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January BOE Meeting Update
January BOE Meeting Update
Fred Lamkey
Thursday, January 21, 2021

Heather Fricke Hired as High School Principal

The Mount Pulaski Board of Education conducted their regular meeting on January 20th at 6:00 PM with all members in attendance.

Roll call was then taken for the January regular meeting at 6:00 PM with all members in attendance.  Four attendees were present for the meeting, but no one addressed the Board during Recognition of the Public.

The Board voted 7-0 to approve the Consent Agenda, which included payment of bills, sales tax revenue report, minutes from December 21, 2020 regular meeting, minutes from December 21, 2020 executive session.  Superintendent Lamkey also commented that the district sales tax revenues topped the $250,000 mark for the year.  This was significant because he was concerned this revenue stream may significantly decrease during the pandemic.  In addition, Mr. Lamkey informed the Board that all funds were under budget except for the Building and Grounds Fund, which has incurred high school construction costs.

In Reports, Mr. Lamkey reported future work at the high school to add lighting to the northeast corner of campus and also the replacement of the sidewalk along Spring Street.  The district is collaborating with the City of Mt. Pulaski on the sidewalk project. The April 6th elections were also discussed and Mr. Lamkey informed the Board we had four positions up for election with four incumbents running for these positions along with one other candidate.  The April 6th Election also has a resolution that would allow Logan County Schools to spend 1% Sales Tax money on School Resource Officers and social service positions.  This resolution would not raise taxes, but instead allow the district to utilize this resource for purposes other than district infrastructure.  Superintendent Lamkey hopes to have promotional information for the resolution at the next meeting.

Under Unfinished Business, the Board voted 7-0 to approve an agreement with the Mt. Pulaski Christian Church which outlines the church as a temporary shelter for the grade school in a time of need.  Next Mr. Lamkey discussed the district’s readiness to move to 2:00 PM dismissal times next week.  Food and transportation services have been coordinated to make the jump from 11:30 AM dismissal to 2:00 PM.  Superintendent Lamkey discussed with the Board that once the district extends the school day, it is highly unlikely to have a scenario where the time would be moved back.  He is hopeful the next change would be to a full day with dismissal at 3:00 PM.

The Board then entered Executive Session at 6:18 PM to discuss personnel issues and returned to regular session at 6:55 PM.

Under New Business, Ms. Hinson introduced Credit Recovery Program that would benefit high school students struggling to make progress toward graduation.  Currently, the district anticipates 7 students who could benefit from such a program during the summer.  The Board voted 7-0 to approve the program.

After discussion, the Board directed Mr. Lamkey to find a date the district could conduct a High School Open House to dedicate the new construction and renovations.  Mr. Lamkey will be looking at the end of March through the first of April for an appropriate date.

Next, the Board approved (7-0) the 2021 High School Graduation Date for Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 3:00 PM.  8th grade promotion plans are still being discussed.

Following Board policy, the Board considered opening Executive Session Minutes from the past 6 months, but the motion died from lack of a second.

The Board then approved the 2021 Reduction in Force (RiF) list with a 7-0 vote.  Every year the district administration and Mt. Pulaski Education Association are required to compile a RiF List that will serve the district in the event it is required to reduce staff.

The Board unanimously approved Mrs. Heather Fricke as the Mt. Pulaski High School Principal for the next 3 school years.  Mrs. Fricke replaces Terry Morgan who will retire at the end of this school year.  Mrs. Fricke previously served in Mt. Pulaski schools as a science teacher and Technology Coordinator.  She begins her work as principal on July 1, 2021.

Superintendent Lamkey then offered the Board an overview of the district enrollment trends which indicate a five year fluctuation between 509 and 545 students with a median of 514.  This year’s Pre-K through 12 grade enrollment is 516,

In the Midterm Financial Report, the district is experiencing a 5 year low in fund balances due to high school construction costs.  Mr. Lamkey informed the Board that after construction costs are paid this year, it will open the door for increasing reserve balances going into the 2022 fiscal year.  The Board will create a Capital Projects list this summer along with a budget for necessary instructional resources needed for next school year.  After formulating a spending plan, the district will then address left over revenues to consider further tax abatements next year.  This year the district made a $400,000 early payment on construction bonds which saved taxpayers over $2 million over a 20 year period.  In addition, $140,000 construction bond abatement was approved this fall that will allow for a 12 to 13 cent tax savings over the next year.  The Board remains focused on providing for the needs of the district while also being thoughtful of the district tax rate.

The last action of the evening was the 7-0 approval of the Personnel Report which included the resignation of Katherine Reed as the High School Secretary. 

The Board once again entered Executive Session and returned to Open Session at 9:07 PM.  The Board meeting adjourned at 9:08 PM.  The next Board meeting is scheduled for February 17, 2021.