Submitted by Dustin Barnes, Tarkio Elementary Principal/Tarkio R-I Ass’t. Superintendent

The Tarkio R-I Board of Education held a regular monthly meeting Wednesday, June 19, 2024, in the Central Office of the Tarkio R-I School District. Board members present were Brooke Vette, Amy Hurst, Raymond Gebhards, Sam Hannah, Jamie Barnett, Josh Wright, and Corey Martin.

The consent agenda was approved, which included the following items:

• The minutes from the May 15 regular meeting and closed session meetings

• Transfer of funds to pay certified teachers

• Hiring of Miss Madison Ohrt as high school history teacher, head junior high volleyball coach and 7th grade class sponsor

• Hiring of Mrs. Cindy Livengood as special education paraprofessional

• Hiring Mrs. Tasha Gronninger as special education paraprofessional

• Hiring Mr. Luke Seiter as special education paraprofessional

• All updates to pay schedules for 2024-2025 which reflect a raise of $1,900 to the base salary now set at $40,000 for certified staff and an across the board 5% increase for all other staff

• Board meeting schedule for 2024-2025

• Updated contract/work stipulations for 2024-2025

• Final transportation report for 2023-2024

• Policy update for policy 5550 and meal charges

• Declaring items as surplus per policy 3390

• The Enhancement Grant for 2024-2025

• Set the tax rate hearing for August 21, 2024, at 7:00 p.m.

The district financial reports were presented for the month and the board approved the bills for the month. A three-year utility report was provided that showed continued decreases in the high school utility bills.

The TAC report for the month of June was presented.

The annual health services report was presented to the board. The board also reviewed the annual wellness committee activities report.

Administration Reports

Tarkio Elementary Principal/Tarkio R-I Assistant Superintendent Dustin  Barnes reported on the following elementary, facility and technology updates:

• Summer school was completed on Friday, June 14. Anywhere from 25 to 46 students attended depending on the day.

• The CSIP yearly review will take place Tuesday, July 2, from 12:00-2:00 p.m. in the superintendent’s conference room.

• Area supervisor Nancy Greeley will attend and help with the district’s strategic planning for next year.

• Registration for junior high and high school has been set for August 6. Registration for elementary is scheduled for August 8. The district will have an online registration component this year, but several documents will still need to be picked up in person.

• Back-to-School Night will take place on Monday, August 19. Elementary times will be from 5:00-6:30 p.m. with a meal provided. The 6th grade will have an orientation from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. with a general 7-12th grade open house from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

• Star results for the year in reading and math were presented to the board. MAP data for individual students should be available mid-July.

• The custodians are hard at work getting the buildings back into shape. Pat Athen has completed flooring in five rooms.

• Chromebook rotation was created this year and those devices have been purchased. New wi-fi access points have been installed and new cabling will be worked on soon.

Tarkio High School Principal Kevin Dodson submitted a junior high and high school report which included the following information:

• Summer activities are in full swing. The weight room is busy with the high school students lifting on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule and the junior high students lifting on Tuesday and Thursday. All sports teams are busy with or preparing for camps and shootouts in preparation for the 2024-2025 seasons.

• 2024-25 Tarkio High School Principal Terry Petersen has moved into the high school principal’s office for the upcoming school year. Mr. Dodson has moved into the business lab/math room.

• Mrs. Connie Gebhards has been working hard cleaning and preparing the rooms for the start of school. Mr. Bill Joesting and Mr. Casey Martin have been busy completing the summer maintenance request.

• Seth Sheldon with Midwest Data Center is working on all the summer technology updates and requests.

Tarkio R-I Superintendent Mr. Bob Heddinger gave the following report:

• MSBA Summary – Review of the 2024 Legislative Session. Over 5,000 bills were pre-filed and only 49 made it all the way to Governor Parson’s desk. There was only one significant education bill. SB 727 had everything rolled into this one piece of legislation. The real impact of this bill will not be realized until 2025-2026.

• Building and Grounds Update – The geothermal rebate pre-filing documentation has been submitted. The district now must wait to get a registration number, which should be in about four to six weeks. Once this hurdle has been crossed, RSM (on behalf of the district) will be able to begin the filing of the official tax returns to file with the IRS. The cleaning and mitigation at the TAC is nearly completed. ServePro plans to reinstall the floor tiles beginning June 24. The flooding issue should be resolved after some tile work was completed back in early June. The summer work around the buildings continues to move along. Some dead trees will be removed and tree trimming completed over the next month. Veregy will have some subcontractors on-site in the next month to complete a few small items that were waiting to be completed once school was out of session.

• MOCAAT Update – Mr. Heddinger, Mr. Barnes, and Mrs. Lanette Hogue had a Zoom meeting with Mr. Jungmann on June 4 to conduct a cash analysis of the district. This analysis demonstrated how the district could invest with MOCAAT and gain a considerable amount of revenue through interest earnings. A quick review over the past 12 months demonstrated that the district missed out on about $280,000 in investment earnings. Mr. Heddinger has made arrangements with MOCAAT to begin to move some of the district’s liquid assets to MOCAAT starting on June 20.

