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by Patty Cheffey
The Palmyra Board of Education has approved an investment plan to begin preparing for the next capital improvement projects.
The board approved the investments during their meeting last week, at which they also set the annual tax rate hearing, set lunch prices, heard or made updates to the Community Engagement Plan and the Vocational Advisory Committee and approved several handbooks.
The Board agreed to commit to $2 million in fixed rate investment opportunities, which will be laddered with three-month, six-month and nine-month certificate of deposits through HOMEBANK, and a 12-month treasury note from Commerce Bank.
These fixed rate investments should yield the district well over $60,000 in revenue over the next 12 months, said Superintendent Jason Harper.
“Lead times are nearly a year out for capital improvements, and we feel taking advantage of the current rates are promoting good stewardship of our taxpayers’ money.” he said.
The board also approved entering into an agreement with the Missouri Capital Asset Advantage Treasury for possible investment opportunities, Harper added.
MOCAAT serves 172 public schools in Missouri and offers services such as cash flow analysis, budget development, investment strategy and investment opportunities. There is no fee for MOCAAT services.
The annual tax rate hearing was set for Tuesday, Aug. 22, at 6:30 p.m. in the Palmyra R-I board room.
The public is invited to attend.
Free and reduced lunch applications and lunch prices were approved for the 2023-2024 school year.
A full price elementary breakfast will be $2.20, and a full price lunch will be $2.60. Middle school students will pay $2.20 for a full price breakfast and $2.85 for a full price lunch. High school students will pay $2.25 for a full price breakfast and $2.85 full price lunch.
All students qualifying for reduced price meals will pay 30 cents for breakfast and 40 cents for lunch.
The Community Engagement Plan was updated with additional avenues of communication being approved.
“We added that we would conform to all federal and state laws regarding public records requests,” Harper said.
The board heard a quick update on the new Vocational Advisory Committee.
The first meetings will be held in the coming weeks, and they will create an avenue for community experts in agriculture, business and the family and consumer sciences to interact with the school’s programs, providing feedback for improvement.
In other business, the board approved the 2023-24 school year professional development plan, which will include eight days.
Training will focus on literacy and content knowledge throughout the year.
The following handbooks were approved for the 2023-2024 school year: high school athletic, middle school athletic, transportation, coaches/sponsors, and student handbooks for elementary school, middle school and high school.
Harper and the board members will be attending the Missouri School Board Association meetings held Nov. 2-4, in Kansas City. These meetings will keep the board abreast of the latest educational issues facing public schools in Missouri.
The Board Picnic will be held on Aug. 15, at Palmyra Elementary School. It will be a chance for the Board of Education to welcome back staff and meet all the new members of the faculty.
A resignation from Kara Hoye, high school special eduction/A+ secretary, was approved. Ann Locke has been hired to replace her.
Additional hires approved were:
Jim Lowe, middle school assistant football coach
Steven Walker, middle school boys track coach and
Isaac Williamson, varsity girls wrestling coach.
With these hires, the board is still looking to fill a custodian and two Parents as Teachers positions.
The board also:
• approved the credit card user agreements for the new administrative team members.
• approved a bid of $6,250 from Krigbaum Trailers for a tilt trailer that will serve multiple purposes for district maintenance staff.
Harper noted the August board meeting has been moved to Monday, Aug. 7, to allow all board members to attend.