Weekly Update 5-13-16

Wright City R-II School District

Hello Wildcats!

I'm wrapping up the last regular Weekly Update of the year from home as I am on a sick day for the first time in a very long time. Timing not great, but health knows know schedule that it cares to keep.

I thank all of you for a great 2015-2016 school year. Whether it is sitting in on a 1st grade slide show last night or sitting with 8 high school student leaders yesterday, I'm amazed at what everyone in Wildcat Country does for our little and not so little ones. Today (Thursday), I absolutely loved the district Facebook Throw Back Thursday post. 4 elementary classroom yearbook pictures of our current seniors. These kids may not look the same (but Ms. Dreyer, Krueger and Christopher...you look the same...haven't aged a bit!), but that is not just them growing up physically. It is all the love and support and high expectations and development they have received while under your care over the last 13 years. They have attended school for over 2,000 days. They have been touched by you in a way that will remain for so many more after they walk the stage next week Friday. Kudos to you. Thank you.

Big image
Big image
Big image
Big image


  1. Who wrote "a person's a person no matter how small?'
  2. What year was Michael Jackson born?
  3. Which of these movies was not directed by Steven Spielberg: Shindler's List; The Terminal; E.T.; Titanic?
  4. What do you have if you are a member of Mensa?


Wednesday, our rates for next year became official. And, the savings were even greater than we had anticipated! 4% reduction. That means about $231/employee saving who takes the insurance. Out of the 24 districts in the trust, 6 of us received this big reduction thanks to our 36 month los ratio being under 70%. The entire trust is going up 3.6%. 2 districts are raising 8.5%! That would have been an increase in our budget by about $100,000.

Of course, insurance is there if you need it.

For about 100 employees in the entire trust, their is a change in their Specialty Rx day supply. It will now be limited to 30 days at a time.

How have we done in the trust? Our loss ratio is an amazing 54.2% over the last 12 months. That should make us all happy as that is an indicator at all of our health. Yeah you!

The prior 2 years were 51.3% and 57.7%. Great news.

The last 3 years loss ratio for the entire trust were 85.5%, 85% and 76.9%.

For our voluntary programs, dental and vision, we will see no change in costs. Our loss ratio in dental is at 87.6%, or right around the trust average. Our vision is at 65.9%, also around the trust average.

District YouTube

We have one now! You can see our first installment, a MS production. Love your kiddos!





Friday the 13th is the last day! The budget has been passed. They reinstated the 5% cap on growth. And they continue to build up in the Education Omnibus bill. Dyslexia is a hot topic. Gifted education and penalties if your population declines is also a hot topic. They amend this daily, so it will be interesting to see where it all ends. The latest fiscal note is due on Thursday at noon, so they will be working on this rather late.

November Constitutional Votes

5 different petitions received enough signatures to be put on the November ballot. One of those is related to us...Raise Your Hand for Kids. This is a 60 cent increase on the cigarette tax to fund preschool. It looks to raise around $350 million annually.

It has been interesting to see some very pro-education groups take a stance against RYHK. Why? The funding is for public and private preschools. They wanted it to be only public.

We shall see how this shakes out. I will not take a stance, but encourage you to vote regardless of yours!

Torch Run for Special Olympics

Thank you to all of you who supported and cheered on our city's finest this week during the torch run!
Big image

Care To Learn

Several districts around us have either joined BrightFutures or Care to Learn to help meet basic student needs. One of our own graduates, Linda Ramey-Greiwe, is the new head of Care To Learn. We will continue to explore this in the near future. We have so many great things that so many do for our kids. We would love to expand that.

You can learn more about Care To Learn here:


Lunch Buddy Program

One of the things we may wrap into the above, or may do so in a stand alone program is create a Lunch Buddy Program. At first, we will focus on K-5 or K-8, but have elected officials and local businesses volunteer to eat lunch with a student 2x a month. It would run through the counselors as to the year long match and what days, but this would be an informal support for some of our kids who are struggling...and could benefit from a successful community member being a constant in their life in such a small way. The district that I saw do this pays for the adults tray lunch, so there is a cost associated with this. Sometimes they eat in a conference room or off to the side. Just depends.

If we do this, I'm encouraging the Central Office personnel to participate as well. More to come.

Board Meeting

Next week Thursday, we have a board meeting. Here is the agenda:

  • Start of the meeting
  • Patron Insight Telephone Survey (more on that in a minute)
  • PAWS reports (we will have another in June, but none in July or August)
  • Program Evaluation: At-Risk (Assistant Principals)
  • Legislative Update
  • Behavior Task Force Recommendations (more on that in a minute)
  • Financial Quarterly Report
  • Retiree Sub Rates (more on that in a minute)
  • Extra Duty - 6 requests for new stipend positions (7 positions). Cost would be about the same as the stipend for head football coach.
  • First Reading of Policies BCA, BCCA, EB, EBAB, IGAEB, JECC, JECA, JHG, JHCB. These are all in reaction to law. We have 2 others that we are not including but instead sending to our Policy Committee, which will meet on May 19th.
  • MSBA Delegate Assembly
  • Bills
  • Employment
  • Third Reading of policy GBCBC
  • Building Aide Job Description

Patron Insight Telephone Survey

The company completed 400 surveys by telephone of registered voters. I shared the 15 page topline data with the Superintendent's Council (HS kids) on Wednesday. They were so very proud of the results. They wish there were more A's than B's, but they correctly noted there were hardly any D's or F's.

