening regular classes, area superintendents will coordinate with health officials to determine current risk and decide whether or not coming back to school will be the safest course of action for our communities.

We understand that this is short notice for a closure that could last for an indefinite amount of time. We wanted to provide our families at least a small amount of time to prepare for an extended closure since a long-term closure involves different family resources than those that normally occur for one or two days. We want to be as fair as possible and keep everyone informed regarding this ongoing situation.

We thank you for your understanding and willingness to help with this issue.

 

Coronavirus Update 3/13/2020

Dear Fairfax Families,

FXR3 continues to monitor the situation surrounding the Coronavirus (Covid 19). Earlier this week we sent home a letter detailing what we knew regarding the prevention of the virus and how proper hygiene is key in preventing the spread of this virus. According to our most recent information the information in that letter is still true.

This week we have received communication both from the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). There is a flood of information regarding what the World Health Organization has labeled a pandemic. It is important that we be discerning regarding where our information comes from and choose sources that are as reliable as possible. DHSS and DESE both work to ensure that information they share is as factual as it can possibly be. We know how positively and negatively impactful the spread of information can be to a community.

Here is some information that may be new based on communication we have received this week:

  • There is a Missouri Coronavirus hotline which can be called for information: 1-877-435-8411
  • While it is not technically “seasonal” there is hope that the summer months will reduce the number of cases of Covid 19.
  • This strand of Covid 19 is a new virus and there is no cure or vaccine at this time.
  • 81% of contracted cases will be mild and school children are the least likely group to exhibit severe symptoms.
  • Adults over 60 with underlying health conditions are most at risk.
  • Individuals who have confirmed cases will be quarantined in their homes. Additionally, anyone who suspects they may be developing symptoms of Covid 19 is to contact their health provider immediately.
  • Prevention of the spread involves good hygiene (washing hands), cleaning touch surfaces regularly, keeping hands away from your face, and quarantine.
  • There was discussion at one meeting with DESE representatives about possibility of the governor taking action to close schools. If this happens we will comply regardless of how severely the illness affects our area.
  • Many schools are talking about Alternative Methods of Instruction (AMI) at this time.
    • The official rules for AMI do not go into effect until 20-21 and a district must have a DESE approved plan on file with DESE in order for a school’s attendance hours to be impacted from this practice.
    • AMI is designed to allow school districts to recover attendance hours and avoid weather make-up days by assigning work on snow days. Work turned in would count for attendance hours.
    • Because the official process doesn’t begin until next year, at this time, no schools would be able to recover attendance hours even with an AMI process in place. FXR3 is putting together a plan as a contingency even without the attendance hours benefit. We feel this will be a benefit to student learning in case of a mandated closure.
    • At this time, any AMI implemented would serve the sole purpose of trying to compensate for lost instruction so close to our state testing window.
    • AMI also does not compensate for the loss of instructional time for SPED students which is designated in their IEP’s. These minutes of service will most likely need to be made up after a prolonged closure.
  • At this time we do not know if the governor will close schools, or if time lost due to closure by the governor will need to be made up at the end of the school year. It is our hope that if we are mandated to close that those lost attendance days will not need to be made up.
  • There is no current state plan in place should this epidemic affect our state testing window.
  • Parents may opt to keep their children home due to illness or risk of illness, but will be subject to current board policies P2310, R2310, and attendance practices defined in the student handbook. Extended absences are reviewed by an attendance committee for forgiveness. We will, of course, be accommodating to families actually affected by Covid 19, but at this time, keeping students home due to risk of illness will most likely not be a forgiven absence.

We thank you ahead of time for responding appropriately to all sickness in your households. The steps you would normally take to fight the flu are the same steps that work against Covid 19. We also thank you for staying informed and working with us to ensure students are cared for and our school district functions with the most minimal disruption possible. We will keep you posted with new information as we receive it.

Updates will be posted on here, on the superintendent’s webpage. This web address is: https://fairfaxk12mo.us/index.php/administrationschool-board/superintendent/

For your convenience we have also listed links to CDC, DHSS, and DESE:

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

DHSS: https://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/novel-coronavirus/

DESE: https://dese.mo.gov/communications/coronavirus-covid-19-information

 

You may also email the superintendent with any questions: jburright@fxbulldogs.net

 

Sincerely,

 

Jeremy Burright Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Fairfax R-III School District

 

Board Meeting Summary 2/19/2020

 

We need bus drivers! Did you know that our full time route bus driver makes $100 per day? In one year this position has the potential to earn over $16,000.00. The district pays for all of a person's fees related to training and licensing as well as rewarding a $300 bonus to current employees who earn their CDL with a bus endorsement.

