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On August 6, 2020, the Smithville Board of Education approved our REVISED Fall 2020 Return to School Plan which was developed in collaboration with medical professionals, public health agencies, parents, teachers, and support staff to ensure the health and well-being of our students and staff.

On August 4, 2020, voters in the Smithville School District were asked to consider two questions: A no tax rate increase bond issue, and a no tax rate increase levy fund transfer.

Both questions PASSED!

More updates about our next steps coming soon!
Student Device Handout
When:
August 25th - August 28th
7:00 am - 7:00 pm

Where:
Performing Arts Center

Who:
All Students Grades 1-12

Kindergarteners signed up for Virtual Learning

What you need to know:

  • Typically, devices would be handed out to students during the first week of school, but due to our current return-to-school plans our IT Department wants to hand devices out immediately.

  • If students still have a device from last school year, they can turn in that devices without being charged a $50 lost fee.

  • High school students who did not already receive their Chromebook over the summer can pick up their device at this time.

Elementary Students

  • Students in grades 1-6, who do not already have a Chromebook or laptop at home needs to pick up a device at this time.

  • Students in grades 1-6 will have an additional and dedicated device in the classroom. The device picked up at this time is dedicated to staying at the students home.

  • Kindergarteners who are signed up for Virtual Learning will need to pick up a device at this time.

  • Kindergarteners who plan at participate in Face-to-Face Learning DO NOT need to pick up a device at this time.
These are the highlights from the August 19h meeting of the Smithville School District Board of Education (BOE).
PUBLIC TAX RATE HEARING & SETTING OF TAX LEVY
The Board set the 2020 total tax rate at $5.100 per $100 of assessed valuation.  The total will be divided as follows: Fund 10 $2.5288, Fund 20 $1.05, Fund 30 $1.0012, Fund 40 $0.52.  This is based on a total assessed valuation of $283,411,605 for both real estate and personal property, which represents a 3.7337% increase over the previous year.  This includes a $0.10 transfer from Fund 3 to Fund 1, as approved on August 4, 2020.  The 2019 total levy was $5.100.
CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS
The Board approved the following consent agenda items:

  1. Approve Bills for Payment
  2. August Supplemental Pay
  3. Approval of Contractual Agreements
  4. Assistance League of Kansas City Updated Contract
COMMUNICATIONS
Correspondence:

We have included a thank you note from Donna Irwin for flowers sent after the passing of her mother.

Fall Activities Update
Late this afternoon, the Clay County Public Health Center released a statement stating that fall activities can continue provided protective measures are put in place by the school district. Dr. Schuetz informed the Board that he would make the Suburban Conference the Smithville intends to play fall sports.

Policy EBB: Communicable Diseases
The Board was reminded that Policy EBB states the local or city health departments or the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services may require students or staff with communicable diseases to be excluded from school as needed for the health and safety of students and staff.  Dr. Schuetz suggested that the Board might want to consider rewording this policy to make it more broad and give the Board more local control.  Ian Saxton asked for guidance from legal counsel on this policy that would give the district more flexibility.  Scott Haggerty agreed and asked for additional guidance on who is specifically subject to this policy.
  1. A Joint Boards meeting with the City took place on August 3 with an additional meeting scheduled for November 2, which is part of a quarterly effort (BOE Priority #1).
  2. With the General Obligation Bond Issue passing, Robert and I have been meeting with both architectural firms in preparation for the projects (BOE Priority #2). 
  3. Diversity training for all staff wrapped up on August 18 (BOE Priority #4). 
  4. Passing ballot question #2 will go a long way in helping mitigate state withholdings (BOE Priority #5).
Assistant Superintendent for Academic Services Comments
Dr. Michelle Kratofil provided an update on re-entry for staff and students including professional development, preparation for the fall, and scheduling of virtual learning students.
Construction Update
Robert Hedgecorth provided an update to the Board on current capital projects. Meetings have taken place to begin work on the Eagle Heights classroom addition and the activity center. The playground upgrades and replacement of the high school kitchen hood will take place in the winter, while the HVAC improvements at Horizon will take place next summer.

COMMENTS FORM THE AUDIENCE
Chris Palmer thanked the Board for taking the stance that they did on fall activities.  He challenged the Board to use relevant data when making decisions going forward.
Program Evaluation
Transportation Program Evaluation
In addition to the report, the Board was advised of a new software program called Transportant that will be placed on each bus that allows parents to track the bus as it travels and to see when and where their child gets on and off the bus.  Mr. Saxton asked about communication to parents.  Mr. Hedgecorth responded that registration needs to be completed and accurate before specific information is shared with families.

