SIKESTON -- For the first time in more than 10 years, Sikeston R-6 Board of Education approved a higher tuition rate during its regular meeting Tuesday.
Based on the district's 2005-2006 allowable expenditures and average daily attendance, the new rate approved by the board is $6,009 for the 2006-2007 school year -- up from previous years' rate of $2,800.
"All we're doing is recovering costs," Lori Boardman, R-6 business director, said.
Last year the district implemented a Student Information Systems computer program, which helps track student attendance. As a result, for the first time the district is able to use a formula provided by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to better calculate a tuition rate for the district, Boardman explained.
"We received a clarification on the formula to set our tuition rate from DESE," Boardman said.
Even though the rate slightly doubles the previous amount, it's more up-to-
date with the district's cost per student than it has been, Boardman said. "The rate is to the penny what it costs the district per student based on last year's expenditures," Boardman said.
For comparison, rates of other area schools are: Cape Girardeau, $5,300; Jackson, $5,129.44 (only accepts Nell Holcomb students); New Madrid, $1,250; Oran, $5,000 (tuition prior to 2006-2007 was $3,800 for many years); Poplar Bluff, $6,100; Richland, $5,000 (prior to 2006-2007, tuition was $3,500 for many years); Scott County Central, $3,500; and Kelly, $4,900 (they have a set tuition rate but do not accept out-of-district students).
District-wide enrollment for the new school year as of Sept. 1 is 3,774.
"We're 49 students higher in enrollment this year compared to the same time last year," superintendent Steve Borgsmiller said.
The superintendent predicted the district would end the year with enrollment around 3,800.
R-6 construction manager Randy Bratton of Montgomery Martin Contractors LLC in Memphis, Tenn., provided the board with an update on the construction of the math and science center.
"Everything is going well," Bratton told the board. "We're still on schedule and on budget. Overall, we're very pleased with the quality of work and haven't had to do any change orders."
Bratton said they're still looking at a December completion date.
As of Tuesday, Bratton said 100 percent of the steel work was complete; 95 percent of masonry was finished; 99 percent of flat roof was done; 20 percent of drywall is in place; and 80 percent of the glass storefront has been installed.
In other business Tuesday, the board awarded the bid for exterior caulking and expansion joints for the math and science center to Loyd Slinkard Painting Co. Inc. of Cape Girardeau for the low bid of $1,783.
Two surplus buses were awarded to First Assembly of God Church in Sikeston for a total of $5,000 and another surplus bus was awarded to Brock Auto Salvage in Sikeston for $1,688.88.
The district's partnership agreement with Southeast Missouri State University for professional development graduate credit was extended through July 31, 2010.
"This is a significant savings to our staff," Borgsmiller said. Teachers and administrators in partnership schools pursing a graduate degree at Southeast will save for the master's and specialist degrees from $1,848 to $2,179.
On Aug. 3, the district's professional development committee met to examine program evaluations and discuss various building schools improvement plans with their administrators to construct the 2006-2007 professional development focus, Dr. Larry Bohannon, assistant superintendent of professional development and secondary education, told the board.
The board then approved the district's handbooks and seven goals of professional development for this school year.
Borgsmiller commended R-6 transportation director Randy Thompson and chief mechanic Ron Hampton for the district being 100 percent compliance on the annual school bus inspection program conducted by Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Also, Deanne Dial, a Sikeston High School graduate, was hired as an instructor for the district's practical nursing program.