Marmaduke Board Discusses Canopy Project, Vehicles at Meeting

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Marmaduke School Board met Monday, July 9, for its regular meeting.

Superintendent Keith Richey brought the topic of school vehicles to the table. Richey lives a short distance from the school, and does not have a need to use a school vehicle regularly. However, he believes it is a good idea to have a school vehicle available for request by teachers and faculty to use for school business. Richey proposes to keep the white truck, which has served as his school vehicle, and press it into service for the Agri Department. As of now, the department has to request the use of a grey truck being used as a school vehicle. He noted it is not always easy to obtain permission to use it because it is already in use when they need it. The new proposal would allow a truck to be used solely for Agri, so they would not have to worry about whether or not the school vehicle would be available when they need it. Additionally, Richey proposes to sell the grey truck and obtain a car instead. He also suggests purchasing a 12 to 15 passenger van. This would allow groups to travel without requiring a driver with a CDL, which proves to be difficult during the school day. The board agreed to have Richey contact those impacted by the plan, such as FFA and the Alumni Account, and to further discuss these proposals when more information is acquired.

Also, Richey discusses the school's need for bus drivers. He informed the board that three people have applied for a bus driver position. Those that applied include David Vanhorn, who will take a full bus route, Kyle Gardner, who will take a full bus route and Tom Rice, who will take a half bus route. Each applicant was individually approved by all of the members of the board.

Furthermore, Superintendent Richey brought the board up to speed on the canopy project. Last year, the awning was built from the main building to the driveway. This allows students getting off the bus to immediately be able to move under the canopy. Richey is to converse with Jerry Cross about a timeline and an estimate on a canopy in front of the Agri building. Richey noted he would like this canopy to be finished before school starts, and thus may have to call a special meeting if Cross believes they can get it done before mid-August.

In other business, the board briefly discussed the approval of a milk bid. The school had one bid from Prairie Farms, and the board unanimously approved the bid under Richey's recommendation. They also unanimously approved of the only bread bid they received from Bimbo Bakery.

Also, policy changes were a topic of discussion at the meeting. The superintendent explained that most of the changes were wording and/or simple changes but highlighted a couple of alterations. Richey stated that the sexual harassment policy had been polished and revised so that it would be clear what constitutes sexual harassment. He also noted the new policy on therapy animals. If a teacher or faculty member needs a therapy animal, they will need to make a request to have one on school grounds. The board unanimously approved all policy changes.

In regards to student handbook changes, Richey reiterates that most changes made were grammatical or wording alterations. He did highlight a new section on safety tracking devices. Parents will need to request approval for their children to have them on school grounds, and students may not be allowed to use the audio or video components of the device, if the device contains these components. Richey also explained that he is going to look into the volunteer policy. As of now, volunteers have to go through a background check, requiring fingerprinting, among other things, and are charged for it. Richey would like to make the process a little simpler for volunteers, while also ensuring the safety of the school. The board unanimously approved the changes made to the student handbook.

In addition, the board unanimously approved the minutes from the previous meeting, financial report, and bills. Superintendent Richey also updated the board on the trash truck. They are currently seeking a motor, as the truck's current motor is blown.

Later, the board entered into a brief executive session regarding personnel, and took no action after reconvening.

Chuck Long and Bill Muse were absent from the meeting, as they were both out of town.

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