Facility upgrades at forefront at Raymore-Peculiar

Special to the Democrat MissourianJune 7, 2013 

Facility management issues quickly moved to the forefront of the May 23 Raymore-Peculiar Board of Education meeting.

Based on the recommendation of Steve Meyers, director of facilities and support services, the board voted to move forward with several facility management projects.

The board approved a bid for partial roof replacement at Peculiar Elementary for $95,690, plus an alternate of $3,390, and a contingency of $9,269 – a total amount $104,959, from Porter Roofing.

Ray-Pec East Middle School will also be getting new carpeting thanks to a unanimous vote by the board in which members approved a bid of $19,851.40 from BR Carpet to carpet six classrooms on the second floor. Continuing with carpeting talks, the board rejected the only bid received for carpeting the front entryway and office at Timber Creek Elementary School and will re-bid that project at a later date.

Meyers recommended accepting a change order for the wall restoration project at the Administrative Services Center, which would reduce the project cost by $554. After removing one office window, Meyers explained that the contractor discovered that the original installation of the windows would not allow for the repair work to take place according to the original repair specifications. The scope of the project changed, while still improving the waterproofing of the building and staying within budget. The board voted in favor of this change order.

The board also approved several other action items, including: an agreement with Metropolitan Community College to allow high school juniors and seniors to earn college credit and high school credit upon completion of eligible courses at any MCC campus; a contract extension with UMB for banking services; and a resolution changing authorized signers under the Missouri Securities Investment Program to provide for incoming superintendent Kari Monsees as a signer.

Karen Hurst, director of curriculum, assessment and instruction, and Karmin Ricker, secondary curriculum coordinator, presented a program review of the district’s Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction program. The goal of this department is to demonstrate annual academic improvement in local, state and national achievement assessments for the district. In order for board members to get a sense of the impact of the program, the pair offered the following highlights from the previous year:

The district earned an Accredited with Distinction designation in 2012

2012 ACT scores increased to 22.4 from 21.6 in 2011

The district met 92.5 percent of performance indicators for MSIP 5

It implemented Standards Referenced Reporting for K-5

Performance improved in local, state and national indicators

“We are always looking at ways to develop our curriculum and align our standards with the Common Core,” said Richter. “We want to continue making improvements by modernizing our technology in the classroom. We also want to look at ways we can continue to develop the rigor and relevance so students feel that they are well prepared to compete on a high scale.”

Initiatives for this department include: moving Standards Referenced Reporting to the Middle School in 2014-15; gearing up for the International Baccalaureate preparation with Foreign Language enhancement; infusing Common Core State Standards in local curriculum for 2013-14; increasing ACT participation and performance in 2013-14; and modernizing instruction through digital enhancements beginning in 2013-14.

Coinciding with the discussion of emphasizing technology in education by the curriculum and instruction department, Arla Monroe, director of technology, gave an overview of the district’s technology program.

Summarizing goals from last year, Monroe highlighted the following objectives and results:

Develop a district-wide plan for 1-to-1 computing. She noted that the district’s Digital Transformation process will help in the development of this plan.

Define minimum classroom technology standards. She has created an approved purchase listing for equipment.

Update current policies and procedures. The department is working to update its “Acceptable Use Policies” and “Digital Citizenship” policies.

Provide instructions on safe and proper use of technology and the Internet at the beginning of each school year.

As for next year's strategic plan objectives, Monroe explained that in addition to focusing on top-notch customer service and courtesy, her department will: develop a systematic approach to technology planning; maximize technology applications and resources to facilitate effective instructional delivery and student learning; maximize technology applications and resources to facilitate effective and efficient operations; develop and implement a systematic process to conduct a technology needs assessment; develop a process to provide training and resources to help teachers integrate technology into the classroom; and develop a process to determine new technology-related initiatives to address the evolving needs of the district.

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