They were happily surprised that 75% agreed or strongly agreed that a tax increase to pay higher salaries to teachers to aid in attraction / retention was something they would support. Good sign.

They did not see the 52 page report that has the comments. The CAT / Community meeting Thursday night will get that. The 52 page report also has cross tabulations by area lived, age, gender, kids vs. no kids in the district, etc. Only 111 of the 400 currently have a child in the district. A few more have grandchildren. And which community gave us the highest grades? Foristell. Kudos to Michele and her staff for being the cultural center of Foristell with our their community events. That has paid off indeed.

We will post one of the reports up on our website in the next day or so.

Kelly Gooding has agreed to file the Campaign Committee paperwork with the county. If you are looking to join the group, just let me know and I can get you going. Not required. As a district, we can only give out information, encourage registration and encourage to go vote. The committee (Support Wright City) can advocate for a yes vote.

At the meeting on Thursday, we will go over the sub-committees and start working.

Behavior Task Force Study Group

The group of over 20 educator and community member study group met 5 times and have several recommendations that they will present to the BOE. I saw those for the first time on Tuesday, and we hope to put together a cost analysis sometime soon, but likely after the May 19th BOE meeting. Until I have a picture of the next year budget settled more and a deep cost analysis of each of these items below, I will postpone any personal recommendations. The lesser cost ones, obviously, are easy to jump in on. The first 3 recommendations could cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $200,000 when you consider salary and benefits.

Here are their recommendations:

Recommendations that affect budget going forward (majority of committee members voted for these things to go forward to the BOE on the 19th—un-highlighted number is the priority of the items they are sending forward. The “0” indicates that no one member chose that as one of their top three items to prioritize—it does not indicate that “0” members wanted the item to go forward. The membership ranked three items on a “main priority-‘1’” scale to “third priority-‘3’” scale. For calculation purposes, the first priority was worth 3 points, the second priority was worth 2 points, and the third priority was worth 1 point.

  • Hire school psychologist, behavior specialist and/or crisis counselor (14), 39
  • Administrative intern at East (15), 30
  • Extra counselor at elementary level (15), 16
  • AR for East and MS (15), 8
  • All teachers Trauma-Informed Training (12), 3
  • De-escalation room (12), 3
  • Positive Coaching 6-12, 2
  • After-school detention; Saturday detention as an intermediary consequence (14), 0

Budget Neutral Recommendations

  • Change time when discipline notice goes out to parents (15)
  • Block all social media from school and library computers (12)
  • Internal review/change for codes and consequences (15)
  • More flexibility in resolutions in Code of Conduct

Retirees and Subbing

Due to new regulations with Affordable Health Care Act, we must have a 26 week separation from any retiree before they can sub. The separation date is June 30th, so that would mean any new retiree cannot sub until January. If they did sub 1 day before them, we would have to provide $5,544 worth of insurance premiums. That would be an expensive day of subbing!

One of the things I've been pondering is increasing pay for days subbed by retirees. I polled 41 districts, and only 7 are doing something more. Of those, 6 are paying a higher rate. 1 is providing discounted insurance for x days subbed via a contract. When I asked what about new retirees, they said that first year they give them January to September 30th to fulfill the # of days.

I'm interested in doing such as we have a need, and obviously a veteran teacher will be a great sub for our kiddos. This is not a done deal....but considering and will discuss at the BOE meeting.

EOC scores are coming in!

These scores are Raw Scores. That is, it includes every kid that took the test. Some of them will not count toward our district APR. Why?

  • If a student was not enrolled here the last Wednesday of September, they are not considered a full academic year and thus do not count for our APR.
  • Some EOC scores no longer count toward APR. American History, English I, Geometry, Algebra II if the student took Algebra I at the HS, Physical Science.
  • Also, the scores from MAP-A will be added to these scores...and we will not have those scores for some time.

Below is what we have for scores via the fun calculation called the MAP Performance Index, or MPI. This is the score they put into the rubric to determine the status. We will have Biology, English II and Algebra I scores next week.

Please note, that the MPI rubric is changing every year...toward a 2020 goal. Also, there are 4 levels. 2020 Target, On Track, Approaching and Floor. 3 year status average is what is used.

