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March 21, 2013

School Board Announces Plans to Launch Preschool Program

Educational opportunities offered by Scotland County R-I School District will be expanding to include three- and four-year-olds. The district's Early Childhood Committee met March 11th to finalize plans for the proposed program.

Those plans were discussed by the SCR-I board of education at the March 14th meeting.

Applications for the preschool program will be available at the SCR-I preschool screenings for ages three and four, which will be held March 23rd.

Superintendent Dave Shalley stated that currently, the district is looking at an integrated classroom, which stipulates that 50 percent of students have individual education plans. He noted that the number of applicants selected will be determined by the number of students needing individual help. The district will select a location to house the program after determining the number of classrooms needed.

In other business, Shalley presented an updated financial statement to the board.

"We are on target, year-to-date, with expenses and a little better than planned on revenues," he told the board.

The administration reviewed the assessed valuation growth within the district since 2004-2005. Shalley said the district has shown a consistent four percent increase over the past nine years. However, that has been offset by a five-year pattern of deficit spending.

"Although the deficit spending has been planned due to good balances - just over $2 million in reserves to begin this fiscal year, we need to look at possible ways to level out this pattern," Shalley told the board.

The financial report also reported that next year's state spending is projected to be level funding, meaning no increase. The Foundation Formula is currently underfunded by just under $700 million dollars, Shalley added, estimating the underfunding cost Scotland County School District $132,878 this year.

"And it will be even more next year," he said. "We have some room in the tax levy to make up that increase, but have chosen not to do so the past seven years. The board will have some decisions to face in the next couple years with respect to handling reduced state revenues."

Board Workshop

As the scheduled workshop for board members was a goal setting meeting, no decisions were made. Topics discussed include: finances, sick leave pool, assessed valuation history, bus needs, computer lab, parking lot maintenance, sidewalks, gym floor, lockers, curriculum needs, Early Childhood Program, salaries and benefits.

Bus Bids

The board voted 6-0 to solicit bids to purchase buses. Bids will be reviewed at the April meeting.

Gifted Program

Mrs. Blaine presented the Gifted Procedural Evaluation. The program numbers have been declining in recent years. Some schedule conflicts have existed and other students have elected not to participate. Recruitment and referral ideas were discussed in an attempt to increase participation. The board voted 6-0 to accept the evaluation and take the recommendations under advisement.

Letter of Resignation

The board voted 6-0 to accept the letter of resignation of Ivonne Wiegand as the Spanish teacher.

Meeting Date

The April board meeting will be held April 11th.

Executive Session

In Executive session the board voted 6-0 to approve the following:

February 13th Minutes

Offer Employment to the Following, Non-Tenured Teachers: Danielle Reynolds, Angie Cochran, Lindsay Tippett, Devon Breitling, Amy Shultz, Sharon Dawkins, Ed Koser, Sean Reynolds, Jenna Ketchum, Dana Frederick, Kara Hamlin, Daniel Burns, Elizabeth Carper, Billie Lanham, Tracy LaVan, Tracey Meusec, Christina Olakowski, Terri Slaughter, Shaina Dochterman, Sarah Hawkins, Michael Fulk.

The board voted 6-0 to go into open session for the purpose of adjournment.

The board voted 6-0 to approve the following items on the Consent Agenda:

February 13th regular meeting minutes; Procedural Evaluations as follows: School Facilities & Grounds, as presented by Mr. Pippert & Mr. Bergeson, District Safety, as presented by Mr. Pippert & Mr. Bergeson, District Technology, as presented by Mr. Beeler, Media Centers/Libraries, as presented by Ms. Hamlin; Overnight Requests as follows: FBLA, SPRINT, FCCLA.

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