May 18, 2015
With graduations only days away, the Board of Education celebrated some important accomplishments and contributions before taking on it's May 18 agenda.
West Middle School’s Jamie Hammond was recognized by FZEA president Kim Garbs. For the second consecutive year, Jamie won the statewide Missouri NEA Martin Luther King Essay/Poster Contest. “Any time we can celebrate where our goals overlap, excellence in public education and celebrating diversity in public education it is a great thing to be able to do that,” Garbs said.
Several OASIS tutors were also recognized for their five and 10 years of service as volunteers in the district. And Glenda Hauser, who is retiring from her position as OASIS coordinator, was also recognized.
"Glenda retired from FZ in 2010 as a librarian. “My first administrative position was at Lewis & Clark and Glenda was the librarian there,” Dr. Jackie Floyd (right) said. “You could not have asked for a more compassionate, caring, positive teacher in that library and I really appreciated that. She brought that same passion to OASIS tutoring and to training our OASIS tutors."
Bill Weber, Assistant Superintendent for Facilities and Construction, updated the Board on work at the Mike Clemens Center for Adaptive Learning, which should have windows installed and most exterior work completed before mid-June. Interior work continues to come along at a good pace as well. Weber also told the Board that bids were back out for the elementary school near Flint Hill and it is his hope to bring recommendations to their June 15 meeting.
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Orr presented the May Budget Revisions. According to the Budget message, which details changes in both revenue and expenses: “The 2014-15 May revised budget is projecting an operating deficit of $2.3 million, which is $566,157 less than presented in the December revised budget. The decreased deficit is the result of a combination of net increases in state and local revenues coupled with decreases in the salary, benefit and capital budgets.”
Orr told the Board that revenues were larger than projected primarily due to Ameristar’s settlement of protested taxes dating back to 2009, as well as to better than projected sales taxes from Prop C. Finally, unfilled vacancies created savings in the salary and benefits columns. View the May revisions here.
The Board approved 2015-2016 salaries for nurses, bus drivers/monitors and support staff, as well as the 2016-2017 calendar, which includes a new third-quarter records day.
There was some discussion when the Board was asked to approve a request from the Extracurricular Task Force to meet but the request was denied based on their discussion of adding new programs in light of the failure of the tax levy.
The Physical Education curriculum adoption includes steps toward continuity through new assessment tools in the elementary curriculum as well as broader lifestyle fitness offerings at the secondary level.
The Industrial Technology curriculum adoption introduces a new book for seventh and eighth graders that lays a strong foundation for those who choose that career path in high school.
“This new curriculum is a mix of the old and new,” said Jen Waters, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. “There are some new technology components, with the media parts. As well as we are one of the few districts that still maintains dirty shops in all four of our high schools. The more I learn about that and the more I understand about that I am convinced that it’s necessary and that it is needed.
“We have a lot of kids walking out of Fort Zumwalt, some with certifications that allow them to get positions when they leave, others that have a semester or two done at St. Charles Community College.”
Waters shared with the Board the potential for a 2016-2017 agreement with Ranken that would bring new opportunities to students in the Industrial Technology program, including a dual enrollment opportunity that would result in students graduating with a semester of Ranken credit completed.
“We are reaching a lot of kids who are not your typical college bound kid, which is important because part of what we do isn’t just get kids ready for college, but get kids ready for a career,” Waters told the Board. “We know that lots of them are not college bound. We really want kids to be ready for a career and the quicker we can get them ready here, the better off they are."