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Purdy School Board makes key changes

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Purdy R-2 Board of Education approved key personnel changes for the coming year at the July board meeting.

The board accepted the resignation of Stacey Williams as board secretary and bookkeeper, effective July 6. Williams, who had been with the district for eight years, resigned to take a similar position with the Cassville R-4 School District.

In closed session, Anna Marie Erwin was hired to replace Williams. Erwin worked for four years at the Exeter School District and had also worked for the City of Butterfield.

Erin Marion, with whom the district had a contract to provide occupational therapy, resigned. Marion found that as an employee with Cox Monett Hospital, she had a non-compete clause and could not take on private clients.

Dr. Steven Chancellor, running his first meeting as the district's new superintendent, reported Cox Monett Hospital was available to provide occupational and speech therapy. Cost was $65 an hour and could be broken into 15-minute sessions of different therapies.

Unlike the old arrangement, the new therapy contract had no charge for mileage. Chancellor said the rate was in line with what had been expected and the contract was approved.

The board also hired Susan Thomas as a special education para-professional. Thomas previously worked in Purdy as one of the AmeriCorps reading coaches.

Extra duty assignments were made for the coming year. The only major change made Jennifer Schallert the new athletic director, a duty she had shared in recent years. Principal Bob Vice will receive an agreed upon stipend for taking over data collection related to advanced placement courses.

Board members also assigned principal Janet Boys to continue her duties as the district authorized representative for federal programs.

Financial action

The board approved meal prices at the same rate for the coming year. Breakfast prices remain at $1.25 for children and $1.50 for adults. Lunch prices are $1.50 for elementary students, $1.75 for older students and $2.25 for adults.

Chancellor reported the district met its goal of breaking even in the past year and had a slight cushion in meeting fee guidelines issued by the United States Department of Agriculture.

The final budget for the 2011-12 school year was approved. Spending of $7.3 million matched against income of $7.6 million, leaving a positive balance of $348,448. Chancellor said the year-end totals matched earlier revisions and reflected to significant increases or decreases.

Out-of-district tuition was approved at the same rate of $4,000 per year or $2,000 per semester. No one presently pays to attend the district from a distance.

Forrest T. Jones and Company was approved to continue overseeing the district's cafeteria insurance plan. Chancellor said the firm has handled the service with no problems for many years. A competing proposal will likely prompt the district to advertise for proposals next summer.

Administrative action

The annual property tax levy hearing was scheduled for 6:15 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 20, followed by the monthly board meeting at 6:30 p.m. A reception for new faculty will be held at 5 p.m. the same day.

Faculty will return for their first day of the new school year on Aug. 13. Board members were invited to attend a breakfast that will be held for the staff. The first day of classes will be Wednesday, Aug. 15.

Job descriptions for the new position of public information assistant was approved. The part-time position has been offered to elementary school secretary Susan Funkhouser for a stipend of $3,500. Chancellor said the description will likely evolve as duties develop. The job description for the new bookkeeper was also slightly modified.

Board members approved a calendar that outlines their annual review of district programs during monthly meetings.

The standard conflict of interest ordinance was adopted for board members. A policy recommended by the Missouri School Boards Association relating to the Childhood Internet Protection Act was adopted. Chancellor said a few words were modified, such as identifying non-students as "adults" and changing the term "student" to "minors."

Facilities update

Chancellor said the summer maintenance effort was advancing on schedule. A notable improvement was seen in the heating and cooling for the cafeteria. A door is being replaced on the ag building.

One of the bigger projects Chancellor cited involves adding dirt to the softball field. Barriers are being placed on the perimeter of the field to keep dirt from washing away in storm water run-off.

Board members approved painting the last part of the elementary wing by the old office and west wing, eliminating the old yellow for the eggshell color in the rest of the complex. A higher quality paint would be used that would hold up to rubbing by backpacks, Chancellor said.



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