 

First things first! Our snow day makeup is outlined below:

3/12/2020-Full day

3/13/2020-½ day

4/13/2020- Full day

5/14/2020-½ day (teacher workday)

5/15/2020-½ day (teacher workday)

We currently have three extra hours for the year with the changes listed above so if we don’t have anymore inclement weather or emergency dismissals, this schedule will most likely change again. We will always attend the required number of hours.


2020-2021 Fairfax R3 Calendar

The calendar presented to the staff prior to Christmas Break was approved by the Board. We will post this calendar on our website for public view. Here is the link: 2020-21 School Year Calendar Board Approved.pdf


Athletics

Junior High Cross Country was approved for the fall of 2020 and Mr. Barnes was approved as the 2019-2020 head golf coach.


Personnel

Resignations from Bambi Simmons and Melissa Comstock were accepted by the board.

We are on schedule to prep and present certified staff contracts in March 2020. 


Financial Information

Our current fund balance is $1,680,541.92 up from last year by approximately $63,000.  Along with our total revenues, our local tax revenues are higher than budgeted for this time of the year and our expenses are down from last year by approximately $86,000. Overall, we are in very good financial shape for the near future.

The board approved all payments presented in the consent agenda along with payments for our lease purchase, Tru 2 U, snow removal, and Sped Track.


Facility Condition

The Facility Committee met again this week and made observations in our high school facilities. That committee is ready to complete internal facility walk-throughs in the Vocational Building and then prioritize and rank our needs.

We are in the process of evaluating our personnel structure in our maintenance department with the goal of proposing an additional position. There will be more information on this after we are able to identify a job description and possible pay rate.

 

Board Policy Updates

The board approved changes to policies 2640, 2874, and 4870. These changes modify the wording regarding CBD labeling in 2640, and clarify the requirement to keep (and be prepared to use NARCAN) in the school building. NARCAN is an opioid antagonist designed to prevent drug overdoses.


Have a great day! The next board meeting is scheduled for 3/19/2020 at 6:30 PM.
 
 
 
 
Board Meeting Summary 1/16/2020
 
Our next board meeting with be Wednesday, 2/19/2020
 
Personnel:
The board approved Jonnie Kemmerling as Academic Team Sponsor. Thank you Mrs. Kemmerling!

 

Financial:
 
Our local taxes have, so far, been more than originally expected due to conservative practices with estimating revenues. This additional money allows our district to be more financially solvent, helps us guarantee teacher pay, and make much needed repairs to our facilities.
 
Our current fund balance is $889,439 which is $223,997 more than our fund balance from last year. Our expenses this month were $39,952 higher than 18-19 and the revenue reported in our financial software (the latest local tax deposit came in after these documents were prepared) show an increase over last year of $131,506.
 
We have made the final payment on our athletic lockers and will have a follow-up walk-through of our facilities on the 31st of this month. This will allow the contractor and architect from last year's construction to check on the work that was done and ensure that the changes they made are holding up. 
 
The governor has again mentioned increasing teacher pay! Raising the minimum teacher pay for teachers entering the profession and teachers with master's degrees is something that needs to occur. My hope is that the state will help this initiative with the allocation of funds.

 

Facilities: 
 
The board approved the contract for our fire alarm bids and construction should begin within the next six weeks. The final completion date for this project is April 30th.
 
Miscellaneous:
 
The senior trip itinerary was also approved. 
 
Superintendent's Evaluation:
 
The board also reviewed the superintendent's evaluation during executive session. The board cited two objectives for the coming year that they feel need to be priorities. The first is the cleanliness of our facilities. We will be pulling together a community members, staff members, and students to identify clear objectives for this initiative and then implementing a plan to make sure the work gets done. Second, the board laid forth an initiative to engage and reach more community stakeholders. Recent survey participation indicate that there are many people in the community who are not connected to the school but should have input. We will be researching how to reach these stakeholders and working to get them involved in the work the school does. 

 

Have a great, long, weekend. Get everyone well so we can see them on Tuesday. 
 
 
 

Board Meeting Summary 12/19/19

Next Board Meeting: 1/16/20 at approximately 6:30

Financial:

This year our expenses are $6805.80 higher than last year at this time but our revenues are also higher by $8082.42. Our current fund balance is $823,509.95.

The board reviewed a potential budget projection which included a 2% pay increase for all certified and non-certified staff positions. This pay increase, along with projected transportation purchases, funds placed in maintenance, and the athletic COOP payments will still allow us to add to our reserves in the 20-21 school year.  The projected contribution to reserves is approximately $18,000.00.

