The school board of the Gasconade County R-I School District met Thursday, Sept. 12 for both regular and executive sessions. After hearing the monthly reports of administrators, the Board heard from Supt. Dr. Scott Smith concerning the budget and facilities. According to the Superintendent, the budget is holding up well and no surprises have been encountered this month. Facilities are looking good and being well maintained by custodial and maintenance staff.
Dr. Smith introduced Mrs. Emily Omohundro, an attorney with EdCounsel in Columbia, who presented the board with a plan to provide Gasconade County R-I with a school governance plan, also called the Comprehensive Strategic Plan. Dr. Smith said it had been around 10 years since the last planning effort. In the meantime, declining enrollment in the District has had an impact on the budget and curriculum planning. Since the 2008-2009 school year, enrollment has declined by 185 students.
Because of this trend and the time lapse in planning for the future, Dr. Smith wanted to entertain a motion to employ EdCounsel to assist with the needs assessment and gathering of data for the District’s comprehensive strategic plan.
EdCounsel would retain the services of retired Superintendent Jim Hinson to lead the gathering of data and development of the plan. Mrs. Omohundro presented the board with the methods they would use to develop the plan, such as interviewing current employees, meeting with student groups as well as groups of community members, and gathering information from administrators. EdCounsel would then work in conjunction with Dr. Smith and the administrative team to develop the plan that would eventually be presented to the school board for adoption. The development process is estimated to take a few months to complete at a cost to the district of $6,500. After discussion and deliberation, the board voted to hire EdCounsel to move forward with this project.
In other business, the board approved a resolution adopting the Montgomery County Hazard Mitigation Plan as presented by the Booneslick Regional Planning Commission. Also, the board approved Dr. Smith's request for a proposal (RFP) for a purchasing card program. The RFP will be sent to several banks, as well as advertised on the school website and a regional newspaper.
The board moved to approve the 2019-20 Annual Assessment plan as presented as well as the normal monthly treasurer's reports and bill payments before moving to executive session.
In closed session, the board approved the addition of LaDonna Williams, Josie Weir, and Michael Haas to the list of substitute teachers.