Weekly Update 4-9-16

Wright City R-II School District

Hello Wildcat Nation!

It is hard to believe that we are in April and there are only about 5 weeks of school left. Just wow.

Thank you to so many of you who helped with Blue and Gold. It takes an army to run such an event, and even more to participate. The results are tens of thousands of dollars going directly to our graduating seniors in the form of college scholarships. This is so key in today's escalating college costs.

Thank you to Jackie Nierman for being the unofficial chairperson for the organizing committee. She does so much for Blue and Gold.

Thank you to the following who were part of the committee, part of set up, part of the folks who called contributors, part of the break down, part of the evening work, and/or participated in the evening auction and dinner: Vicki Zuhone, Jennifer Hecktor, Shawn Brown, Jill Smoot, Jack Sanford, Matt Brooks, Doug Smith, Matt Mooney, Officer Catron, Bonnie Gilley, Lynette Randolph, Dawn Day, Tina Kolarik, Susan Wright, Fred Ross, Mikel Thompson, Rebecca Schriener, Paige Steinhoff, Brooks Wegrzyn, Jackie Nierman, Konee Box, Pam Hambach, Alanna Hambach, James Baker, Dawn Hickman, Carol Hohenstreet, Rebecca Schoolcraft, Donna Jones.

We had several former employees and retirees present as well. I know some of you also helped put together baskets and such for auction (Julie Skillman and Debbie Heath are two that come to mind).

The community members including BOE members including Corri Ruge, Austin Jones and Mary Groeper did much of the planning, set up, and take down as well. I believe we had 6 present at the dinner!

So many other community members were organizing, setting up, running the night, and breaking down on Sunday. It truly takes an army.

Thank you to all of them (and you) for your role in helping our youngest asset...our children.


  1. When was the movie The Terminator released?
  2. Who famously said, "I have the simplest of tastes. I am always satisfied with the best."
  3. How old will Queen Elizabeth turn later this month?
  4. What type of animal is Beatrix Potter's Mr. Tod?
  5. Who wrote the fantasy novel Life of Pi?

Wright City R-II School District 2016 Teacher of the Year!

Congratulations to Micah Aaron!!!!

We surprised Micah with our 'prize patrol' at around 1 p.m. on Thursday. Ms. Backues brought her class over as well, and the kids were chanting his name in celebration. Very nice touch. Congratulations Micah, and best of luck in representing Wright City R-II School District in the Missouri Teacher of the Year process!

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As you know, staff laptops have arrived and we are transitioning to yours. Thank you to Andrea and Michael for all they do to make this as painless of a transition as possible.

The HS student chromebooks have also arrived. See picture below. 470 laptops for our 1:1 launch in August arrived over spring break, saving us about $45,000 compared to waiting till July. Thank you to Dawn Hickman and Kim Phinney for putting these in a secure place and organized as we prepare them for our end of the summer launch.

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April 6th - Employer Panel

Thank you to various Warren County employers for taking time to visit with our Juniors and Seniors regarding job opportunities as well as tips for interviewing. Great information. Plus, the kids thought the 1999 Wright City Graduate looked like Drake.
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April 6th x2

Kudos to the 6th Grade Orientation Night as well. I participated as a dad. To no surprise, I found everyone so very welcoming, the place looked great, and the kids were so excited to be there. Kudos to each of you who made this night happen. Great day to be a Wildcat!
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April 6th x3

Thank you to those that attended the Parent Night on Drug Awareness. Very small crowd, but what a presentation! I want to thank the Greater Warren County Economic Development Council, Troy PD Drug Task Force (including Wright City grad Adam M, a 2005 grad), Wright City PD (Officer Catron), Ambulance District, Crider Health Services (former WC Counselor, Vicki Walker), and Preferred Family Health Services.

Thank you to Matt Mooney for the AV set up, and to the custodial crew at the MS for set up and break down.

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Thank you

I know so many committees and groups work on so many things throughout the school year. Kudos to each of you for your hard work. Below is a picture of the ELA Cohort doing a crosswalk from the proposed MLS standards to the current MLS standards. The state board of education will vote on the proposed standards on April 19th.
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Great article to wrestle with regarding lessons / instruction.

Baseball Tickets

A vendor came by and left us 2 free baseball tickets. We put the 5 Support Staff of the Year names in the hat and drew one. Congratulations to Tammy Jefferson and enjoy the Cardinal game!

