Governing Body: Prairie Hills USD No. 113 Board of Education
The Prairie Hills USD No. 113 Board of Education (BOE) met at 6 p.m. Monday, July 12, at the district office in Sabetha. Board members present were Ed Reznicek, Kathy Lippert, Jim Scoby, Leslie Scoby, Kent Saylor, Ann Shaughnessy and Stan Keim.
The board adopted the agenda as amended.
The board approved the consent agenda as amended, including the following: minutes from the June 14 meeting; June payroll for the amount of $755,336.69; Lump Sum Payroll for the amount of $218,652.07; Contingency Fund encumbrance for potential $36,237.42 gas bill from February 2021; payment from Contingency Fund for Architect Fees; the opening of a petty cash account for the Axtell School with the State Bank of Bern in Axtell; rescind all policy statements found in the minutes of this Board of Education meeting and adopt the policy manual as presented by the superintendent; appoint Ashley Niehues as Food Service Representative and as determining official for Free Lunch Qualifications, and appoint the Clerk of the Board as hearing officer; adopt an 1,116-hour school term to be submitted to KSDE; district mileage at the state rate per mile; continue district office petty cash at $500 per month and building petty cash funds at $200 per month; continue Fidelity Bonds for Clerk and Treasurer at $10,000; district banking with Morrill and Janes Bank and United Bank, and authorize district banking as stated in attachment; a resolution requesting a waiver from the statutory GAAP requirement for the preparation of financial statements and reports for the year ending June 30, 2021; reauthorize early payment request to avoid late fees; ESSER II application and budget; approval for Superintendent Todd Evans to sell two mowers; approval of Saylor Insurance Proposal; resignation of Rachael Deters as Axtell Head Secretary; contracts with/hires of Ross Duncan as Sabetha Middle School summer help and Cheyenne Kuckelman as Axtell Secretary; appointment of officers: Debra Damman as Clerk of the Board, Elaine Mowder as Deputy Clerk, Bart White as Treasurer of the Board ($350 per year) and Kickhaefer and Buessing of Marysville as Auditor; and designate the following:
• Depository for district funds – All district banks and savings and loan in district;
• District checking account – Morrill and Janes Bank;
• Activity and petty cash at SES, SMS, SHS and Central Office – United Bank and Trust;
• Activity and petty cash for WAC – Girard National Bank;
• Activity and petty cash for Axtell – State Bank of Bern/Axtell;
• Official newspaper – The Sabetha Herald;
• Attendance/Truancy officer – Todd Evans, David Glynn, Rick Schnacker, Matt Garber, Rusty Willis and Alana Seddon;
• KPERS Representative – Debra Damman;
• Holton Special Ed. Co-op representative – Todd Evans;
• USD No. 113 School Attorney – Martin Mishler;
• Homeless Coordinator – Jennifer Gatz;
• Compliance Coordinator for Federal anti-discrimination laws – Jennifer Gatz;
• Freedom of Information officer – Todd Evans;
• Asbestos Compliance officer – Todd Evans.
Members were appointed to positions on the board.
L. Scoby was elected as President, replacing Reznicek, with all in favor. Lippert was reappointed to the Vice President position with all in favor. They will serve in these positions for the fiscal year.
The board nominated Lippert as the Governmental Relation Representative with all in favor.
Keim and L. Scoby were appointed to serve on the Certified Sick Leave Bank Committee for the 2021-22 school year, with all in favor.
Shaughnessy and Keim were appointed to serve on the USD 113 Foundation Board, with all in favor. Shaughnessy will hold this position until December, when her term is up.
Lippert, Saylor and Reznicek were nominated to the 2021-22 Finance Committee, with all in favor. Reznicek will hold this position until his term is up.
Saylor, L. Scoby and J. Scoby were appointed to the 2021-22 Facilities Committee, with all in favor.
Shaughnessy reported for the USD 113 Foundation.
The board received written reports from building administrators David Glynn, Rusty Willis, Matt Garber, Rick Schnacker and Alana Seddon, as well as Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Gatz. This was the first BOE meeting for Seddon.
During Willis’s report, she expressed her appreciation for how helpful and welcoming the community has been since she’s been in Sabetha. She also said the Sabetha Elementary School (SES) has started their summer academy and it’s been a success so far.
Glynn reported to the board that the gymnasium floor project at Sabetha High School has started.
Gatz reported on summer school pix and STEAM. She also reported on the district’s accreditation status.
Superintendent Evans reported on topics as follows:
BCBS: Evans spoke about the school district’s insurance with Blue Cross Blue Shield. He said the district’s rates have increased about 14.7 percent compared to what was paid last year. This amounts to a $90,000 increased cost to the district for the upcoming year.