We still have $58,685 in our lease purchase account which will be used for fire alarm installation and to pay the remaining costs of lockers for the locker rooms.

Transportation:

We are still looking for part-time and trip bus drivers. Staff members who choose to get certified get a certification bonus along with having all of the costs associated with testing reimbursed. We are waiting on our estimate to come back for repairs to our new van and both buses 6 and 17 need attention to their lighting systems. Hopefully, both of these buses can be repaired over break.

Board Elections:

This year, three of our board members will be up for re-election. These spots are currently occupied by Sam O’riley, Marshal Oswald, and Doug Miller. Anyone interested in running for School Board should pick up a packet in the elementary office during office hours. The deadline for filing is January 21st 2020.

Survey Results:

A quick overview of survey results was shared with the board. These results will be shared with the community through small group meetings this spring.

Superintendent Evaluation:

The superintendent evaluation and contract will be reviewed at the January 16th 2020 board meeting. Evaluation forms have been shared with the board members.

New Business:

The board approved the following items in new business:

  • The 18-19 Audit.
  • A payment to Graybill Tire and Repair LLC in the amount of $2860.00.
  • A payment to Warehouse One from lease purchase funds for $6807.00 for athletic lockers.
  • A payment to ACES COOP of $7025.39 for special education services.
  • A change to R6190 to include language limiting requests for enrollment in MOCAP classes to times when regular course/schedule changes are done.
  • A payment to Cornerstone Roofing for supplemental work connected to our gym roof in the amount of $46,409.00 from insurance claim funds.

Wolves COOP:

After careful consideration, the board decided to share coaching costs with Tarkio in the amount of a 45% share for Fairfax. This means that Fairfax will make up the difference in total coaching costs, after paying our own personnel, up to 45% of the total amount for COOP coaching positions. This creates a more equitable split for athletic costs in the COOP agreement. The COOP agreement has been renewed by the board for two more years and events are already being scheduled. The 45/55 split in coaching costs is the only significant change to the agreement. Events locations will still continue to be scheduled as they have in the past.

Have a wonderful holiday!

 

Board Meeting Update 11/19/19

Next Board Meeting 12/19/19 1:00 p.m.

Good morning! Please see the board meeting summary that follows.

Financial Information

In the 19-20 school year, our YTD expenditures are $60, 579 below what they were in 18-19. Also our revenue is significantly lower by $218,700. While this may seem alarming, it is due to the large insurance payout that came to us this time last year for roof repairs. As of 11/8/19 our fund balance is $918,469.00, which is an increase of $29,922.00 over last year’s November fund balance.

There is good news for our district regarding the Brickyard windmill development. I spoke with a representative from EDF that explained that the project might not be dead after all. Usually, there are three cost studies performed for each project in development. For the Brickyard project, the first and second studies had large discrepancies in the final financial estimates. EDF is engaging in a third study and if the findings on the third match more closely with the findings on the first, there is a good chance the project will proceed. There is also a chance that if the project does not proceed with windmills, that another source of renewable energy might be used. This project means a lot to our district in terms of funding and I will keep you posted.

Facilities Update

We are in communication with the locker company regarding the quality of the lockers that were sent to us. Some of the welds on the locker doors are defective and we are seeking a solution to this problem.

Transportation

We continue to work to keep our transportation fleet up and running. Bus five and six are awaiting electrical repairs and the Dodge van recently had one of the front struts replaced.

APR report

This report was tabled.

Audit Approval

This item was tabled in order to allow time for the audit to be completed and sent to the district.

Wolves COOP Meeting:

The board decided to meet with Fairfax administration and Tarkio COOP representatives to finalize details of shared coaches pay. Currently, Tarkio supplies the majority of coaching positions from their staff and budget. In order for financial equity to exist within the COOP the two districts are working on an agreement to make the financial contributions of each district more fair. Because students in both districts benefit from the services of staff regardless of the district where they are actually employed, our board and district leadership want to find a solution that will preserve the COOP and make financial sense for our district.

Drug Testing Policy

The board approved a drug testing policy to be implemented beginning July 1, 2020. Implementation of this policy will provide random drug testing for all students in extracurricular activities and any students who are “opted in” by their parents.

Fire Alarms

The board approved a bid of $51,657 from Electronic Contracting Company for an upgrade to our fire alarm system. This money will come from the remainder of our lease purchase account.

 

Board Meeting Summary 9/19/19

Good morning! Please enjoy the following summary of our 9/19/19 Fairfax Board of Education Meeting.

