Submitted by Dr. Jeremy Burright,
Fairfax R-3 Superintendent
The Fairfax R-3 School Board met in regular session December 17, 2021, in the Fairfax School Library. Board President Jon Graves called the meeting to order at 1:04 p.m. Present were board members Theresa Larson, Josh Oswald, Sam O’Riley and Miles Smith. Brett Johnson and Mike Lewis were absent. Others in attendance were Fairfax R-3 Superintendent Jeremy Burright, Fairfax R-3 K-12 Principal Dustin Barnes, Secretary/Treasurer Karen Burke, and CTA representatives Lauren Clark, Twilla Clark and Aleesha Lemar. Guests present were Aimeé Seymour and Tiffany Haynes.
Tiffany Haynes spoke as a parent voice for the change in the division of health. She stated she feels the parents should be responsible for their specific child to wear a mask or not. She asked that the board consider letting parents make specific decisions on whether their child should/should not wear masks or be quarantined.
The agenda was approved as presented. The minutes of the November 17 regular and executive meetings and December 3 special meeting were approved. Correction of the next regular meeting time was made and changed to 1:00 p.m.
The financial report was given:
Expenditures for the 2021-22 year were $762,014 and revenues were $425,118. Expenditures for the 2020-21 year were $692,969 and revenues were $420,118.
The monthly budget comparison showed the following:
• 2021-22 month-to-date expenditures $119,349 (-82,814) and revenues $69,586 (-39,538)
• 2020-21 MTD expenditures $202,163 and revenues $109,124
The fund balance report for 2021-22 was $112,658 (+262,113) and for 2020-21 was $850,545
A special report was given on food costs. Bills from Sysco for 2020-21 totalled $3,622.55, and bills from FCM for 2021-22 total $3,768.79.
The 2020-21 year-to-date food costs totalled $19,278 and 2021-22 YTD food costs are $13,814. The total budget both years for food costs is $50,000.
We are in contact with US Foods and Farner Bocken for prices and may let this issue rest until we get into the spring. Last year, we had 10 days out in November for COVID-19. To get a comparison that included a similar number of service days, we’d have to go back multiple years to when we weren’t out for COVID-19. I don’t think a price comparison would be accurate. I will continue to track this.
The December monthly bills in the amount of $122,138.88 were reviewed and approved for payment.
State of the Budget and 2022-23 Projections:
• No budgeted excess revenue
• Estimated Revenues: $2,102,260
• 2% increase in base pay for teachers
• Increases to utilities and grounds care
• Increase hourly base pay to 13.00
• Revenues due to loss of additional ESSER funds
• Elementary and Secondary Supplies for Textbooks
• O&M Repair and Maintenance and gen. supply
• No extra summer maintenance labor.
• May be able to reduce labor in the summer depending on floor finish/material over the long term. Floor replacement this summer will reduce time on floors.
• No facilities acquisitions
Items not added due to lack of information include:
• Insurance costs
• Additions of possible personnel positions due to student need
• Emergency repairs to facility/property in excess of budgeted amount
No candidates have filed. The filing deadline is December 28.
The superintendent’s eval-ua-tion is due in January. Evaluations have been sent out to all board members to fill out.
Special Education CAPS are completed for now. Final CAPS are due in April and will require additional submissions of corrected IEP’s throughout the year.
The school is down to one custodian. We will fill in as much as possible.
Teacher Retention Data:
The primary reason for leaving the profession is pay. We are working on a survey for the teachers to have input. The results of the survey will be sent out to all board members to review before the meeting.
Four Day School Week:
There is a strong push for this in Rock Port and Nodaway-Holt. Additionally, several districts in northwest Missouri are considering implementing or are actually implementing this in the 2022-23 school year.
For information on this, visit https://sites.google.com/view/four-day-school-week/home.
We have time to look into this, no immediate decisions at this time. There are concerns and many questions. Board members voted unanimously to have an open forum to discuss a four day school week. The teachers and community members in attendance addressed the board with some of their thoughts. Board consensus was that they will have no more exploration of a four day school week as of right now.
I do not recommend we explore this. There are only two reasons I would ever recommend any type of consolidation of the actual districts in Atchison County: (1) Fairfax was in dire financial trouble, and (2) There was overwhelming community outcry for this.
The state board of education will be looking at voluntary open enrollment. This would allow students to attend any school district regardless of boundaries. It is the consensus of the board to let this die, no exploration!
Mr. Barnes reported on wrapping up a successful first semester. The music program was held December 13.
Finals were December 15 and 16. Eighth and ninth graders earned some exemptions due to MAP scores and 10th-12th graders earned exemptions due to grades and attendance.
The end of the semester was December 17. High school participated in Fun Day activities sponsored by the Student Council.
Staff will be back on site Monday, January 3, for a work day. Students will be back in the building on January 4. Grade cards will be sent out after holiday break.
Elementary had their second Project Lead the Way Week – December 6-10. Kids have been really engaged in the learning.
