24-25 School Calendar, Facility Upgrades, and 4-Day Week: Key Takeaways from Excelsior Springs Board Meeting

Watch a full replay of the Excelsior Springs School Board meeting from December 12, 223 on the Excelsior Citizen YouTube channel.

Recognitions

Classified Employee of the Month: Dr. Bullimore recognized Tena Stoy, Middle School secretary, as the December Classified Employee of the Month, acknowledging her contributions and role at the school.

ESHS Boys Soccer Team Recognition: Activities Director Eric Marshall and coach Zac Ganzer introduced ESHS Men’s Soccer team members. They were celebrated for reaching the final four in State Soccer for three consecutive years. Coach Ganzer highlighted the team’s accomplishments throughout the season and their performance at the state tournament.

“Seussical the Musical” Production Accolades: Mr. Marshall introduced Mr. Jeff Haney, the Drama and Speech teacher, along with some cast and crew members from the recent production of “Seussical the Musical.” Mr. Haney and the students shared their experiences and involvement in the production and theater, showcasing the school’s thriving arts program.

Tena Stoy was selected as the ESSD Classified Employee of the Month (photo from board documents).
Coach McKenzie and Ganzer pose with the ESHS boys soccer team who were recognized for advancing to the state final four three years in a row (photo Mackenzie Cole).
Mr. Jeff Haney introduced several members from the cast and crew of Seussical the Musical (photo Mackenzie Cole).

Cabinet Reports

Academic Services Report by Dr. Miller

Dr. Miller discussed the recently released APR data on December 11th and indicated that a more detailed report will be presented at the next school board meeting on January 9th. This update suggests ongoing analysis and future planning in the academic domain.

Human Services Report by Dr. Everett:

Supporting Families During the Holidays: The report highlighted various initiatives, including ‘Adopt a Family’ supporting 16 families and about 50 children, ‘Sack it for Santa from Fox 4 Love Fund’ for 24 teens, and ‘Shop with a Cop’ for 25 elementary students.

Wellness Committee December Challenge: The report mentioned the ‘Winter Wellness Bingo for Staff’ held between Thanksgiving and Christmas, featuring three weekly prize packages and a grand prize of a $500 gift card to the Elms Hotel and Spa​​.

Operations Report by Dr. Bullimore:

Safety & Security: Updates to Cornerstone continue to be made, installing privacy film to windows throughout the building.

Food Service RFP Update: An update on the Request for Proposal process for food services was noted, indicating efforts to manage or improve the school meal programs.

Student & Staff Attendance: The report presented year-to-date attendance data showing positive changes from the 2022-2023 school year across various schools, with increased attendance percentages at Cornerstone, Lewis, Elkhorn, Middle School, High School, and the Career Center. Additionally, it included information on staff attendance and substitute fill rates​.

Superintendent’s Report

The Superintendent’s report focused primarily on the plans for facility upgrades within the Excelsior Springs School District, highlighting various projects and their respective timelines:

2023 Updates:Lewis updates: The report referenced ongoing updates at Lewis Elementary School, with a link provided for further details. https://app.oxblue.com/open/newkirknovak/lewiselementaryschool

2024 Plans:
High School Exterior Updates: These are on hold, with an allocated budget of $200,000.
New Scoreboard: Planned installation after the holidays, costing $300,000.
Tennis Courts: Originally planned for a $1,070,000 overhaul, now changed to a $15,000 patch.
Parking Lots at Middle School, Elkhorn, and Cornerstone: Set for Summer 2024, with a budget of $500,000.

2025 Projects:
ECC Exterior Updates: Currently on hold, with a budget of $75,000.
High School and ECC Parking Lots: Scheduled for Summer 2025, with an $850,000 budget allocated.

The Superintendent’s report included updates on the progress of Lewis Elementary construction (photos from board docs).

Discussion/Action Items

2024-2025 School Calendar

The Board of Education reviewed and approved the 2024-2025 school calendar, as recommended by the calendar committee, which met on December 13th. The highlights of the approved calendar include:

  • In-Service and Start Dates: New teacher in-service is scheduled from August 12-14, followed by teacher in-service from August 15-20. The first day of school is set for August 21.
  • Holidays and Breaks: Key holidays and breaks include Labor Day (September 2), Thanksgiving Break (November 27-29), and Martin Luther King Day (January 20). Notably, the Winter Break is extended from December 23 to January 8, coinciding with the expected completion date of Lewis Elementary, with classes resuming in the new building post-break.
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences and Other No-School Days: Half-days for parent-teacher conferences are scheduled for October 24 and February 13. Other no-school days are slated for various purposes like in-service, holidays, and Spring Break (March 24-28).
  • End of School Year: The calendar marks May 16 as the date for graduation, with May 20 planned as the last day of school. Make-up days, if needed, are set from May 21-30. The summer school is scheduled to start on June 3.

Committee to Explore the Possibility of a 4-Day School Week

During the meeting, the Board of Education agreed to form a committee to explore the feasibility of a 4-day school week. The idea was presented by Dr. Tomlinson, who stated that many current employees have asked about the possibility. Tomlinson also said many candidates for job openings are seeking districts that offer 4-day school weeks. Board member Darren McKown strongly opposed the idea but, in the end, voted to allow the committee to explore its feasibility. This committee will likely explore various aspects of implementing a 4-day school week, including its effects on academic outcomes, family schedules, and school operations.

Set Special Board Meeting to Accept FY2023 Audit

A special board meeting (via Zoom) to accept the fiscal year 2023 audit as soon as possible and was approved to be set by no later than December 31st.

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