Board Policy Updates: There were numerous mandatory board policy/regulation updates. Please take a look when you get the chance since we are all responsible for following board policy. A list of updated policies are below and while the website has not been updated yet, I can email you the policies on request.  P0370, R1210, P1210, R4411, P1425, P1430, P2200, P2230, P2710, P2742, P3470, P4120, P4411, P4540, and P7210

Priority Giving: In order to maximize the impact of our incredibly generous community, the board is developing a list of items that will be listed as priorities for giving. These priority items will be communicated on the website and via other media in order to provide information on where gifts from the community can be best utilized. The board will finalize this short list during next month’s board meeting. Those who have it on their hearts to give to our district for other purposes will never be discouraged but we want to provide guidance to those who wish to give but don’t know where it would benefit us the most.

Snow Removal Bids: We are accepting snow removal bids for this year. Please spread the word. If Mrs. Clark has her way, we will have a lot of snow days.

Fire Alarm Bids: We are accepting fire alarm bids for our system upgrade. This will be a formal bidding process but we love to keep the work local so please spread the word about this.

Locker Update: The athletic lockers are scheduled for October 16th arrival. We can’t wait!

Gifts! We are the happy recipient of community gifts! The board approved the acceptance of the following gifts:

  • $25.00 for our playground from Mrs. Gregg Smith in Memory of Ted Graves.
  • $4500 in material donations from our EA Boosters.
  • $25,000 from the Dean Curnett Trust for student curricular materials and programming.
  • Fertilizer and application from Fertilizer Service Company in Fairfax for our football field.

MOU Sheriff’s Department: This memorandum of understanding (MOU) was reviewed with the board. It describes the capacity in which our school resource officer will partner with us.

Prom Location: The secret prom location has been approved!

Bus to After School Programming: The board approved bus services for after school programming at the Baptist Church beginning on 10/3/19 and ending 11/21/19.

East Atchison Wolves COOP items: The board discussed and identified a short list of items for discussion with the Wolves COOP Board. Discussion included budgeting, a focus on student satisfaction, condition of facilities, and location of events.

Volunteer approval: Zack Lemar was approved as a volunteer by the board. Zack will be helping with our trap shooting team.

The next board meeting will be on October 16, 2019 at approximately 6:30. (Wednesday)

 

 

Board Meeting Summary 8/15/19

Good afternoon! The Fairfax R3 Board met at approximately 6:30 on 8/15/19. What follows here are the important points from that meeting.

 

Thank you:

We received a $1000 gift from the Morgan Trust and $500 from Susan Williams. The board accepted these gifts for technology and gravel respectively. If you know Mrs. Williams or anyone associated with the Morgan Trust, please thank them and let them know how much their gifts mean to us.

Bus Routes:

The bus routes, which are the same as 18-19, were approved. If you or anyone you know has questions about the routes, please refer them to the superintendent’s office.

Amending the 18-19 Budget

Each year we amend the budget we use for the district so that our budgeted expenditures and revenues match our actual expenditures and revenues. This measure was taken last night for the 18-19 budget.

Setting of the Fairfax Tax Rate:

Each year we must finalize our property tax rate. This year we opted to keep our tax rate the same even though doing this will result in a slight decrease in local property tax revenue. The tax rate will again be $4.7848. This is the tax levy amount approved by the community in the spring of 2017 when our temporary levy passed.

Approve amendments to 2019-2020 Budget

Amendments to our current budget accounting for the decrease in local tax revenue were approved. We have budgeted for a 95% collection rate putting our projected local revenues at $1,017,401.

Adopt local SPED Compliance Plan

Each year we are required to adopt a SPED compliance plan. This year, as in year’s past, we will be using the model plan from DESE.

Locker Update:

The board approved an upgrade to the size of the lockers in the boys locker rooms. The current locker size will not be large enough for appropriate use. The board approved an additional expenditure for larger lockers the payment of which will come from our remaining lease purchase funds.

Interest Payment for Lease Purchase

The board approved the payment of interest to UMB for our Lease Purchase interest. This essentially works like a normal loan. Interest and principal are paid according to the repayment schedule. In the case of this Lease Purchase, we make these payments annually.

Matching grant for FACS

The board approved expenditures in excess of $1500 to fulfill the district’s share of the the FACS 50/50 grant. Congratulations Mrs. Million!

Hazard Mitigation Plan

The board adopted the Multijurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan for Atchison County. Each year representatives from ACMO will meet with district personnel and update our All Hazards plan.

Van Purchase

The board approved the purchase of a 10 passenger van from Tri-state Ford in Maryville Mo! We do not have a delivery date yet, but it is coming our way.

Our next regular meeting will be September 19, 2019.

