Lunch prices will go up, three new buses will join the fleet, more security measures are planned and a new basketball court design could be on the way.
That was among a number of items passed or discussed at the Platte County Board of Education meeting held on May 16.
The lunch price increase was a result of a food service performance analysis, while also looking at prices across the Kansas City metro area and a formula from the USDA helped determine the increase amount.
The elementary, middle school and high school lunches will go up 25 cents, with the elementary lunch going from $2.25 to $2.50 and the middle/high school lunches will increase from $2.35 to $2.60.
Breakfast prices will go up by 15 cents to $1.70 district wide for students.
Adult prices for breakfast increases to $2.30 from $1.85, while the adult lunch prices go to $3.25 after being $2.50 last year.
The only thing that didn’t change was extra milk, which will still be 45 cents.
In comparing a number of other districts, the breakfast price for students is slightly above the average of $1.64 at the high school, while the new $1.70 will be above the area elementary average of $1.57.
The high school/middle school lunches will now be among the middle of the 14 schools sampled, with Grain Valley, Harrisonville, Independence, Liberty, North Kansas City, Park Hill and Ray-Pec all higher.
In paperwork provided to the board members and viewable by the public online, the food service program has lost money the past six years. The net loss was $39,516 in 2012/2013, while it more than quadrupled by 2017/2018 to $191,893. However, that was less of a loss than the 2016/2017 school year at $215,554.
There were three different proposals and bids that were accepted during the meeting.
As part of fleet maintenance, the board approved the purchase of three 77-passenger buses. With the trade-in allowance, the total cost was $263,104 from Central States Bus for 2020 Bluebird Vision models.
The costs of the buses were $91,868 and Central States offered the most trade-in value at $4,000.
Other bids came from Midwest Bus for $90,717 for a bus, but only $1,000 to $1,500 trade-in. Midwest Transportation had the cheapest options for buses at $89,488, but the trade in value ranged from $1,000 to $1,200. Midwest Transit’s final cost was $265,064, while Midwest Bus’ total was $268,151.
Platte County will trade in three buses with at least 140,000 miles, the most with 196,967 miles.
Upgrades were approved for electronic security, while bids for audio/visual improvements at Wilson Auditorium were rejected.
The electronic safety and security upgrades is phase 2, which will be at Siegrist Elementary and Platte County Middle School.
American Legacy Construction had the winning bid at $245,846 plus a five percent contingency to cover any door hardware that needs to be replaced. The total approval amount was $258,138.
Video entry door intercom systems with door releases, exterior door alert and video surveillance management system with added cameras are part of the upgrades.
Phase 1 was approved in December 2018 for Platte County High School and Paxton School.
One bid came in higher than estimated for the audio/visual improvements, while another bidder never responded to missing items requested in the specifications and requirements.
The final bid approved was for the refinishing of the gymnasium floors at Platte County High School.
ACME Floor Company had the winning bid of $39,601 with a 10 percent contingency for a total of $43,561 for floor refinishing/repairs that will include sanding, sealing, staining and painting.
ACME was the only bidder, though they will only do the main gymnasium floor and not the auxiliary gym floor.
The designs on the floor are still to be determined but a few examples were provided.
Approved in the consent agenda was a proposal to go with Marr and Company for professional auditing services over Westbrook & Co.
Marr and Company will charge $12,750 for audits between 2019-2021, which does not cover out-of-pocket expenses related to the audit but will not exceed $250. Additional services, if needed, would fall under the current standard hourly rate ranging from $75 an hour to $195 an hour.
Westbrook & Co. had a similar hourly rate — $70 to $175 — but its proposal for the audit started at $14,400 for the first two years and went up to $15,250 in 2022 and 2023.
The Platte County School District announced winners for the teacher, service person and support person of the year recently.
Siegrist Elementary fifth grade teacher Kathleen Scanlon was named the teacher of the year, while Heather Schuller, a social worker at Pathfinder Elementary, was the service person of the year. Jennifer Walleman, an administrative assistant at Northland Career Center, was named the support person of the year.
