Tuesday, January 9, 2018

January 2018 Superintendent's Blog


  It is hard to believe that the school year is already half completed.  Students are back from Christmas break hopefully well rested and ready to go!
        As you may have heard the district achieved high marks on our Annual Performance Report again this year achieving 94.6 % of the possible points per DESE.  I can recall when the district struggled with overall achievement and in fact was in district improvement at one time.  Due to providing teachers with built in professional development time within the school day, miscellaneous interventions and successful implementation of Professional Learning Communities the district is on the right track for high achievement.  Principals and teachers deserve much of the credit also for our high marks as they are responsible for student learning no matter what it takes.  It is so nice to see our district achieve at such a high level even in comparison to other school districts around.
        You may also have heard that the district is considering asking for a possible tax increase on our operating fund.  The district's fund reserve balance looks pretty good right now at 32% however this is primarily due to receiving two federal programs payments in the same school year.  The school district has lost nearly 10% of our fund reserve balance since 2010-11 due to increased costs for everything.  The patrons of the Sturgeon R-V School district have been ever faithful in supporting the school with construction for the past 6 years by approving two no-tax increase bond issue proposals.  Now that our facilities are current and up to date the district needs to focus on recruiting and retaining highly qualified staff.  The district is currently not competitive with conference schools nor local schools in relation to salaries.  The district's base teacher salary is near the bottom when compared to local and conference schools with a base salary of $29,580.  For the district to be even in the middle of the pack a base salary of $31,000 would need to be realized.  Increasing benefit costs for teachers and staff are an upcoming concern that will also need to be addressed.  If the district was successful in increasing our tax rate on our General Fund it would enable the district to both recruit and retain highly qualified staff, administrators and teachers.  It would also enable the district to continue to offer successful programs for students. 
         The schools track lighting project has been completed and was tried out at night prior to the winter.  The district welcomes Sturgeon patrons to walk and run on the schools track anytime you would like. 
          I believe that is all I have to write at this point.  I appreciate all the support the district receives from all district patrons.  Thank you for all you do for our students!!

Yours in Education

Shawn C. Schultz
Sturgeon R-V School Superintendent

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Wow!!  Have things gotten busy since the start of the school year!!!

Four months in on our identified projects, the following has been completed or is close to completion:

K-8 bathroom and locker room renovations are complete- These projects were a tad tardy in their completion due to later than expected delivery dates and incorrect product being sent.  These areas look so nice and are very bright.  Thus far I have received many positive compliments.  Another great accomplishment with these renovations is that they are now all ADA compliant.

H.S. Canopy- The H.S. Canopy is nearly complete with the footings already poured, structural steel is in place as well as the roof deck.  Last Friday the concrete around the support beams was poured and look great!  All that is left to complete on this project is the concrete patio, the blue roof, and the painting of the structural steel beams.

H.S. Office renovation and secure vestibule- The H.S. office renovation is nearly complete with a new wall, new carpet, new drop ceiling and new reception desk.  The H.S. principal's office also received new furniture.  This area has essentially been switched as the H.S. principal's office is now where the secretaries office was.  There is now a window wall seperating the two and the H.S. principal now has a door from the directly to the hallway.  This renovation is close to completion with only the doors left to be installed.

H.S. secure vestibule- The H.S. will now have a secure vestibule for visitor's to enter the H.S.  Visitors will now need to be buzzed in from the outside into the vestibule then also be electronically allowed to enter the H.S. office.  The door going into the H.S. office will also be an automatic door so visitors will need to give the door clearance to open.  This unique feature will prevent unwanted visitors to the district access to the entire student population.

Two new H.S. instructional classrooms- The two new H.S. classrooms are coming along nicely.  Both classrooms now have interior and exterior walls completed.  The roof has also been completed with the new membrane roof installation occurring this week.  Plumbing and electric above ceiling are almost complete with new stud walls in place as well.  Once the new membrane roof is complete then the rooms will be dried in and the installation of other needed components such as sheetrock will happen quickly.  We are looking forward to using the new Science classroom/lab and the new general classroom for Agriculture very soon.  These are much needed spaces for student instruction.

All-weather track- The new all-weather track is also coming along nicely.  The topsoil has been removed to establish the subgrade.  A few areas of the new track site had to have some soil stratification due to areas with too much moisture.  These are have been rectified and the subgrade has been established.  The infield (which is sized for football and soccer for future expansion and possible use) has also been created.  As of now the runways for the jumping events on the ends of the infield are being installed.  I anticipate that the concrete curbs on the inside and outside of the running surface will be poured either this week or next.  This project is a 100 day contract so as the weather holds out the workers are really hitting it hard.

