At the Oct. 12 school board meeting, Peabody-Burns Board of Education members reviewed and accepted the 2008-09 audit from Tom Thomas, CPA of Agler and Gaeddert. Thomas pointed out some minor control deficiencies, booster club account concerns, and one budget violation caused by the district not following state statute to purchase from the handicapped. Thomas said district accounts are well-managed.
Board members requested an opinion from Thomas about an option they are considering of moving district investments to the Peabody Community Foundation. Thomas offered pros and cons about foundations and investments. Topics the board reviewed included endowments, investment rates, types of foundation funds, and state statutes for school districts.
Later in the meeting, Superintendent Rex Watson reported that on Aug. 11, 2003, the board of education established a Memorandum of Organization for an education endowment and project fund with the Peabody Community Foundation. Watson told the board the memorandum requires that a representative committee needs to be established as outlined in that agreement.
After review of the agreement, the following were appointed to fill positions on the committee: Watson, elementary principal Ken Parry, junior and senior high school principal Tim Robertson, senior class president Joshua Klarmann, board of education member William Spangler, teachers Steven Glover, Brian Simmonds, and Mary Thiessen, and para-professional Beth Peter.
During the communications section of the meeting, a letter was read from the Peabody Community Foundation indicating that an anonymous donation had been placed in the fund for the school district.
The board made no decision about placing its investment funds with the community foundation. Watson anticipates the topic to be a future agenda item.
In other business:
- Two parcels of property were accepted by the board as gifts to the district. The residential property at Ninth and Sycamore streets, formerly owned by Ernest and Maxine Seibel, and vacant lots at Sixth and Pine streets, owned by the city, were accepted.
- Watson reported that Educational Services and Staff Development Association of Central Kansas has developed a Web-based model to offer online college courses to high school students and community members. After discussion, Watson agreed to bring additional information to the board.
- Watson also reported on a possible lawsuit being brought against the state by the group, Schools for Fair Funding. Board members discussed the suit, but no action was taken. The deadline to join the suit is Nov. 13.
- Board members went into executive sessions three times for a total of 50 minutes to discuss personnel. On their final return to open meeting, they approved adjustments to job descriptions for Annette Weems and Kathy Preheim. Weems will add the position of Technology Integration Specialist and Instructional Coach to her third-grade teaching tasks. Preheim, also teaching third grade students, will become Curriculum Director and Instructional Coach. The two third grade classes will be combined.
- Special education representative Tony Zappone reported the new special education facility open house will be today. The special ed board has already held its first meeting in the new facility.
- The board approved an emergency substitute certificate for Jonathan Nathan, accepted the resignation of Aaron Unruh as custodian, approved offering the custodial position to Renee Marple, and a part-time custodial position to Jack Brunzell. Vickie Cook was appointed deputy district clerk for the 2009-10 school year.
- No negotiations team was appointed by the board. Team selection will remain on the agenda as a future item.
- Kansas Association of School Boards policy updates were approved as presented.