End of semester DIBELS and NWEA assessments are taking place as well.
Mr. Barnes also gae a first semester wrap-up for organizations:
• Fairfax FFA has 28 members this year, with a heavy class of freshmen making up 11 of the 28 spots. The FFA has been busy with the annual meat and fruit fundraiser and made just over $3,500 in profit. Three members attended the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis as well as volunteer work and doing service projects within the county. Two individuals qualified to attend the District Speaking contest, with Charlie Smith advancing to the state competition in February at the Lake of the Ozarks.
• Student Council first quarter agenda items included Homecoming football game. Second quarter agenda items included Courtwarming and Fun Day. Ms. Wyatt asked STUCO to purchase Christmas lights for the walkway bridge. They voted to allocate $266.69 for lights; however, a cheaper alternative was purchased for $127.90. Upcoming agenda items include: Elementary Track Day concession stand and purchasing STUCO shirts.
• Hi-Step/TNT has 14 members. Members have helped with fall parties, Red Ribbon Week, fire truck rides and Light Night.
• FACS has seven members for the 2021-2022 school year. Four students went to the Fall Leadership Conference held at Worlds of Fun. Four students attended the Regional meeting in Maryville as well. Four students competed in Star Events. The chapter is looking at service projects in the spring. Their fundraiser went well and should cover all chapter expenses for the year.
• Band members have kept very busy this fall. Due to lower numbers, the 7-12th grades were combined for both marching and concert band. The band participated in two competitions. They won first place at MWSU homecoming and third place at NWMSU homecoming. They have had a pep band for home games at Fairfax and at Tarkio for homecoming where they form the EA Pep Band. They have learned three new pep band songs which includes the new EA fight song. They have also sent in an application and recording of the 7-12 pep band to perform at State basketball in March.
• The NHS chapter has eight members, four juniors and four seniors. They helped with a Community Services food drop in Tarkio in November. NHS also started a Friday morning coffee bar called Java Dawgs. The names of the drinks are “Bulldog” inspired. They serve The Boss, Hot Dawglate, Barkuccino, and hot tea for $2 each.
• Drama Club has chosen their play which is scheduled for Saturday, March 19, 2022.
• The MSHSAA position on COVID-19 is it is up to the school districts on how they will contact, trace, and enforce quarantines. If a student is positive, they still must follow the return to play protocols for COVID-19 participation.
• Preparations are being made for the 90th annual Fairfax Tournament. The six-team tournament starts Monday, January 10.
• Wrestling has started. Thhere are two girls and seven boys with two Fairfax boys wrestling.
• HUDL cameras are installed in both locations with games streaming to East Atchison Athletics YouTube page.
• State cheer competition was held December 11 in Cape Girardeau.
The board approved the consent agenda.
The board voted to approve the payment of $1,628.00 to Northwest Mechanical Plumbing for repairs to heating lines in classrooms.
Replacing the engine on the bus will cost $21,802.16. The school has $30,000 budgeted in non-allowable transportation (for the purchase of a van). As of these notes, all quotes are at least triple the cost of the engine replacement. The school could purchase a van and it would allow additional students to be transported and more freedom with drivers. Bus 5 will become scrap. Board members voted unanimously to approve a budget for another 10 passenger van for up to $30,000.
Dr. Burright pulled up the floor replacement scope on the projector. The areas covered by insurance are highlighted yellow. Any replacement that is not vinyl tile or that takes place in additional areas will be an extra cost to the district. Alternates are presented to provide the board choice in finalizing this project. Finalizing the scope does not commit the district to approving any of the alternates or any bids at all. The board voted to approve the floor replacement scope as presented.
It has been recommended by legal counsel to update the district policy to reflect current legal issues and allow for board choice regarding communicable diseases. This has been brought about by controversy surrounding COVID-19. The board voted to approve the updates to policy and regulation 2860 Communicable Disease as presented.
• Allow parental discretion regarding attendance when a student has been quarantined by DHSS for close contact outside of the school day.
• Specify the district will not implement a process for district assigned quarantines.
• DHSS is still conducting close contact tracing and assigning quarantines for outside of the school day.
• The board, as elected officials, has the statutory right to determine policy, safety protocols, and exclude students from attendance.
• MSHSAA has left this process up to districts and will not limit participation.
• Feedback from com-munity members and staff indicates the school has done well utilizing common sense while maintaining the safest environment possible. This is true even as the COVID-19 landscape continues to change.
• The community is not in favor of district assigned close contact quarantines.
• Community favors family choice in regards to safety protocols such as masking, quarantines, distancing, etc.
• The school does not currently have the capacity to facilitate tests to stay. This would require additional personnel, specifically increased hours for the school nurse. Dr. Burright feels it is in the best interest of the district to stay separated from health care processes.
Board members voted unanimously to approve changes to the SRCSP as presented.
The board meeting adjourned at 4:10 p.m. The next regular board meeting will be Thursday, January 20, 2022, at 6:30 p.m.