Fall is my favorite time of year. As the weather changes our school year also progresses. Fall parent teacher conferences mean the leaves are changing and cooler temperatures are arriving. Thank you for your continued work in helping us successfully proceed through the school year. Your hard work and dedication are greatly appreciated. Thank you for making a positive impact on our student's lives!
Work is underway for the 2024-2025 student calendar. In November, a survey will be sent to all staff requesting input for use in the creation of draft calendars. The draft calendars will be shared with Team Fort for additional input and refinement. All staff will have the opportunity to vote on the preferred calendar from two options. It is our goal to have a 2024-2025 student calendar ready for approval at the January 2024 Board of Education meeting.
Thanks to a grant written by Technology Director, Debbie Smith, Fort Osage has received $400,000 for safety upgrades. A portion of the money was spent on new door locks for Buckner Elementary and Fire Prairie. Next week the installation of nearly 400 new exterior and interior surveillance cameras will begin to be installed across the district. This will be a combination of new locations and the replacement of older cameras. After installation is complete we will have approximately 450 cameras total. Our goal is to replace locks in every building within the next few years with separate funding.
One of Fort Osage’s CSIP goals is to support and promote a positive working environment and to retain qualified staff focused on meeting the needs of each student. During the 2022-2023 school year Karen Hile, then Executive Director of Human Resources, and Stephanie Smith, Director of Public Relations, teamed up to start a task-force composed of staff members to address this goal.
Areas of focus for the task-force was a renewed emphasis on the monthly MVP Board Recognition, restructuring the staff high-five process, and the celebration of staff appreciation days.
A new social committee was formed to help provide opportunities during the school year for staff to interact with each other outside of the school day. The committee has some great plans in the works, including a game night scheduled for Friday, November 3rd. Other future plans include a trivia night, family tailgate, volunteer opportunities, and more. Additional information will be shared in the future.
All asphalt work on the main campus has been completed. The kitchens and high school band room renovations are also complete. The fieldhouse flooring in all areas, except for the actual gym floor, will be completed this week. Cleaners will finish everywhere except the gym by the end of next week. Furniture is scheduled to be delivered by the end of November for the offices, locker rooms, and elsewhere. The gym floor is scheduled to be completed by mid December. Once we are closer to the completion, details about a ribbon cutting will be announced.
A $25.00 gift card to McBee’s Coffee & Car Wash will be given away to one lucky winner utilizing the random number generator (RNG). For those of you interested, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Spotless’ in the subject line. Entries will be accepted until 8:00 am on Monday, October 30.
Giveaway prizes are not purchased with District funds. Only Fort Osage employees are eligible to enter the drawing.
Thank you for helping us have a successful start to our school year. The amount of work and care provided by our staff does not go unnoticed and is greatly appreciated. Thank you for all you do to help support our students.
Senate Bill 190 went into effect in Missouri on August 28, 2023. The law allows each county in the state to adopt an ordinance which will provide senior citizens with a tax credit on their residential tax bills. On September 18th, Jackson County passed Ordinance 5787 which, beginning in 2024, will impact residents age 62 or older with their residential property taxes. In a nutshell, a resident 62 or older whose primary residence is assessed at $550,000 or less, will not see an increase beyond their 2023 residential tax bill. If someone moves to a new residence, their residential tax bill would start over at that year’s assessment. Per the ordinance, homeowners who qualify for the tax credit will have a timeframe to notify the county if they would like to receive the tax credit. Since school districts receive residential tax revenues, the future financial impact to Fort Osage is unknown at this time.
Fort Connect is a new program for students grades 9-12 where students earn credits through projects and hands-on learning. The program is currently housed at the Campus Grounds Event Space while the program awaits its permanent home at the Eastgate Commerce Center currently being built on Little Blue Parkway. Students use the design thinking process to solve problems for clients via client connected projects. The program is always seeking partnerships within and outside of the school community to give kids real world experiences.
School Protection Specialists have proven to be a valuable addition to our team. We have received great feedback regarding the work they are doing in our schools. It is encouraging seeing them patrol our campuses and provide assistance and feedback in regards to school safety while building rapport with students and staff. Thank you for making them feel like a part of your building team and members of our Fort family.