 

 

Board Summary 6/20/19

Good afternoon! I hope you are only reading this out of a sense of curiosity and not obligation. You should be enjoying your summer but I still want to make this information available to you just in case you want to see it. Our next regular meeting will be July 18th at 6:30 p.m.
 
The Fairfax R-III Board of Education met on 6/20/19 in room 3 of the elementary school for a regular and executive session.
 
First and foremost, in executive session, the board approved Aleesha Ball as FFA sponsor. While this assignment goes hand in hand with her teaching assignment in Ag, all extra duty assignments must be approved by the board. Congratulations to Aleesha!
 
Budget:
 
The board approved the 19-20 Fiscal Year Budget which includes teacher raises, increase in insurance payments, additional money for PD, transition to new accounting software, and PLTW expenditures.
 
Total budgeted expenditures for the 19-20 school year will be $2.028,920.00 and we should finish the fiscal year with over $100,000 going toward our reserve. I will admit that I am conservative with the monetary resources the community provides us, but over the course of the next several years, we will attempt to increase expenditures through teacher pay and maintenance which will offset any current contributions to our reserve fund.
 
Our current fund balance as of the 6/20/19 ledger is $904,582.04.
Current expenditures are 2,146,178.38 and year-to-date revenues are $2,220,341.59.
 
New Business:
The board approved the allocation of the remaining lease purchase money to upgrade our fire alarm system.
 
There were changes to student handbook this year dealing with attendance and finals. Mr. Barnes and I will make sure we go over these with you this fall when you return. I can also make them available to you upon request.
 
Forrest T. Jones was approved to offer tax sheltered and non-tax sheltered investment opportunities to employees through payroll contributions. These allow full time staff the ability to save money for retirement that is in addition to any contributed into the PEERS and PSRS.
 
The board approved the transition to SIS Fin financial software for the 19-20 school year. Our current financial software will no longer be supported in July 2020 so this was a necessary change.
 
The board also approved semi-final payments to our roofers and approved Anderson Erickson as our dairy provider for our school lunch program.
 

Board Summary 5/16/19

It’s time for our monthly Board Meeting Summary! I’d like to start with the best news of the week.

House Bill 220: House Bill 220 has passed and is on the way to the governor to be signed. This bill restructures the tax system so that property taxes generated by ALL windmill developments, regardless of ownership, are assessed and collected locally. For us, this could mean as much as an additional $600,000 per year when the development finally comes online. Construction has not officially begun but we’ll keep an eye out.

Health Insurance and Pay Raises: There is Some bad news concerning the cost of our health insurance. We will again be with MPR and I will begin the process of finding another provider next fall. Premiums for the cheapest plan and single insured employee increased $3065.76. The Board has agreed to pay the same percentages of insurance premiums for the 19-20 school year that the district paid for the 18-19 school year. Currently, for an individual, nine-month employee, the district pays 77% of the premium of the least expensive plan. This compensation, along with graduated percentages for longer contracts/working calendars, will be continued. The district will again pay 77% of the increased health insurance premium which amounts to an increase in district paid premium of $2360.64 per year.  The bad news is that it won’t cover the entire increase in the premium. An additional $58.76 per month will still have to be paid by a nine month employee who has the cheapest plan only on him/herself.

More good news is that last night, the Board voted to increase the base pay in the salary schedule for certified staff by 2.5%. This is the largest increase to our base in several years and it’s an important first step towards more competitive wages for our teaching staff. This raise means that a second year teacher, with no additional graduate credit will receive a $1105.00 pay raise. When combined with the board-paid insurance (which is combined with pay to calculate teacher retirement), a second year teacher with no grad credit received a raise of about $3400.00.

The Board also approved a 4% increase to the non-certified staff rates. This raise offsets the increase in the employee insurance cost and keeps us on track with meeting the 2023 minimum wage requirements. Though, as a public school, we are not bound by the updated minimum wage law, if we want to continue to attract and keep great staff members we have to compete with other entities that will be offering the increased rates. Currently, average pay for our non-certified staff is $12.20 per hour. This raise will increase the average pay by $.49 per hour.

The two different raises were necessary in order to ensure that all staff-members are compensated in such a way that they hopefully do not experience negative financial impact from insurance costs even when they have received a raise. While these raises aren’t as high as we had initially hoped for and discussed, they are important. The increased cost of insurance forced us to re-evaluate the proposed salary schedule and be more conservative with overall raises. The Board wants to continue to raise pay, and raise it as much as they can, as long as it is fiscally responsible. We will revisit pay each year with the intent to increase our certified staff base pay and pay for non-certified staff. We know that good pay is a great way to attract great people and an even better way to express thanks for the work everyone does within our school. When it comes to pay, we are not as far along as we would like to be, but we are headed in the right direction. 