Lease Purchase: Evans presented a Lease Purchase Agreement to the board with some information about the construction project at the Sabetha Elementary School. The cost range for this lease purchase is from $2,400,000 to $3,000,000, and payments would be twice a year for five fiscal years starting 2023. More information will be available after the Aug. 9 meeting when the board makes some decisions on the project.
Symmetry: Evans reported to the board that USD 113 still has an outstanding amount due to Symmetry Energy Solutions from February when temperatures dropped below zero. He said the lawsuit against Symmetry is still ongoing.
Budget Timeline: Evans shared a timeline with the board regarding the Revenue Neutral Tax Rate. On Monday, Aug. 9, the board will receive the Code 99 document and adopt the resolution to exceed the Revenue Neutral Rate (RNR). On Monday, Sept. 13, a budget hearing and Revenue Neutral hearing will take place. Evans is planning for the board to approve the budget at the September meeting. At 4:30 p.m. July 22, before the special BOE meeting at 6 p.m., Evans plans to invite potential BOE members to attend a budget/information workshop to learn some information before they potentially serve on the board in the future. This workshop also is open to the public if anyone wishes to attend.
Revenue Neutral Rate, Mill Rate
Evans stated a new Revenue Neutral Rate law is in effect now, and is creating a challenge for USD 113 due to increase valuation. The following are four funds that will exceed the Revenue Neutral Rate:
• 20 mills for General Fund (AKA State Aid), RNR = 19.173
• 16.15 mills for Supplemental General (estimated at 16.020), RNR = 14.941
• 7.0 mills for Capital Outlay, RNR = 5.47 (5.706 in fiscal year 2021)
• 6.0 mills for Bond and Interest (estimated at 5.99), RNR = 5.936
The board approved the motion to exceed the Revenue Neutral Rate for USD 113. Mills are not to exceed 20 mills for the General Fund, 16.15 mills for the Supplemental General Fund, 7.0 Capital Outlay and 6.0 for the former USD 441 Bond Issue.
District Plan for Safe Return
Evans presented the District Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services. This document is required for USD 113 to continue being eligible for ESSER federal relief funds.
J. Scoby shared his concerns about one point on the document pertaining to vaccination clinics being at the schools. He said it seemed like it would be a clear violation of HIPAA. He said people shouldn’t be asked to provide personal information while they are in a public place, even if the people give their permission to do so. In response, Lippert said nobody is required to be present at these clinics and they have a choice to go or not. Shaughnessy agreed with Lippert. Evans said the schools have had flu clinics present in the buildings before and it hasn’t been a problem so far, but he understands the concern.
Keim asked about a part in the document that states, while planning activities, USD 113 personnel will consider physical distancing the students. He wondered if that meant all personnel could physical distance the students. Evans indicated the statement was intentionally vague to provide flexibility.
After some further discussion, the board approved the motion, 5 to 2, to accept the District Plan for Safe Return. Keim and J. Scoby were opposed.
District Secretary/Payroll Position
Evans requested that board approve a district secretary/payroll position in order to keep up with payroll for all USD 113 schools and federal aid funds, and to provide further needed assistance to the board office.
J. Scoby voiced his concerns about creating a permanent position to be paid for by ESSER funds, which is only available for three years. Shaughnessy also shared her concerns, stating the position will affect Axtell and Wetmore’s payroll more than it will Sabetha due to the other schools being smaller. She said Axtell has made many cuts to stay viable, and it’s usually the board office expenses that “blows them out of the water.” Shaughnessy was concerned that everything Axtell has cut has been ineffective.
After the discussion, the board approved the motion, with 6 in favor, to add a district secretary/payroll position to USD 113. Shaughnessy was opposed.
Also at the meeting:
The board approved final bills and transfers for the FY21 budget. Final bills amounted to $209,633.25 and transfers totaled $1,173,832.
The board approved the June 2021 KASB Recommended Policy updates, with all in favor.
Board members approved recommended Staff and Supplemental Staff for USD 113, with all approved.
The board also approved building-level student handbooks, with all in favor.
Evans updated the board on the remodel/construction project, saying Civium architects and the Construction Manager at Risk will be present at the August meeting to discuss the scope of the project.
Board members approved the conversion of CDs (as they come due) to Money Market accounts to provide liquidity for the remodel/construction project, with all in favor.
Board members went into a 10-minute executive session for the purpose of discussing employee compensation under the KOMA exception for negotiations. Present for the executive session were the board members and Evans. Two actions resulted from the executive session:
The board approved the classified handbook for USD 113, which includes 2021-22 compensation.
The board also approved Administrative Compensation for the 2021-22 school year.
Board members went into a 10-minute executive session for the purpose of consultation with USD 113 Legal Council. Present for the executive session were the board members, Evans and the district attorney by phone. No action was taken following the executive session.
To watch the Superintendent report on the meeting, visit https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/criI2mViXX9.
The board will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 22, at the Sabetha board office for KOMA and Boardsmanship. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 9, at the district office in Sabetha.