In her nomination, Scanlon’s Watch DOGS (Dads of Great Students), adopt-a-pilot and thank-a-farmer programs were highlighted among many other things. Schuller’s nomination said she was the center of the Pathfinder family and had the ‘biggest heart for all the students.’ Walleman uses her journalism skills to take photos of many events and writes about them in the NCC newsletter.
The A+ program and co/extracurricular programs were discussed in May.
The percentage of high school graduates who meet the A+ requirements dropped for the second year in a row down to 42 percent. That is the lowest mark over the past five years, with the peak of 64 percent in 2014-2015.
The program which requires 50 hours of peer helping can make attending college easier financially. Between the fall 2018 semester and this spring semester, Metropolitan Community College A+ benefits for a total of 93 PCHS graduates came in at nearly $200,000 in benefits.
The percentage of high school parents who understand the requirements and benefits is down to 75 percent, the lowest in the past five years, while the percentage of high schools who understand the same is 73 percent. The district is looking at increasing communications at the middle school levels to let students know about options. One challenge noted is the opportunity for peer helpers at Barry School and Pathfinder Elementary due to distance.
In the co/extracurricular, numbers showed the average grade point average for a high school student involved in one MSHSAA activity is 3.59, the second highest mark over the past four years. The average GPA for total students is 3.20.
A total of 66 percent of students (757) participated in at least one MSHSAA activity.
Almost all of the PCHS coaching staff is now 3D Coaching certified — 98 percent, up two percent from last year. The number of negative special reports from MSHSAA has dropped from 18 in 2017 to 3 through the winter sports season this year.
One area of improvement pointed out was the lack of facilities compared to other schools in the Suburban Conference and filling all coaching positions with teachers.
Recent graduates Ashley Soto and Colby West were recognized at the May board meeting for their class’s community service event that was held on May 6.
A half day ‘Senior Day of Service’ featured more than 150 seniors helping out various places or organizations, such as The Farmer’s House, YMCA, Hillcrest Platte County, the Kansas City Zoo, Avenue of Life, Hillview Nursing, Heritage Village, Platte Valley Bank and the R-3 District. The seniors did various things from helping organize to cleaning to yard work, while members of the band and choir performed for the two nursing homes.
This moved from a first-semester community service project in Dana Hale’s English class to a full-blown community service event.
Soto, West, Kevin Glasco, Amanda Peery and Adam Catlin worked with Uncover KC that helps connect the students with organizations that could use help.
NEWS AND NOTES
In the April meeting, the board approved bids from Trinity3 for Chromebook computers for the R-3 elementary schools (480 for $55,524) and high school (1,325 for $188,100) and accepted the lone bid, from Firefly Computers, for desktop computers for teachers for $21,450.
Electronic proof of residency for all returning students next school year is due by July 12. Questions can be addressed to student’s school or by calling the education center at 858-5420.
Barry School seventh/eighth grade teacher Carmen Marshall was the May SCHIVIR Me Timber winner, while Siegrist Elementary speech-language pathologist Lauren Parrish was the April winner.
Enrollment opened for the Y Club before and after school program. Full-time and part-time Y Club is available at each of the district’s three elementary schools, operating from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. More information can be obtained by calling the YMCA at 913-345-9622.
An agreement was approved between the district and The Calling Community Church for continued use of Wilson Auditorium, the commons area and five classrooms. The agreement starts on July 1 and runs through June 30, 2020.
The old pole vault pit was deemed as surplus and will be sold at www.govdeals.com.
A number of teachers will retire at the end of the school year, with a combined 137 years of service. Those teachers are: Sherry Neale, Lesa Levi, Terry Fryrear, Hortencia Rivera, Lisa Savala, Dixie Wirsig, Teri Peck, Terri Hoppis, Jill Marriott, Billy Aaron, James Stoway, Nancy Turner, Teresa Harvey, David Cox and Deanna O’Dell.
The next board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 20.