The Van-Far R-I School Board held a Special Meeting last Wednesday to discuss healthcare coverage in the district.
According to meeting minutes, Van-Far Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hunter presented information on health care providers, premiums and comparisons on what area districts pay for employee coverage. Discussion followed regarding vendors, plan offerings, buy-up options and budget considerations.
By a 5-1 decision, with board member Larry Wheeler casting the lone “No”, the board approved a motion to stay with MEUHP and offer the HMO plan as board paid 100%. It also includes PPO 1500 as a buy-up option and the HSA 4000 with the district paying the difference in premium amount in the employee’s HSA.
The board unanimously approved a motion to keep the MEUHP life insurance rates as presented for 2016-17.
When it came to the 2016-17 certified salary schedule to raise all teachers one step, the measure was approved.
A recommendation of a 1.3% raise for classified personnel was passed 5-1 with Wheeler as the lone “No” vote.
There was a 6-0 approval for a 1.3% increase for the AEL personnel.
Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hunter recommended a 1.3% salary increase for the elementary principal and special education administrator while not making a recommendation for increasing his own salary.
After board members Pete Nasir and Kevin Motley pushed the motion forward, board member Kimber Nation moved to amend the motion to a flat $500 raise. Her motion died for a lack of a second and a vote was split. The three “No” votes were from Dana Keller, Wheeler, and Nation.
A $500 increase for all administrators across the board was then given as a motion from Nation and seconded by Keller. The measure passed 4-2 with Motley and Nasir casting the lone “No” votes.
A list of extra-duty salaries was passed that is tied to the base and a 1.3% increase was given unanimously.
The current list shows vacancies for the Junior High cheerleading coach, FCCLA sponsor, two high school assistant coaches, an SOE Director (FACS), advisor for Speech/Drama, Junior High Student Council advisor, and a high school girls track and field coach.
The Fiscal Year 2016-17 Preliminary Budget was tabled until the May meeting with Nation casting the lone “No” vote.
It was noted that final approval will take place in June.
Discussion followed concerning the budget, the effect the change in insurance coverage will make, and other amounts that are unknown at this time of the year.
In the Executive Session during the same evening, the board hired Debbie Ray as a Para for 2016-17.
Remainder of information from April 19 meeting
According to meeting minutes, VFTA President Joe Basinger made a presentation to the board. He reported estimated proceeds from the carnival are a little over $3,000. He expressed appreciation to Principal Cindy Pirch and Principal Brian Hummel for their help and said there were too many others to thank individually for their help. The proceeds from the carnival are used for scholarships and interviews will be taking place soon. The date of April 27 will be VFTA’s last meeting for the year and they will elect new officers. The Retirement Tea will be held May 9.
Mrs. Nina Jenks, retired teacher, shared information she had collected regarding health insurance coverage and vendors.
Ryan Morris thanked Dan Bybee for his work taking care of the grounds maintenance.
Charlie Stroker reported that of 16 busses inspected, we had four rejections and one out of service bus. The out of service bus was due to rocks in tires and the problem was fixed later the same day. With the number of miles over country roads for the district routes, he reported the rock issue will continue to be a problem. Superintendent Dr. Hunter thanked Mr. Stroker and the drivers for their work and efforts.
The Spring Regional Meeting will be held April 27 at Bowling Green. Board members attending have been registered.
Current enrollment is 617. Enrollment at Elementary is 359, and high school is 258.
Facilities Update-Superintendent Dr. Hunter reported on the following:
• There will be a pre-construction meeting on April 27, to work out the timeline for the abatement and remodel projects.
• The surplus trailer has been removed.
• Ryan Morris has been working on the new banners in the gym.
In addition to their written reports the following was reported:
-State testing begins the week of April 25th
-4/28 PTO Book Fair
-4/29 PTO Daddy/Daughter Dance
-5/9 Grandparent’s Day
-5/16 Sixth grade promotion
-5/17 Preschool promotion
-5/19 Awards Assembly
-5/31 -6/24 Summer School; approximately 120 have enrolled at this time.
Principal Pirch asked Kathy Allen to report on the mock accident. Mrs. Allen reported that a mock accident is held every four years and Ryan Morris and Officer Jeff Scrogin assisted her in planning the event.
In addition Principal Pirch reported:
– 4/19 Statewide ACT testing for Juniors
-4/20 MAP testing for 7th and 8th grades starts
-4/19 and 4/20 FFA Plant Sales
-4/23 Prom and Project Prom. Principal Pirch thanked the parents for working hard to provide safe activities for the students. She also commended the community support of Project Prom.
-4/25 EOC Awards Assembly
-5/2 EOC testing begins
-5/11 Senior Banquet and Baccalaureate
-5/15 Jr. High promotion
-5/18 Awards Assembly
Brighter Futures Overview
Dana Keller, Director of Mexico Chamber of Commerce, shared a presentation on Bright Futures Mexico. Bright Futures is a program designed to link the school with the community and provide a support system for student needs.
Discussion followed the presentation regarding the implementation of a similar program for our school and community. There is a $2,500 Lifetime fee to join Bright Futures USA.
The board approved the measure.
Approve Health Insurance Plans and Rates for 2016-17
Superintendent Dr. Hunter provided information on premiums for both vendors, the results of the staff survey and what other area districts pay toward employee health coverage. Discussion followed concerning health provider coverage areas, cost of premiums for the district and employees, level of reserves and budget. The consensus was that were still questions and a work/study session was necessary before a decision could be made. A session was set for Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. The item was tabled until then.
Board member Pete Nasir read letters of resignation from Caryn Atkinson, Special Education teacher; Laura Straube, SFA Reading Facilitator; Jenniffer Hanson, Speech and Drama Coach duties; Marilyn Basinger, High School Secretary; and Madge Flake, FACS teacher.
Reports of Members
Mr. Wheeler requested that board packets be sent out earlier.
Mr. Hopke thanked Mr. Motley and Mrs. Keller for serving as board members for the new term.
Mr. Nasir encouraged board members to stay in close contact with Jefferson City.
Principal Pirch thanked board members and others for their support of Project Prom. She complimented the connection between the school, families and community for providing a continual rotation of support throughout the years.