Construction: We are making our final payment to our contractors this week. We have finished the construction which is paid for through our lease purchase and we still have $57,000 that must be spent on capital projects within three years. We will make final decisions regarding these funds in June at the June board meeting. Still on the list of projects from the 2018 levy campaign are the cafeteria remodel, window replacement in the elementary and HS, and tuck pointing in the elementary and HS.

Staff Update: Aleesha Ball has been approved as our new Ag teacher for the 2019-2020 school year. Mr. Scheiffer was approved to be the summer weights coach, and Ginny Smith was approved as JH Cheerleading Sponsor. Please congratulate them when you have a chance. All support staff were approved for rehire.

At this time, we haven’t had any qualified applicants for our business position.  District administration is examining how the responsibilities associated with this position can be fulfilled if we are faced with going into the fall of 2019 without any candidates.

Lunch Prices: Lunch prices for the 2019-2020 school year will be $2.40 for Junior High and High School and $2.25 for Elementary. These prices are the same as 2018-2019 and fulfill requirements for pricing established by the Federal Lunch Program.  Normally, we would have to increase our prices by $.05 each year, but since our prices fall within the required average, we are able to forgo that process this year.

Gym Floor Refinishing Bid: This bid has been awarded to Meyer Labs. The floor will be redone during the last week of July.

Financial Update: As of the 5/8/19 Ledger, the fund balance is $1,530,644.98 which equates to an 82% reserve. This includes $201,395 of insurance payments for the roof and the beginning balance for the 18-19 Fiscal Year of $830,418. Year to date expenditures as of 5/8/19 were $1,644,487.07 or 78% of our total budgeted expenditures. YTD Revenue as of 5/8/19 was $2,145,595.56. This amount of revenue is $179,703.56 over projected revenues. Current end of year projections put our final estimated expenditures at $2,676,702.76. 

 

Next Board Meeting: June 20, 2019. 6:30 p.m. Room 3 of the elementary.

 

Board Summary 4/18/19

 

ResignationsWe are sad to accept the resignations of Mr. Palmer and Mrs. Stanley. Please wish them well as they move on to other districts.

 

New Hires: We have a number of new hires this month between the meeting last night and the special meeting on 4/9/19. If you know them please welcome them to our team.

  • Those who have accepted a contract:
    • Crystal Schieffer-Elementary
    • Betsy Larson-Elementary
    • Loryanne Daugherty-Elementary
    • Garet Jackson-MS and HS Math
  • Those who have been offered a contract:
    • Jonnie Kemmerling-MS and HS Language Arts

 

Personnel Restructuring: Our SPED numbers have declined and Mrs. Seymour is retiring, which are both good things. However, that left us in a position where we had some freedom to rearrange some personnel assignments so that we could more efficiently use those positions associated with SPED.  Mrs. Lauren Clark will be assuming the responsibilities that Mrs. Seymour formerly performed and we are opening our AM preschool to more students. To help with the increase of kids, Mrs. Duering has accepted the opportunity to help in our AM preschool and still perform SPED tasks in the afternoon. This change puts people where they can best serve, saves the district money, and increases our revenue from our preschool program. Thank you to everyone who has agreed to these changes in spite of not being sure what they will bring.

 

Extra Duty Assignments: The Board approved the slate of extra duty assignments as presented. The list is included with this email.

 

Construction Update: April 19th is the day all construction should be finished. Altogether, the total construction cost was $1800 more than what we had originally budgeted. This includes change orders that needed to be made for repairs to the drain in the JH Boys Locker room, the installation of a light over our gym entrance, and the repair of a sewer drain in the ceiling of our faculty work room.

 

The roofers will once again be here this summer to remove and reinstall the roofs on our new gym and connecting areas. Once started, they move quickly and I anticipate this work will be done before the middle of June. We are lucky that our insurance claim from 17-18 is still covering these roof repairs.

 

Transportation Update: One bus is back in the shop for repairs after our Highway Patrol inspections on April 8th. It should be back on site soon and re-inspected on Monday the 22nd.

A special thanks goes out to Mrs. Wyatt and Mrs. Million for having the patience and good humor to deal with one of our vans breaking down in Omaha. They both made it back safely and Mrs. Million was graceful enough to make the long drive to Omaha to pick up Mrs. Wyatt and one of the prom parents.

We have received our money for our new bus from the DNR grant and the bus has been ordered! The local volunteer fire fighters will be in charge of demolishing bus 95 after the new bus comes in.