Wright City Business Breakfast

A few weeks ago, I had the honor to speak to the Wright City Chamber's Business Breakfast. Afterwards, so many came up to thank all of you for what we have done for our community in recent years. One person in the city office even said that people come in asking about how to find a home in the area so their kids can attend school here. She said that is a relatively new thing, but it happens often now.

So...kudos to all of you! Your efforts are so noticed.

Community Survey

We have engaged an outside company to survey our community regarding several things, but mainly to gauge a possible operating tax levy increase ballot in November. Many, including parents, have been involved in crafting the questions. With a little over 6,300 registered voters, they aiming at just shy of 400 completed phone surveys. They may call as many as 2,000 registered voters to complete the required surveys. The actual survey will take about 10 to 15 minutes.

On May 12th, we will host an evening event with CAT and the Friends of Wright City group, as well as some parents, to go over the results and start formulating a committee to campaign. If you are interested, the meeting will be 6 p.m. in the MS Library.

State Revenue

This is an update through the end of February, which constitutes 8 of the 12 month mark, or 2/3rds mark, of the fiscal year.

Individual Income Tax collection is up 5.68%.

Sales & Use Tax is up 3.7%

Corporate Inc. & Franchise Tax is down 8.15%.

Other collections are up 3.32%.

Total increase in Revenue is up 4.45%.

Refunds are up 15.57%!!!

Total net Revenue is thus up 3.13%...or $165.5 million.

Gaming, which comes to us via the Classroom Trust Fund, is up 0.0659%. This includes $14,204,297 in unclaimed lottery funds...check your tickets!

Prop C money is a sales tax, and it is exceeding their expectations so far. We budgeted at $939 per weighted average daily attendance (WADA) for the year based on predictions going into this year. It currently looks safe to say it will be $942...and it has the potential to be $947 when all is said and done. The governor's budget predicted a big increase for next year, bumping that number up to $977. We shall see.

Gaming, as you see above, is relatively flat...which is good. The actual lottery bump to revenue from the $1.5 billion dollar Powerball has yet to come to us. We may not see that till June. It could be 20 to 30 thousand more for us, depending how the pie is cut and how WADA changes.

If you look only at March, income tax receipts were up 21.3%. Sales tax was up 14.8%. It may be that when March is completely closed, we could exceed 4% increase for the first 9 months. That is strong indeed. The state budget was based on 2.8% increase. For the upcoming year, the Governor is predicting 4.1% increase.

Up above, you also noted the large decline in corporate income / franchise tax. This is in part due to a phase out of the corporate franchise tax.

Also note from above that the net increase is over $150 million. If we finish the year with a net increase of $150 million or more, then a trigger for a tax cut for the calendar year of 2017 of over $150 million is automatically installed based on passed legislation. So, growing is good to the budget, unless you grow too much, then you may lose most of that growth. Interesting to watch.

US Budget Trends

The cost of living in the U.S., excluding food and fuel, increased in January by 0.3%, which is the largest growth in 4 years. The unemployment rate dropped to 4.9%, which is the lowest in 8 years. Hiring has slowed a bit...down to 151,000 jobs in January.

The great recession is starting to fade away.

Our budget

This is through the end of February, which is 2/3rds of our fiscal year.

Total Operating Expenses (sans debt and capital projects like the Early Childhood Center) at that time were at $9,344,212. That put us on a projected expenses of $15,819,401 sans Debt and Capital Projects. If that holds, we will be under the original budget by $467,821. We entered the year hoping to recapture back $300,000.

Revenue in Fund 1 and 2 (operating budget above) is currently coming in higher than we thought. We are at $12,428,535. If the timing of revenue is holding true to the previous 2 years, we would have revenue of $16,860,575. That is much higher than the budget predicted. Many of this is due to increase in WADA, SAT, and Prop C, as well as the before mentioned positive December correction of $300,000+. If revenue holds, that means we would receive around $955,739 more than we had expected. Some of that will be used to replenish Fund 4 to cover the overage of building the Early Childhood Center, as well as prepare for our impending replacement of phone services. We are getting reimbursed over time for the Early Childhood Center, but that is 8 years. If the phone (or MS roof) were to need to be replace next year, we would be very tight indeed.

We will continue to monitor. If it does come in that much higher, it could impact (positively) salary schedules or a couple of positions of need that has risen with our increase in IEP rate, students with trauma, discipline rate, and autism. I stress COULD.

One of the things we are still trying to get answers to from the city and county is how much of an increase, if any, will we see from Old Castle - Wright City tax abatement retiring, as well as the impact of a EPC building and potentially opening in August.

