SIKESTON -- If appropriate funds are available, work to remove asbestos from a Sikeston High School building could begin as early as March.
In a roll-call vote of 4-2, Sikeston R-6 Board of Education members awarded the bid to remove asbestos from C building at the high school to Midwest Environmental Studies of Cape Girardeau during their regular meeting Tuesday. Board president Ann Jones and member Ken Stone voted against the measure. Board member Paul H. Boyd was absent for the meeting.
Midwest was the lowest bidder for the removal and disposal of 17,400 square feet of asbestos ceiling texture and hard plaster for $93,700; 18,000 square feet of asbestos floor tile and sealant (two layers) for $28,800; and thermal insulation for $500 for a total of $123,000.
"As the Board of Education knows, we have been targeting the renovation of C building for some time. Last year, we postponed that and then decided to take this back up again," said Superintendent Steve Borgsmiller.
Borgsmiller noted that with the board's approval (of the bid), the project was subject to the availability of funds to complete the entire project.
"So if in the event we have insufficient funds to complete the project renovation and removal, we can extricate ourselves from that due to the language we put in the bid," Borgsmiller said.
Before the final vote, Stone asked Borgsmiller when the issue would be revisited.
"We will revisit it again as early as March," Borgsmiller said. "As long as the (state) Legislature is in session, we'll have better idea of what they may or may not do (in regard to funding for public schools)."
Stone said his only concern was he doesn't know if a year or two from now, the Board may be making an even more difficult decision about the building.
Board members also awarded the district's bid for two new transit buses for the 2009-2010 school year. The district will purchase two 77-passenger buses for $74,980 per unit from Central States Bus Sales Inc. Also approved were the science and social studies curricula.
Cindy Griffin, assistant superintendent of special education and elementary grades, gave a report on the district's special education profile for 2007-2008 school year.
Of the indicators Sikeston R-6 is measured on, those met were: percentages of children with Individual Educational Plans, or IEPs, served in separated setting; participation rate for children with IEPs on state assessments for both communication arts and math; and the areas for secondary transition. Secondary transition includes the graduation and dropout rates of students with disabilities and the percentage of youth who had IEPs and are no longer in secondary school and are employed or enrolled in post-secondary education within one year of leaving high school.
"Unfortunately, we still had four areas we didn't meet, but I feel very good about the ones we did," Griffin said.
Griffin noted the district recently underwent an on-site review with the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
"We had 38 student files, and we went through and compared those files with anywhere from 150 to 180 indicators. We submitted an online report to DESE and they then asked to see 11 of those files. The target is to have 80 percent accuracy; we had no indicators below 80 percent," Griffin said.
District counselors Lisa Vaughn and Helen Hensley also presented to the board the annual report for the district's school guidance counseling services.
Counselors are implementing a new anti-bullying program and are now in the process of training students and staff members on the effects of bullying. The information is also being shared with parents.
A counseling advisory committee was developed last year and consists of school staff, parents, community members and students. It's used to give guidance and feedback, and so far the committee has met twice, the counselors said.
To give students a better career direction at the secondary level, students are taking an online career interest inventories. The results help match students with one of 16 career clusters. Students take the inventory every year so their clusters can change at any time, the counselors noted.
In other business, the board accepted the retirement of Cheryl Macke, principal and academic leader of the Seventh and Eighth Grade Center.