 

Approval of Graduates: All potential, 2019 Fairfax High School Graduates were approved pending completion of their remaining requirements. Graduation is May 19th.

 

STEM: A bulk Chromebook purchase was approved which will be funded by donated STEM money. It’s wonderful that community members show their support in so many ways and we are particularly thankful for all of the donations to our STEM program. This money is being used on technology, teacher training, and PLTW materials. This summer Mr. Schieffer will be participating in PD to integrate PLTW in the middle school classroom. We are grateful we have amazing staff that are willing to continue to learn new teaching methods and implement them for the benefit of our students. If we want students to be life-long learners, we have to be also.

 

Financial Report: At this time it looks like a conservative estimate tells us we will be able to finish the year with between $100,000 and $140,000 going into our reserve fund. This money includes the reimbursement for the bus we purchased in 17-18. As we get closer to the end of the year we become more aware of what our expenditures will actually be. We have four accounts that are currently on track to be, or are already, over-budget.  

Our Athletics budget did not originally account for coaching payroll and those expenditures had not been part of that budget prior to this year. After those costs are removed our budget for athletics is within our predicted expenditure amount. Keeping these costs in the athletics budget allows us to very quickly assess what our personnel costs are for our program and is the best practice.

Our transportation and maintenance budgets are over due to multiple repairs on boilers, buses, vans, and under-budgeting for payroll. This was a tough winter for us mechanically and we spent $13000 on vehicle repairs and $26000 on materials and services for our buildings.

 The third account that was over budget was tuition to other districts. We paid more to votec for tuition this year than in previous years and also had fees for a career center which was separate from votec. Together these fees came to roughly $16000.

The fourth area that appeared over budget was administrative technology, but after investigation we discovered that this was due to an error in coding.

 Overall, our revenues are higher than anticipated and our total expenditures are still shaping up to be an amount that is on track to leave us in a position to finish the year with some money to save. In spite of some unanticipated costs we’ll still finish in strong, financial position.

 

Insurance and Salary Schedule: The Board was presented information regarding our MPR insurance rates for 2019-2020. Currently the district pays 77% of the least expensive, individual premium. This equates to $389.82 per month for those employees that opt-in to our plan. If the district chose to pay the same percentage cost from the new premium amount would be $586.54 per month. We must be careful as we proceed with personnel costs  so that we don’t put our district in a position that causes us to deficit spend before we know we will have additional funds coming to us.

Over the next two years, we are predicting that we will be able to put additional money into our reserve fund. As inflation continues to affect us and general costs increase, we understand that in 2020-2021 our ability to add to the reserve will diminish and in 2021-2022 we could very likely be in a position where we begin to spend from the reserve money that we have saved during 2018-19 and 2019-20.

Please let me be very clear on one point, EVERYONE ON THE BOARD, MR. BARNES, AND I ALL WANT TO INCREASE SALARIES. We know that we have wonderful people working in our district who we want to keep and we want to continue to attract great people. I know that last year, even though we increased salaries and approved a step that some were still impacted by insurance rates for the 18-19 school year. We want to make sure that we do the right thing for our people.

At this time it is my goal to approach the Board in May with an increase to the salary schedule. How much that increase will be will depend on the long-term impact to our operating budget over the next 3-5 years. Keep in mind that there is a distinct possibility for a significant increase in our revenue from future windmill developments. I do not budget this money until we know it is a sure thing but I am confident that if we receive the predicted amount, that I will make it a priority to approach the board with more significant and competitive salaries.

At this time, we will work to increase salaries in May. Then we will wait to address the insurance issue until we hear from our other health insurance possibility (Wallstreet Group) to make any decision on insurance. Thank you for being patient. We haven’t forgotten this or your good work.

 Items that were tabled:

  • Bleachers for the football field.
  • Social worker letter of intent.

 

Next Board Meeting: 5/16/19 at 6:30 p.m. Room 3 of the Elementary.

 

 

Board Summary 3/21/19

Good morning! Welcome to our monthly Board Meeting Summary. Spring is finally upon us!

On 3/21/19 our Board met for a regular and executive session. Below is the list of items  discussed and points of discussion for each item. I also have an update for you regarding contracts, our salary schedule, and our insurance rates.

Resignations/Retirements: Mrs. Aimee Seymour has elected to retire at the end of the 2018-2019 school year.  Please wish her well.

Snow Day Make-up:  The Board agreed to change the calendar to allow us to attend school for a half day on 4/19/19 (Good Friday).  This change allows us to meet both the required number of days and hours. It also keeps us from returning after Memorial Day for work. As it stands, the last week of school will be structured in this way: Full days on 5/20, 5/21, and 5/22. Half days on 5/23 and 5/24. The teacher work day that would have normally happened the day after students finish will be served on the afternoons of 5/23 and 5/24.