One of the things that has helped out our budget is the individual areas that have really come in low compared to the previous 2 year average at the same total at that time:

Natural Gas is down 45.9%! We have spent $11,500 less this year.

Electric is down 4.5%. We have spent almost $10,000 less.

Bus Fuel is down 32.9%. We have spent more than $26,000 less!

Contracted Transportation & Homeless is up 3.3%. That is an increase of $20,000 so far.

Medical Insurance is down 2.2%. That is over $8,000.

Food Service expenses are down 3.6%, or about $6,000.

Subs (gulp) are up 24.2%. That is about $23,000.

Salaries for both certified and classified are up 3.8%, or about $183,000.

PSRS is up 2.3%, or about $22,000.

PEERS is up 6.5%, or about $6,000.

Medicare & OASDI are up 5.8%, or about $9,000.

Those that went down, we budgeted for increases, making those very positive trends for our bottom line. In 2013-2014, we spent $64,253 on Natural Gas. We are projected to spend about $32,663 this year if all holds as it did...but we budgeted $55,000.

Bus Fuel in 2013-14, we spent $132,555. We are projecting to spend $83,671 if all holds steady this year. We budgeted $130,134.

2014-2015 was a decline in expenses in these select areas, and this year is a big decline. If anyone has a crystal ball for such cost next year, come on over! But, the good news is, we are very much under in some areas.

We are being told now that we are one of the few districts that look to have a decrease in medical insurance costs for next year. That will not be official until mid-May.

Coaches Pay FY17

As many of you know, 2 years ago the decision was made to change coaches / sponsors pay to the end of the season. I was not part of that decision, but looking back, I fully support it. I will explain in a minute. Then, when I took over in July, much to my surprise, it was not communicated out to all coaches and sponsors. I didn't feel that was fair, so I put a year hold on the change. In FY17, we will make the change.

The reason is three fold. One, in everything we do, we tend to pay either once a service is rendered or while a service is rendered. Two, if we pay you for a spring duty for the entire year, then come March, you decide to not do said duty, then we have already paid a significant amount for something. If you voluntarily gave the money back, all is good. If not, then that is not a clear cut process and likely would result in expending money to try to get said funds. I had this happen in a high school I was a principal in. Three, and really the biggest reason, is workman's comp. If you are hurt to the point of missing work during your job duties, you will receive a percentage of pay for the time missed. That is very inaccurate with seasonal positions. In otherwords, you would be getting either too much or too little funds for what you are missing compared to what you were getting paid.

I've had multiple conversations with folks throughout the year regarding this. Due to that feedback, we will alter the 'at the end of the season' language and move it to a 'during the season' approach. This will put more strain on the business department, but I think it is still fair, and it helps coaches/sponsors even out their monthly income. Yes, I know many of us do things 'out of season.' As a former 3 sport coach, I did as well.

Here are the duties and the months paid. Sorry for the transfer from excel to the Smore...Smore and excel do not cooperate well.