• MOSIS and Core Data Submissions – These submissions are being completed in the next couple of days.

• Agenda Items for the August Board Meetings – Mr. Heddinger shared the agenda items for the August meeting with the board. These include the tax rate hearing, revise and approve the final budget for 2024-2025, summer maintenance update/tour, set tuition cost, MARE/MSBA Conference dates, district financial statement, transportation plan for 2024-2025, review and adoption of Policies/Regulations 0342, 1310, & 4321, and board program evaluation of CSIP review and update.

• The next Board of Education meetings will be August 21, 2024, and September 18, 2024. Both meetings will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the superintendent’s office. There will be no meeting in July.

CSIP Report for June – There was nothing to report for the month of June. The CSIP committee will meet on July 2 to work on the annual review and update.

Mr. Barnes presented the board with a summary review of all changes and updates to the 2024-2025 handbooks covering the following areas: certified staff, support staff, paraprofessionals, elementary students, junior high and high school students, and athletics. The board unanimously approved the changes and updates to all 2024-2025 handbooks.

Mr. Heddinger presented an amended final budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year to reflect the final actual numbers vs. the original budget numbers. In summary, the final actual revenues for the 2023-2024 fiscal year came in at $8,713,332 vs. the original budgeted number of $8,507,321. This resulted in an increase of $224,011 on the revenue side. The final actual expenditures for the 2023-2024 fiscal year came in at $10,453,987 vs. the original budgeted number of $11,515,694. This resulted in savings of $1,061,707 in total expenditures. The overall budget for 2023-2024 resulted in an actual deficit of (-$1,722,655) vs. (-$3,008,373) as was projected. When looking at the unrestricted reserve balances going forward, the district is still in a strong position with $1,641,306 in Fund #1 (General/Incidental) and $2,109,715 in Fund #4 (Capital Projects). These numbers represent a 27.60% reserve balance which is typical for any school district. The board approved the amended 2023-2024 budget as presented.

Mr. Heddinger presented the board with a ten-year history of meal prices for the district. The goal was to show the slow and steady growth in meal prices over the past decade. Mr. Heddinger recommended the following for meal price increases for 2024-2025: All student lunches will increase by $0.15 and all student breakfasts will increase by $0.10. Adult lunches will increase by $0.25 and adult breakfast will increase by $0.15. Any extra entrée will increase by $0.10. These increases are designed to keep up with the increased food cost. The board unanimously voted to approve the increases.

Mr. Heddinger presented the board with a resolution in support of the Atchison County Hazardous Mitigation Plan. He indicated that the plan was still in the draft stages, but everything pertaining to the Tarkio R-I School District was completed. The resolution was approved by a vote of 7-0.

Mr. Barnes presented the professional development plan for the 2024-2025 school year. The P.D. focuses will be curriculum work along with support from NWRPDC and DCI. Tarkio R-I  will be working on moving the current curriculum to the Curriculum Platform, Atlas. Teachers will be auditing their curriculum against priority standards and assessed priority standards from the MAP. The P.D. committee has created a local mentoring manual that will be used to help get new teachers comfortable with the procedures of the Tarkio R-I School District. The district will also participate in the character strong initiative for the 2024-2025 school year.

Mr. Barnes presented the assessment plan for the 2024-2025 school year. The main assessment change will be the use of Renaissance STAR Math and Reading assessments in the middle and high school as needed. The district will use STAR assessments instead of NWEA next year.

Mr. Heddinger presented the preliminary budget for the 2024-2025 school year. The revenue projections and estimates for 2024-2025, based on a 1% assessed valuation increase, come in at $8,316,185. The expenditure projections and estimates for 2024-2025, which include increases to all salaries, insurance, and additional staffing, come in at $7,769,150. This leaves the district with a balance of $547,035 for the 2024-2025 fiscal year. When this 2024-2025 balance is applied to the balance carried forward of $1,641,306 in Fund #1, the total balances in Fund #1 is projected to be $2,188,341 at the conclusion of the 2024-2025 budget year. Mr. Heddinger also shared a separate breakdown of the Fund #4 revenues, expenditures, and balances for the 2024-2025 fiscal year. Overall, the Fund #4 beginning balance is estimated to be $2,109,715 with revenues to be $1,777,625 ($1,000,000 of this revenue projection is based on the preliminary geothermal rebate estimates provided by RSM). The expenditures for fiscal year 2024-2025 in Fund #4 total $851,900 (most of this expenditure is the two lease payments on the TAC and high school renovations). This will leave the projected total fund balances in Fund #4 at $3,035,440 at the conclusion of the 2024-2025 budget year. The board approved the preliminary 2024-2025 budget as presented.

The board met in closed session to discuss personnel matters. The board voted to exit the executive session at 9:39 p.m. The meeting adjourned at 9:40 p.m.