The Rock Port R-II School Board of Education met March 12, 2020, for its calendar hearing and regular meeting. President Jeremy Davis called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Other board members present were Ken Miller, Rich Dewhirst, Harold Lawrence, Dan Lucas, and Clay Vogler. Member Afton Schomburg entered the meeting at 7:10 p.m. Others in attendance were Superintendent Ethan Sickels, High School Principal Donnie Parsons, Elementary Principal Steve Waigand, Board Secretary Debbie Young, and Shauna Farmer, Leigh Ann Lawrence, and Beth Davis.

The agenda was adopted and Mr. Sickels presented the proposed calendar for the 2020-2021 school year with the starting date for students of August 26, 2020. There was no public comment on the proposed calendar, and action was taken to approve the 2020-2021 school calendar as presented. The minutes of the regular meeting of February 13, 2020, were approved, and Mr. Sickels reviewed the financial information for the month ending February 2020. The transfer of funds, February final check register, March check register to date, and the activity account checks were approved. During Communications Mr. Sickels read thank you notes from the Margaret Moore family and from Trudy and Rebel Herron. Beth Davis gave a presentation on her year as a state FCCLA officer. President Davis extended thanks to outgoing board member Clay Vogler for his years of service to the Rock Port R-II School District.

Mr. Waigand reported February attendance in the elementary was 93.92%, and enrollment is 189. An Energy Bus Rally was held March 9. Students who were “Loving their Passengers” were recognized. March’s Energy Bus Principle is “Enjoy the Ride.” Sixth grade D.A.R.E. classes from Rock Port, Tarkio, and Fairfax traveled to the Auburn State Theater on March 6 for the movie “Upward.” They spent the afternoon together at Grace Church participating in some team building activities with our county high school D.A.R.E. role models. A special thanks to Rick Sons for his work in organizing this day. Read Across America Week was celebrated March 2-6. In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday several different “Reading Spirit Days” were planned for the week. Summative evaluations with teachers took place the weeks of February 24-March 6. Mr. Waigand said, “I enjoy these opportunities to visit with them as we reflect on talents they bring to our school community, areas to focus on for the upcoming year, and what they would like to see from our building in the coming year.” The MAP Incentive Committee is starting to meet and make plans for the upcoming MAP assessments. This year’s theme is centered around being a Champion/Super Bowl. A special thank you to Mr. Palmer and the FFA members for hosting the petting zoo on February 26. It was the highlight of the day for many students. Upcoming dates and activities and staff professional development were reviewed.

Mr. Parsons reviewed several upcoming dates and activities. Attendance through March 6 is 94.94% with 163 students in grades 7 – 12. Winter sports accomplishments included: Wrestling: Colten Stevens – State Qualifier; Basketball: Alivia Baucom – 1st Team All-275 Conference, Darius Skillen – 2nd Team All-275 Conference, Alex Burke – Unanimous 1st Team All-275 Conference and All-District, Holden Farmer – 1st Team All-275 Conference, Ethan Brumbaugh – Honorable Mention All-275 Conference; FFA State Degree Recipients: Joey Herron, Lauren Kelly, Remington Stoner, Fischer Tharp, Rebekah Lucas, and Ethan Lucas; FCCLA State STAR Event Competitors: Mackenzie Lager, Kylie Nuckolls, Alivia Baucom, and Erika Elam; FBLA State Qualifiers: Ethan Brumbaugh, RyAnne Herron, and Darius Skillen. Classroom reports were received from Mrs. Goins, Mrs. Miller, Mr. Palmer, Mrs. Gaines, and Mrs. Rueckert.

Mr. Sickels stated the monthly program evaluation report is compensation and benefits which will be discussed during new business. He reviewed the current information on the COVID-19 virus, and stated DESE will have another update for the school districts tomorrow. He reviewed information on Policy 2874 which was tabled in February, and stated adoption of the policy will be an agenda item for the April regular meeting. Mr. Sickels reported on pending legislation discussed at the last NWMASA meeting. During board reports Afton Schomburg reported on the last TABS meeting.

The board then proceeded to address items of new business. Action was taken to approve technology purchases. The preliminary 2020-21 budget and budget projections for 2021-22 and 2022-23 were reviewed. Consideration was given to compensation and benefits with action taken to approve the following for the 2020-21 school year: salary schedules, district work calendars, an increase of $5,000 to the board-paid life insurance benefit, and to approve the group medical insurance plans to be offered with the same board-paid benefit amount as last year.

The board then moved to executive session for personnel matters. Upon returning to open session action was taken to approve employment contracts for the 2020-21 school year to all tenured teachers; to the following non-tenured teachers: Ciara Armstrong, Jacob Erdman, Shelby Garst, Kaitlea Hastert, Alec Hendrickson, Michelle Hogue, Jeremy Palmer, Jenny Rueckert, Molly Spiegel, Rachel Stanton, Jennifer Vogler, and Tabitha Waigand; and to the following part-time retirees: Wayne Moore and Sue Owen. Action was also taken to approve employment for the 2020-21 school year to Kelly Scheiber and Sheena Roup to fill the elementary teaching vacancies.

Following a brief discussion of future business items the meeting was adjourned.