The general contractor on the track project is Bryne and Jones.
The general contractor on all of the other projects is Grove Construction

Both of these companies are performing excellent work for the district and have been very pleasant to work with.  As always, a big thank you goes out to the Sturgeon R-V Patrons for without you not of these projects would not be possible.

Pictures of all of these projects can be seen on the district's Facebook page by entering Sturgeon R-V School District and liking our page.  Thank you for your time!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Back to School 2015-16

Sturgeon R-V Back to School 2015-16

Greetings from Sturgeon R-V.  It’s already that time of year when young voices will once again fill our classrooms and hallways.  Students, Parents, and Staff will be coming in to updated restroom and locker room facilities in the K-8 building and new classrooms and canopy construction at the H.S.  This is an effort to continue to improve the quality and quantity of our districts facilities.  These improvements are possible due to the successful passing of a no tax increase bond issue proposal in November 2014.
                Several new personnel will be serving in our district this coming year in multiple positions including: 6-12 Agriculture, H.S. Business, H.S. Counselor, 6-12 Band, M.S. Math, M.S. Science, Third Grade, Special Education director, and Elementary Secretary.  I am excited to welcome our new personnel and the expertise they bring to our district.
                The 2014-15 school year was the first year that our 3-8 grade students took their state assessments on computers.  Our H.S. students have been assessed in this manner now for several years.  We are eager to receive the results of our students’ assessments.  We should officially hear in September or October how our students performed district-wide.
                Lastly, I would like to welcome Mrs. Penny Fadler to the administrative team.  Mrs. Fadler comes to us from the Hallsville School district where she served as a special education process coordinator.  Mrs. Fadler will be serving as our new special education director and I am confident her experience and expertise will serve our special needs students well. 
                As always, I want to say thank you to our districts’ patrons for their unending support of the school district in every way. 

Shawn C. Schultz

Sturgeon R-V School Superintendent

Monday, April 20, 2015

Proposed project timeline and approved bidding packages

In a special board meeting on April 20th, 2015, the board of education heard a presentation from Paragon Architecture dealing with the proposed project timeline and proposed bidding packages.  Concerning the bidding packages, the board approved Option B which proposes the following:

Package 1
*  Elementary and Middle School Renovations
*  High School Entry and Addition

Package 2
*  High School All-Weather Track

The Tentative proposed Total construction cost is $1,875,707.70

The tentative proposed bidding/construction timeline is as follows:

Building Related Projects

*  Late-April 2015
    *  100% Construction Documents
*  Early to Mid-May
    *  Advertisement to bidders
*  Mid-May 2015
    *  Bid Opening
*  Late-May 2015
    *  Selection of General Contractor
*  Mid-June 2015
    *  Begin Construction

All-Weather Track

*  July 2015
    *  Advertisement to Bidders
*  Early-Mid-August 2015
    *  Bid opening
*  Early-September 2015
    *  Begin Construction

The proposed timeline is dependent on the bidding climate at the listed dates.

Renderings of the chosen projects may be viewed by clicking: http://www.sturgeon.k12.mo.us/BondIssuePics.html

Thank you for your time and I will continue to keep you updated on the progress of the district's construction and renovation.

Shawn C. Schultz
Sturgeon R-V School district superintendent

Monday, March 30, 2015

Small Schools.....Get it!

I recently attended a superintendent's conference at the Lake of the Ozarks.  Among several speakers, I had the privelege of hearing Mr. Manny Scott.  Manny is one of the original students depicted in the movie Freedom Writers.  Manny spoke for nearly two hours and not one minute was without inspiration.  Manny recounted his childhood with specifics of his school career.  As Manny spoke, I reviewed all of the diverse programs we offer our students here at Sturgeon R-V and realized that we do a fine job of making sure that students are not left without help when they need it.  I have observed our teachers consoling students when things are not going well for them. The at-risk assistance, which we have to always have to work on, is helping students that otherwise would go without any assistance.  It is such a pleasure to work in a school district our size because we can more readily recognize when students require extra assistance for success. If you ever have a chance to hear Mr. Manny Scott, you will not be disappointed.  Thank you for your time!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Capitol Visit

This past Tuesday I had the privilege of joining the Superintendents from four other Boone county schools in a trip to the State Capitol.  The purpose of this trip was to visit with our local legislators concerning H.B 42 and educational funding.  Recently, Boone county superintendents have been working closely in the implementation of the Boone County Schools Mental Health Coalition.  The following is a brief description of this coalition:

The Boone County Schools Mental Health Coalition, a partnership between Boone County’s six school districts, the University of Missouri (MU), College of Education, Department of Educational School and Counseling Psychology, the Missouri Prevention Center, and the School of Social Work received funding from the Boone County Children’s Fund to increase staff knowledge and skill in working with mental health issues in our schools. Coalition staff will implement an innovative program to train school-based personnel in effective interventions and to provide resources for programs for youth proven to promote mental health and well-being. 

