Rock Port R-II School Board Meeting Notes: Superintendent Craig Walker Resigns

Rock Port R-II School Board held its regular meeting on Thursday, February 8, in the high school board room. Members present were Rich Dewhirst, Afton Schomburg, Ken Miller, Jeremy Davis, Harold Lawrence, Clay Vogler and Dan Lucas.  Also present were Elementary Principal Steve Waigand, High School Principal Ethan Sickels, Superintendent Craig Walker, Board Secretary Debbie Young, Amy Skillen, Marty Farley, students Will Oswald and Cayden Criger and W. C. Farmer.  President Rich Dewhirst opened the Calendar Hearing meeting. A motion was made to adopt the agenda and seconded. Mr. Walker walked the board through the 2018-2019 school year calendar. With no questions, the calendar was adopted and approved.
President Dewhirst then opened the regular meeting of the school board. Minutes from the January meeting were approved. Mr. Walker then reviewed the financials for the district and the Board approved the transfer of funds. Mr. Walker reviewed the bills for January, where he highlighted a few, and explained some that might stand out. Having no questions, a motion was made and seconded to pay bills.
Scheduled audience was next on the agenda with Will Oswald and Cayden Criger proposing to the board to add spring baseball as another extracurricular activity. Will and Cayden prepared a power point presentation highlighting what they felt were the positives for adding baseball. In addition, they passed around a sign-up list to see the interest by the other students and had 44 signatures on the list. Mr. Walker and Mr. Dewhirst thanked them for their time. Mrs. Amy Skillen was next to talk about the surplus library books from both the high school and elementary. Through the process of automating the books for check out and inventory, she has discovered there were several that were out of date or had not been checked out for several years.  Mrs. Skillen had been doing some research as to the value of the books and the average age of the books in the library. The Board agreed to let Mrs. Skillen continue this process as she is wanting to sell the books and use the money to purchase new books for both libraries.
A report from Elementary Principal Mr. Steve Waigand was next on the agenda. Mr. Waigand touched base on the attendance stating they had been hit with the flu bug, but not to the epidemic stage. Mr. Waigand also talked about the Atchison County Spelling Bee and that Bracton Cook placed second. Bracton will be going to St. Joseph and representing Rock Port in the Regional Spelling Bee.
High School Principal Mr. Ethan Sickels also talked about the attendance but didn’t feel they had been hit as hard. Mr. Sickels also talked about the PLC conference Mrs. Bebb, Mrs. Farmer, Mrs. Jenkins and he all attended. In total, the group attended five different sessions and 20 different breakouts. He thanked the board for coming early to see the FCCLA Star Events. Mr. Sickels also updated the board on all the upcoming activities.
Mr. Walker updated the board on the new increase of electrical rates from the city. He turned the floor over to Mr. Waigand to talk about the new evaluation process they have developed for the Talented and Gifted Program.
Mr. Walker talked about employee procedures regarding position openings in the district. All openings will be posted in the district for one week prior to being posted outside the district.  Mr. Walker discussed stadium access, referring to providing rides down the hill during scheduled events.
Board member Clay Vogler gave a report on the last TABS meeting.
In new business they approved sale of the surplus items. The Board then took action on changes to the board policy and regulations made by Missouri Consultants  for Education, LLC. Motion was made and approved.
The board approved the Budget Amendments for the 2017-18 school year.
Mr. Walker brought a proposal to the board from ELL Tower. ELL Tower is a company that contracts with counties to check the equipment on cellular towers making sure each company is claiming all equipment on their taxes. This ensures that the taxing entities are getting paid the correct amount from the towers. Currently, we have 16 towers in the Rock Port district. The county has proposed a cost share between the county and the three schools in Atchison County. Total  cost is $34,700. Divided up, Rock Port’s portion would be $11,104, Tarkio’s would be $4,164, Fairfax would be $2,082 and the county would pay for half at $17,350. Mr. Walker informed the Board about the experience in Holt County with ELL and the increase their school districts experienced. In all cases, the amount collected from the towers increased by almost double. No action was taken and it was tabled until next month.
The Board then voted to go in to executive session pursuant to personnel matters. The board then came out of closed session and took action on extending Mr. Sickels’ contract for one year, extending it to the 2019-2020 school year. They took no action on Mr. Waigand’s current contract expiring in 2018-2019 school year. Mr. Walker then read a letter to the Board and tendered his resignation effective June 30, 2018. The Board voted to accept Mr. Walker’s resignation. All votes were unanimous.

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