Board to decide what days students will attend school

January 23, 2011

The Sedalia School District 200 Board of Education is expected to approve budget amendments and make a decision regarding the days that students will attend school during the 2011-12 school year during its regular session at 6:30 this evening at Smith-Cotton High School.

According to documents provided by the district, the original budget was presented and approved by the board June 14. However, according to documents prepared by Assistant Superintendent Nancy Scott, the projected revenues have changed.

The districtís projected revenues are now $41,369,681.39 and expenditures are $41,108,734.37, which is a difference of $260,947.02. The original budget was balanced with revenues of $41,155,791.

According to district documents, the revenue differences are the result of the district receiving a homeless grant, Federal Emergency Management Agency funding, an increase in Railroad Utility Taxes and federal program allocations after the budget was approved.

A final amendment of the 2010-11 budget will be presented to the board at the June board meeting.

Board members also are expected to make a decision regarding the days that students will attend school during the 2011-12 school year.

According to Assistant Superintendent Brad Pollitt, the districtís Calendar Committee, which is comprised of staff members from throughout the district and Parent Teacher Association representatives, convenes and proposes options for the upcoming school year calendar.

Because of a change in state law, the committee was given three calendar options, including two 169-day student attendance options and one regular 174-day calendar. In previous years, calendar options were limited to 174 days, Pollitt said.

If the board approves a 169-day calendar option, the district would be required to add nine minutes to each school day to meet the 1,044 hours required for students.

According to district documents, the extra minutes would be added to the end of the day for each school in Sedalia School District 200, except at Smith-Cotton High School, where the minutes would be added to the beginning of the day as possible.

Under the 169-day calendar, the district also would do away with the eight early-out days for professional development. Those days would be replaced by five designated full professional development days. Students would not be in attendance on those days.

According to the documents, the proposed calendar change would save the district more than $100,000 in transportation, noncertified salaries and substitute teacher costs.

In a letter provided to board members, Pollitt said the committee is recommending approval of the 169-day calendar because it will save jobs in the coming school year and allow staff members to have better use of professional development time.