Funded by a county sales tax passed in 2012 to provide increased mental health services for children, the Boone County Schools Mental Health Coalition began work this month by providing Mental Health First Aid training in several Boone County Schools. Pilot program schools will soon receive training to use data to identify students in need of additional mental health supports and to plan effective interventions to meet needs.  With the support of the MU Human Environmental Sciences Extension Office, who provided the trainers and materials, the Sturgeon School district kicked off the project initiative by committing to and training all school staff, 60 plus individuals, in Mental Health First Aid to increase awareness of mental health symptoms of youth in their community.  

As a result of of our visit as of right now it appears that H.B. 42 is favored to pass rather than SB 1.  There are far less unintended consequences in H.B 42 for school districts across the state.  Concerning school funding, it appears that as of right now school funding will not receive any cuts in next year's funding but instead should remain constant.

Thank you for your time!  Have a great day!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

School Funding, School Transfers Legislation

Today, I will be joining the other Boone County school superintendent's in a visit to the state capitol to visit with our local legislators and senator to express our concerns with recent legislation that is currently being discussed at our state capitol.

This is the time of the year when our state officials make decisions that not only affect our state but also our schools.  At the forefront of this legislative session are two subjects that will affect how public schools will function in the future. School funding is being discussed and essentially the hope is that funding will remain where it is currently with no losses irregardless of school size.   According to MASA's recent report:

House Committee Finalizes Budget, Entire House to Consider This Week
The House Select Committee on Budget gave their stamp of approval to a state budget that increases appropriations to Missouri's funding formula from the amount likely to be distributed in FY2015 by approximately $85 million. The budget now moves to the entire House of Representatives this week as Legislators will consider the budget. 
If this amount ends up being distributed, it is estimated no district would lose state funding as a result of the passage of HB 1689 last year. The increase also comes within just a few million dollars of ensuring that the state would be able to fully fund an adequacy target of $6,131 in the 2015-2016 school year.
Budget leaders in both the House and Senate have publicly stated intentions to come up with the funds to address the funding problems created by HB 1689, and SAC is dedicated to working with them over the coming weeks to ensure they are successful. 
If your district is represented by any of the members of the Budget Committee, it is recommended you contact them to thank them for their dedication to provide the necessary funding in 2015-2016 to avoid the negative impact of HB1689. 
On the subject of school transfers:
Price Tag, Mandates Slow Down Senate Transfer Bill, House 
Version Takes Center Stage
During debate two weeks ago on SB 1, the Senate's attempt to address the student transfer crisis, Senators jumped at the opportunity to attach a number of provisions to the student transfer bill that went beyond the intent of the original bill. The result? A price tag of more than $200 million, split between state and local tax payers. The primary cost-drivers are provisions regarding the mandatory retention of students and the mandate that all school districts screen students for dyslexia.

The first provision would require students in St. Louis County to be retained in the 5th or 8th grade if they failed to score "proficient" or "advanced" on MAP tests in both Mathematics and English Language Arts. Because students would be in school longer, the entire state would be forced to pick up the tab through the foundation formula at the tune of $82 million per year. 
The second provision requires every school district in the state to test every student for dyslexia. This mandate would cost school districts a combined $120 million.
For more detail of the cost of SB 1 you can find the fiscal estimate of SB 1 hereAlso, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a story about the developments with SB 1 and which provisions are driving up the cost of the bill.
The cost of SB1 will completely wipe out the increases to the foundation formula discussed above and will lead to the redistribution of state aid from formula districts to hold harmless districts that have been documented throughout the fall and beginning of the legislative session.
Senator Mike Cunningham and Senator Jay Wasson are leading the effort to protect schools from costly provisions in the school transfer bill that endanger the state's ability to fund the formula or put expensive state mandates on school districts. 
SB 1 negatively affects every district in the state, not just those in areas that are currently affected by transfers. 
The Missouri Association of School Administrators has endorsed HB 42, which passed the House by a vote of 114-43. While there are a few things to be corrected in HB42, the bill is a straightforward approach to solving the transfer issue without the costly or negative provisions contained in SB1. 

Thank you for your time this morning and as always thank you for your unending support!!!