Staff Attendance
Kim Davis provided the Board with a summary of staff attendance for the 2019-2020 school year.  Denney Fales commented that we need to make a notation for future reference and comparison purposes that staff did not report for the last quarter of school so the data are skewed.
OLD BUSINESS
The preliminary ASBR has been sent to DESE to meet the August 15th deadline.  The ASBR represents a "snapshot" of the district's finances on June 30, 2020 and of the fiscal year which began on July 1, 2019.  The Fund 1/2 reserve balance ratio was 15.41% from 17.02% the year prior as a result of a $515,273.37 deficit leaving a balance in Fund 1/2 of $4,239,713.18 on June 30th.  Mr. Fales cautioned that we cannot continue to lean on our reserves for operating the district.  He also acknowledged that, had the pandemic not hit, our deficit spending and declining reserve balances would have ceased.  Wayne Krueger commented that the budget cuts made by the state at the end of FY20 was equivalent to two months of expenditures for the district and our reserves carried us through.

During the month of July, we received $1,440,343.88, making a total of $1,440,343.88 received since July 1, 2020. Expenditures for July were $1,249,724.09, making a total of $1,249,724.09 expended since July, 2020.

Patrons can access the revenue report, expenditure report, and check register for the district on the district webpage under Departments and Business & Finance.
NEW BUSINESS
The Board voted to certify the election results from the August 4, 2020 election.

The Board approved the policy AC revisions for the first reading.  The policy has been updated to more accurately reflect our practice regarding harassment and discrimination based upon gender and to update the compliance officer designation. The Board will act on this item at the September Board meeting.

On an annual basis, the Board of Education reviews and adopts the district comprehensive assessment plan.  The plan includes a schedule of assessments given in the district along with an explanation of the purpose of each.  In addition, the plan describes how the data from each assessment are used and explains practices and procedures to maintain test security.  The Board approved the plan as presented.

The name that is sticking as we refer to this structure is the Activities Center but we should consider employing a more meaningful and purposeful approach to naming the facility, which will serve as an annex to the high school but will also serve many more purposes. Dr. Schuetz recommended employing a process for allowing stakeholders an opportunity to provide suggestions to the Board for their consideration.

We received very positive feedback on the Class of 2020 graduation that took place on July 18 at the stadium. Graduation for the Class of 2021 is set for May 22, and we should consider whether to hold the ceremony at the stadium again. Dr. Schuetz suggested that we set two or three dates/times to accommodate for weather and that we survey parents and seniors as their opinion clearly matters most. The Board asked the administration to proceed with collecting the opinions of the Class of 2021 and their families.

Personnel Recommendations
The Board approved personnel items as presented.

Miscellaneous
  1. Convocation for all staff was held today.   The staff participated virtually in their buildings.  Our guest speaker was excellent and set a positive tone for the school year.
  2. The MSBA conference is now all virtual. 
  3. The Board typically hosts a reception for new teachers. I will ask the Board for thoughts on this year's reception in light of COVID-19.

Meeting adjourned at 8:47 p.m.
LUKE TEMPERELLI
2019 - 2020 Advocate of the Year
The Special Services Advocate of the Year award was first presented in August 1997. It has become a tradition of reflection and recognition of the efforts and accomplishments of dedicated individuals in our school and community. The intent of this award is to recognize annually an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to special services students or programs in the Smithville R-II School District.
 
 This individual:

  • Improves the quality of the educational program or community integration for a special services student or students.

  • Demonstrates a commitment to the concept of individuality and the premise that all children can learn when provided with appropriate opportunities.

  • Embraces the human quality of teaching or working with special students.

  • Exceeds the expected involvement with our student(s).

On August 20th, our teachers returned to campus in order to prepare for the 2020 - 2021 school year.

Smithville welcomes 22 new teachers to the district!
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DISTRICT SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
We are frequently approached by members of the business community wanting to promote their business to the staff of the Smithville School District. We appreciate the services local businesses offer to our community and staff and would like to work together to promote businesses while supporting the students and staff of Smithville School District.
 
For this reason, we provide a format to assist in the promotion of businesses through our District sponsorship program. The sponsorship dollars will assist in providing staff and student activities, services, or awards in addition to creating ways for you to share and promote your business and services.
 
Sponsorship and support of the District is available at various levels – bundled or separately. 
 
To learn more about our sponsorship program, contact Kim Davis at davisk@smithville.k12.mo.us
Smithville School District
655 S. Commercial Ave.
Smithville, MO 64089
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