American History:

  • 15% advanced
  • 35% proficient
  • 22% basic
  • 26% below basic
  • MPI of 314.7...Approaching
  • 2015 was 2020 Target
  • 2014 was 2020 Target
  • 3 year status, 356.9, On Track


  • 10% advanced
  • 53% proficient
  • 21% basic
  • 14% below basic
  • MPI of 344.8...Approaching
  • 2014 was 2020 Target
  • 2015 was 2020 Target
  • 3 year status, 379.4, On Track

Algebra II:

  • 10% advanced
  • 44% proficient
  • 28% basic
  • 15% below basic
  • MPI 333.3...Approaching
  • 2015 was Approaching
  • 2014 was Approaching
  • 3 year status, 343.1, Approaching

English I:

  • 10% advanced
  • 66% proficient
  • 16% basic
  • 7% below basic
  • MPI 372.4...On Track
  • 2015 was Approaching
  • 2014 was 2020 Target
  • 3 year status, 376.5, On Track


  • 18% advanced
  • 49% proficient
  • 28% basic
  • 3% below basic
  • MPI 378.3...2020 Target
  • 2015 was 2020 Target
  • 2014 was 2020 Target
  • 3 year status, 382.4, 2020 Target

Physical Science (only 2nd year of the test)

  • 2% advanced
  • 27% proficient
  • 64% basic
  • 5% below basic
  • MPI 321.6...Approaching
  • 2015 was Approaching
  • 2 year status, 323.3, Approaching

I haven't seen 8th grade Algebra I nor the IED PLTW scores yet.

West Talent Show!

Thank you to Jade and Stephanie...the kids did great!
Big image

District Checkout

The 16th is such a mad rush. Happy and sad goodbyes. Finals at the upper grades. And checkout with your administrator and technology department.

Please remember that we have the checkout so we can pay you, continue to be good stewards with public funds, and ensure we have what kids need for future educational days. Please be patient. Especially with Michael and Andrea, who are literally in 5 different buildings checking out folks.

Thank you ahead of time for making the custodial staff's job in the coming months easier by following Jack's protocols for leaving a classroom ready. Our custodial staff do so much, and work so hard all year long. Let's be good neighbors to some of our own Wildcats!

From the Desk of Jennifer Hecktor

If you are leaving the district, please make sure to “transfer ownership” of any curriculum, instruction, or assessment files to your principal or assistant principal by Monday, May 16th. “Sharing” a file with someone is not sufficient, as your files will become irrecoverable once your Wright City account is disabled. The only way to ensure that these important files are not lost is through the “transfer ownership” process. This applies to any files that the district may need going forward. Thank you in advance for your help in this process. We wish you the best as you pursue new paths.

Mentor/mentee paperwork is due by Friday, May 13, 2016 to Darcy Cearley. I will check in with Darcy to ensure that all paperwork has been received. Please do not leave for the summer without submitting all necessary paperwork. Thank you!

Please check the due date on your teaching certification and make a calendar reminder to upgrade or extend it if it is due to expire this summer.

As we wrap up state testing for the year, I want to thank each of you for your efforts to ensure that it went smoothly and that we put our best foot forward as a district. I am interested in your feedback from our state testing session. Please feel free to e-mail me any thoughts, concerns, issues that you experienced. We will take your feedback into consideration as we move forward. Your perspective matters to us.

From the desk of Anita Brace

For those of you that have Flex Spending Accounts for healthcare and/or dependant care:

I received the following information from PayFlex in an email- that I am passing on to you.

Redirecting members to payflex.com

We’ve made a change to help ensure members use the new payflex.com to get to their PayFlex account(s). Previously, your members could log in through healthhub.com. Now, when a member enters healthhub.cominto their browser, we’ll automatically redirect them to payflex.com where they can log in. During the redirect, members will see a message telling them what’s happening.

What does this mean to your members?

  • Members can no longer log in to their accounts through healthhub.com

  • Members can use payflex.com to get their PayFlex account

  • Members who have logged in to healthhub.com before will use the same username and password to log in to payflex.com. Otherwise, they’ll need to create a profile.

If you have any questions, let me know and we will work through it.

Reminder about new retirees:

Any of the retirees wanting to teach summer school remember you will not want to work on the last day of summer school which is July 1st, because working that one day will cause you to have to wait another month to start receiving your retirement checks. Work with your supervisor to get a sub for that day.

Also due to the Affordable Care Act-This year the new retirees will not be able to sub until 26 weeks after June 30th (separation date). That date would be December 29th. So first day they would be able to sub will be January 3rd, 2017.

Big image

Summer School Enrollment

As of today, we have 616 students enrolled. We like being in the 600s. As class sizes increase, Tina and Matthew are hiring teachers. We will have a nice break between school end and summer school beginning this year.

When we look at HS credit recovery students (most of which are not full time all 24 days), then we are looking at 707 students currently enrolled. This is the 4th out of the last 8 years that we had over 700 students involved in summer school.

Remember, we will have free breakfast and lunch for all kiddos, including those that live in the community but are not attending summer school. Football team practicing in June, come on over to the MS for a free meal. All we ask, for the bigger groups like that, is you coordinate that ahead of time with Lynn G.

If you are retiring, you do not want to work the last day of summer school, July 1st. Why? it would delay your retirement payments by a month! That would be a month of less pay for 1 day of work. We can work with you to get a substitute for that last day.

Trivia Answers

  1. Who wrote "a person's a person no matter how small?' Dr., Seuss
  2. What year was Michael Jackson born? 1958
  3. Which of these movies was not directed by Steven Spielberg: Shindler's List; The Terminal; E.T.; Titanic? Titanic
  4. What do you have if you are a member of Mensa? High IQ


I'm soon to be homeless! Want my 3 girls as your neighbor? :-)
Big image