Boonville R-1 School Board approves tuition rate increase for preschool

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News

The Boonville R-I School Board met Wednesday night to go over a number of topics, ranging from pre-school tuition rates to a facilities report and construction update by Boonville Assistant Superintendent Fred Smith. 

Of course the board also had plenty to talk about in unfinished business such as reviewing the AirEvac Ambulance Coverage for employees, discussion regarding Health Aide/Nurse pay schedule and committee findings/recommendations, approval of waste management service bids and review and approval of health insurance renewal rates.

Marriott said the board decided not to pursue the option on AirEvac Ambulance Coverage for employees.  “In a survey to staff members, they identified increased insurance benefits for their health insurance plan as a priority, so the Board of Education determined that they would prefer to put the potential amount of money for the AirEvac Ambulance Coverage into improving the contribution towards the staff members health insurance,” Marriott said.

As for the Health Aide/Nurse pay schedule, the board decided to table that until the next meeting.

The board also moved forward on approving A-1 Disposal LLC for waste management services, as well as the new health insurance renewal rates for staff members.

Marriott said the new rates will increase to 5.3 percent to health insurance costs this year. “You’re never thrilled with increases but a 5.3 percent increase is not too difficult for the district at this time,” Marriott said. 

As far as new business, Marriott said Fred Smith gave the board a  facilities report. She said Smith commented that construction is progressing on all of the different areas he reviewed. “Additional projects that are going to occur this summer and for finishing up that bond work, which includes new lockers at LSE and the high school, work at the commons at the high school, new flooring at LSE over the summer,” Marriott said. “The alternative school will also have some work completed this summer as well. On change orders, the board tabled one of the items to further discuss, which would be some improvements at David Barton such as one of the student bathrooms and then made some changes to doors at the old school.”

The board also heard a presentation from Charlie Rigby on Simbli, which Marriott said is a meetings management tool that the school district could utilize to help with organization, retrieval and archival of board of education meetings and minutes. “We just heard the information and the board tabled any further discussion regarding that until we receive a breakdown of the cost,” Marriott said. 

Parents of pre-school kids will also see a slight increase in monthly rates after the board approved full paid tuition rates to go up from $275 per month to $300 per month effective for the fall of 2021. 

In other topics, the board sent out bids for water treatment for Hannah Cole Primary and Boiler/Water Treatment for Laura Speed Elliott Middle School and for a new BHS electronic sign in from of the high school. 

Also discussed was the date for the board of education budget work session, which is scheduled for April 7 at 6 p.m.

Marriott said the board also wanted to review the COVID-19 guidelines and the progress being made in the district. 

“Currently, we don't have any students or staff that are identified as positive for COVID-19, and we don't have anyone in quarantine at this time,” Marriott said. “We also received county health information and there are five active cases in the county, so based on that information, the board felt that it was at the building levels discretion to ease some of the guidelines and some of the restrictions. For instance, in spring sports, we will have no limitations. We will allow students to host dances and prom. We're also making plans for graduation, and we're going to open up a building use again to outside organization. The only item that we really did not address at this time was mask use, and I believe the board's going to look at that again in April to see if they want to change any of the guidelines for masks.”

The board also approved a stipend for a assistant middle school track coach at LSE. Marriott said with 52 athletes out for track, it was too difficult for two coaches to manage. She said the board approved to hire a coach to fill that role for $1,348.20.

Marriott also gave the superintendent’s report to the board, which went over the COVID guidelines. She also commented that students will not be in session on April 2 but will have their second snow day makeup on Monday, April 5. In addition, Marriott said the board is also looking at adding back a kindergarten position and a fifth grade position that they didn't fill last year due to budget. “Our hope is that with our early budget projections we will be we'll be able to go ahead and fill those positions,” Marriott said. 

The next board meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 14th.