Extra Duty Position - Months Paid

Summer Open Gym - HS Football Head Coach - July & August

Summer Open Gym - HS Volleyball Head Coach - July & August

Summer Open Gym - HS Softball Head Coach - July & August

Summer Open Gym - HS Boys Basketball Head Coach - July & August

Summer Open Gym - HS Girls Basketball Head Coach - July & August



HS Head Coach - September-December

HS Assistant Coach - September-December

HS Assistant Coach - September-December

HS Assistant Coach - September-December

HS Assistant Coach - September-December

MS Coach - September-December

MS Coach - September-December


HS Head Coach - September-November

HS Assistant Coach - September-November

MS Coach - September-November

MS Coach - September-November


HS Head Coach - September-November

HS Assistant Coach - September-November

MS Head Coach - September-November

MS Assistant Coach - September-November

Cross Country - September-December

HS Coach


HS Football Cheerleading Coach - September-December

MS Football Cheerleading Coach 1/2 - September-November

MS Football Cheerleading Coach 1/2 - September-November

Special Ed

Special Olympics Bowling Head Coach - October & November

Special Olympics Bowling Assistant Coach - October & November



HS Boys’ Head Coach - November-April

HS Boys’ Assistant Coach - November-April

HS Girls’ Head Coach - November-April

HS Girls' Assistant Coach - November-April

MS Boys' (8th grade) Coach - November-February

MS Boys' (7th grade) Coach - November-February

MS Girls' (8th grade) Coach - November-February

MS Girls' (7th grade) Coach - November-February


HS Basketball Cheerleading Coach - November-April

MS Basketball Cheerleading Coach 1/2 -November-February

MS Basketball Cheerleading Coach1 /2 - November-February



HS Head Coach - March-June

HS Assistant Coach - March-June


HS Head Coach - March-June

HS Head Coach - March-June

HS Assistant Coach - March-June

MS Coach -March-June

MS Coach - March-June


HS Coach - March-June

Special Ed

Special Olympics Track Head Coach - April-June

Special Olympics Track Assistant Coach - April-June


Grade 5 - February-April

Grade 6 - February-April


High School

Wright City Connection - September-June

Yearbook - September-June

Color Guard - September-January

Chorus - December & June

FBLA - December & June

Student Council 1/2 - December & June

Student Council 1/2 - December & June

Speech/Drama - December & June

NHS - December & June

DI Coordinator - December & June

Academic Team - December & June

Freshmen Sponsor - December & June

Freshmen Sponsor - December & June

Sophomore Sponsor - December & June

Sophomore Sponsor - December & June

Junior Sponsor - December & June

Junior Sponsor - December & June

Senior Sponsor - December & June

Senior Sponsor - December & June

Art Club - December & June

Spanish Club - December & June

Guitar Club 1/2 - December & June

Guitar Club 1/2 - December & June

Robotics Club - December & June

High School/Middle School

Band Director - September-June

Assistant Band Director - September-June

Middle School

Chorus - December & June

Student Council 1/2 - December & June

Student Council 1/2 - December & June

Yearbook - December & June


Talent Show - March-June

Talent Show - March-June

Chorus - October-January

DI Coordinator - December-May


paid the same 12 months as employee's probationary/permanent contract


Athletic Director

paid the same 12 months as employee's probationary/permanent contract

Special Ed Processing Coordinators

paid the same 12 months as employee's probationary/permanent contract

Please note the & is 2 months of payment.

What I do notice as I enter this, is that we have some clubs that get no stipend while others do. I will likely put together a request to be included in stipend process. It would need to be BOE approved to add (like we did 5th and 6th grade basketball for this year). While I don't want everything to be paid, I know there are a few things that take significant time and have significant kid involvement that is not on this list. What I'm not looking for is creating jobs just for payment. I love Botany. I could create a Botany Club and have 2 kids in it and we can meet all the time, but we can live without Botany Club. I would deny my own request for that. So, it will be a case by case scenario. More to come on that topic.

Behavior Task Force

Reminder to the task force members that your next meeting is April 13th, 2016 from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Board of Education Room. Here is the agenda:

Members include: Mrs. Jennifer Hecktor (Asst. Super., Chair) Alice Jensen (Board of Education Vice-President) Corri Ruge (Board of Education Secretary) Sharon Dieckmann (resident/CAT team member) Bob Dowdle (resident/CAT team member) Lisa Apple (HS Parent) Tiffany Hackman (EES Parent) Aaron/Marcella Holiway (WES Parent) Matthew/Sheri Lehmen (WES Parent) Matt Brooks (HS Assistant Principal) Bo Evans (HS Academic Reassignment Teacher) Pam Hambach (HS Teacher) Doug Smith (MS Principal) Matt Mooney (MS Assistant Principal) Dawn Ridgeway (MS Teacher) Dawn Day (West Elementary Principal) Tina Kolarik (West Elementary Assistant Principal) Sally Stever (West Elementary Teacher) Michele Reigh (East Elementary Principal) Linda Case (East Elementary Teacher) Vicki Zuhone (Special Education Director-retiring) David Herod (Special Education Director-July 1, 2016) Rebecca Schoolcraft (ECSE Teacher) Jennifer Sommer (MS Counselor) Kurt Laughman (West Elementary Counselor) Donna Terbrock (East Elementary Counselor)

I. Welcome

II. Presentations on Proactive/Preventative Programs or Initiatives for considerations Crider Safe Crisis Management Love and Logic Rage to Reason Collaborative Problem Solving Capturing Kids Hearts Positive Coaching Digital Citizenship

III. Plan for status update to BOE on April 19th

Trivia Answers

  1. When was the movie The Terminator released? 1984
  2. Who famously said, "I have the simplest of tastes. I am always satisfied with the best." Oscar Wilde
  3. How old will Queen Elizabeth turn later this month? 90
  4. What type of animal is Beatrix Potter's Mr. Tod? Fox
  5. Who wrote the fantasy novel Life of Pi? Yann Martel