Lindbergh Board of Education discusses 2008-2009 goals

School district looks to complete facilities work

By BURKE WASSON

The Lindbergh Board of Education recently discussed a list of district goals for the 2008-2009 school year and expect to approve them this summer.

Those goals, which will be facilitated through newly hired Superintendent Jim Simpson, are expected to be brought before the board in May with final approval to be considered by July.

Simpson will fill in July 1 for retiring Superintendent Jim Sandfort.

Among the goals identified at an April 26 work session for the coming school year are:

• Meet all Department of Elementary and Secondary Education/Annual Progress Report indicators.

• Improve Missouri Assessment Program testing scores in communication arts, math and science.

• Meet all No Child Left Behind mandates.

• Improve the district’s average ACT score to 24. The current district average is 22.7.

• Improve the Interest Based Agreement Process program and its enrollment.

• Maintain the district’s graduation rate at current or better levels.

• Reduce the percent of non-credit course enrollments at St. Louis Community College-Meramec.

• Improve college-placement scholarships.

• Maintain the district’s attendance at its current rate or better. The district currently has an overall attendance rate of 96 percent, and administrators would like to reach 97 percent.

• Increase the number of Missouri State High School Activities Association academic teams.

• Improve citizenship scores at Sperreng Middle School and Lindbergh High School.

• Maintain and increase “givebacks” to the community through service learning.

• Increase the number of students earning Presidential Service Awards.

• Increase the number of character sportsmanship training leaders among staff.

• Decrease the attendance variance between resident and Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corp. pupils at both Sperreng Middle School and Lindbergh High School.

• Increase the number of “promising practices” in Schools of Character.

• Increase the number of MSHSAA complimentary citations.

• Develop and approve a board Comprehensive School Improvement Plan.

• Complete Proposition R facilities projects.

• Implement solutions from the Demographic Task Force.

• Attain fund-development benchmarks.

Among Proposition R projects that still could be completed, as identified by Executive Director of Planning and Development Karl Guyer, are: exterior building cracks at Sperreng Middle School, air conditioning at Lindbergh High School, classroom modifications at Sperreng Middle School, an emergency generator at Sappington Elementary School, access improvements at Crestwood Elementary School, security cameras at multiple schools and additional asphalt work at Sappington Elementary School.

Sandfort asked the board to authorize Guyer at a future meeting to go forward with these facilities projects to be funded through Prop R, which was a $32 million no-tax-rate increase bond issue in 2006 by district voters. The district’s debt-service tax rate remained unchanged at 38 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, but was extended six years.

To help facilitate progress of Prop R work, the board is expected at its May 13 meeting to consider seeking two additional employees — a supply manager and capital-project supervisor — beginning in the 2008-2009 school year.

District officials are also considering to ask voters for another no-tax-rate-increase bond issue in either November or April to ease space concerns at Sperreng Middle School.

The board currently is considering three redistricting options that tentatively range in cost between $12.5 million and $20 million.

• Converting Sperreng and Truman Elementary School to fifth- through eighth-grade middle schools, adding onto Crestwood and Long elementary schools, converting Concord School to an elementary school and purchasing a site to relocate the district’s early childhood education, or ECE, program from Concord School. The cost of that option, not including the cost of purchasing a site for the early childhood program, would be roughly $12.5 million.

• Converting Sperreng and Truman to fifth- through eighth-grade middle schools and building a new elementary school. This package would cost $17.5 million to $20 million.

• Retaining Sperreng as a sixth- through eighth-grade middle school, converting Truman to a sixth- through eighth-grade middle school, adding onto Crestwood and Long elementary schools, converting Concord School to an elementary school and purchasing a site to relocate the district’s ECE program from Concord School. The cost of that option, not including the cost of purchasing a site for the ECE program, would be roughly $13.8 million.

The district’s current bonding capacity is just shy of $30 million, according to Chief Financial Officer Pat Lanane.