Salary Schedule: Changes is staffing and items that impact our budget (like a bus grant) may allow us to do more than increase a step. While earlier in the year, I presented a model  salary schedule that was well received, the cost of that model, once all benefits were factored in, was cost prohibitive.  Additionally, yesterday I received information that our insurance premiums will increase by as much as 58% for the 2019-2020 school year.  This naturally changes how we approach our entire budget. Today I am beginning to calculate the impact of that cost and examine how our district can wrestle with those costs. It’s my goal to offset those costs as much as possible through employee pay and/or the benefits we offer.

Construction Update: Except for a few items on our “punch list” our construction is complete! The Board also approved the purchase of new lockers for the locker rooms. This purchase will be primarily funded by the activity funds tied to the Fairfax Basketball Tournament. Over the years, this money has been accrued and will be well-used in this manner.

Transportation Update: Though we have struggled this last month to get our vehicles into and out of various repair facilities, we are essentially fixed. That combined with the help from Mrs. Comstock, Mr. Palmer, and Mr. Schieffer, who shuttled buses to and from mechanics and were patient while we got things repaired, means we should be ready to finish our school year with minimal problems in our transportation department.

We have budgeted the purchase of a new van, but due to the increased amount of repairs we have had to make on our buses and vans, this will most likely be tabled until we can ensure we will be able to meet our fiscal targets this year. In other words, we won’t purchase a van until we know we will finish the year with as much money in the bank as we predicted.

The Board also approved the purchase of an IC, 71 passenger bus. We will receive full reimbursement from the VW Emissions Grant for this bus even though initial funds will come from reserve.  Dare I say that next year we will have four functioning buses in our fleet? Let’s hope so and let’s hope it stays that way.  

Mowing: The Board approved the Kaleb Oelze contract for mowing our school grounds for $180 per mow. They also approved the Aaron Simmons contract for mowing the football field for $130 per mow.

Board Election and Reorganization: On April 2nd, we will have a board election on the ballot in Fairfax, MO. Candidates are Mike Lewis (incumbent, President), Pat Miller (new candidate), and Josh Oswald (incumbent). Additionally, immediately prior to the 4/18/19 Board meeting, we will have our Board reorganization meeting. This is the meeting where new members are sworn in and officers are selected. This is an open meeting and you are welcome to attend.

Board Policy Updates: The Board approved a number of policy and regulation updates last night and these policies will be posted on the district website in the near future. Updated policies and regulations are as follows: P0320, P1210, P2640, P3425, R3165, R6190.

Budget Update: The Board approved the payment of the bills and I shared the following information with them regarding our district’s finances:  Our current fund balance is $1,541,579.53 which equates to a 78% reserve. Our fund balance is always higher this time of year due to the receipt of local tax dollars and will gradually shrink until next January/February when we receive our next payment in local taxes.

This balance includes $201,395 of insurance payments for the roof. Money allocated for the roof must be spent only for that purpose since it comes from an insurance claim. Also, our beginning of the year fund balance included roughly $79,000 of funds that did not get spent on our roof repairs in the 17-18 fiscal year. This money will also be included with our current insurance clearing account balance in our final payment to replace the gym roof. This will cause our budget to show that we deficit spent $280,000 at the end of the fiscal year.  

The beginning of the year fund balance for the 18-19 Fiscal Year was $830,418.

Year-to-date expenditures for March were $1,317,032.99 or 68.4% of our total budgeted expenditures. 

Our year-to-date amount of revenue for the 18-19 fiscal year is $1,763,245.78. This is the sum total of  ALL sources of revenue including Student Activity accounts.

There was no lease purchase activity and the balance in that account remains $245,742.00. Our lease purchase account is kept and managed by UMB bank. Since this account is managed by a separate entity, it is not included in our revenue and expenses except when we make payments for fees, principal, or interest. We have not recently requested any payments from UMB be made to our from this account and hopefully, we will finish our construction and have some money left over.  This money  can only be used for other repairs or improvements within the building.

Budgets to note:

We have doubled the budgeted amount for transportation repairs.

Salaries for coaches have been included in the athletics budget this year causing a significant increase in that budget and a decrease in our elementary and high school budgets.

The budget for operations and maintenance is close to spent due to extra snow removal and boiler repairs.

Our next Regular Board Meeting will immediately follow the Reorganization of the Board at 6:30 p.m. on 4/18/19. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

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.