As I travel the District I am constantly reminded of the wonderful things being accomplished by our staff. Each one of you plays an important role in helping our students be successful. Thank you for everything you do to make a positive impact on our students. I appreciate Fort's rich traditions and am grateful to lead this wonderful District.
The last week of January is designated as School Board Appreciation Week. It allows us to say thank you to our Board of Education. The Board continues to do a tremendous job by truly valuing the students and staff of our school district. Thank you for taking time to recognize our Board for a job well done!
Fort Osage is a District filled with people who give back to their community. Numerous examples of helping others can be found in every school. Each school in our district participated in the food drive to assist the local food pantry. The Career Center collected coats for those in need while the High School Student Council participates in the Polar Bear Plunge to help raise money for Special Olympics. Various other fundraisers and community service projects have occurred in the elementary and middle schools including a mitten tree, adopting families during the holiday season, and visiting nursing homes to name a few. Thank you for giving back and teaching our students the value of making a difference in the lives of others.
In order to inform parents and patrons about the upcoming April election I have begun taking advantage of the opportunity to present to various community groups. We have also been preparing the District newsletter that will be mailed to 11,000 households the last week of January. This mailing will mark the first time many District residents will learn about the two issues on the April 4 ballot. Additionally we have been working on other forms of communication such as the District website and daily social media posts. I encourage you to provide factual information about Question 1 (no tax increase bond issue) and Question 2 (operating levy increase) to parents and patrons you come in contact with on a daily basis. If there is anyone who would like me to provide information to them please let me know and I would be happy to schedule a time to do so. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me if anyone has a question.
Due to revenue shortfalls in Missouri, Governor Greitens withheld $146 million from the state budget on January 16. Higher education took the brunt of the withholding while K-12 education was hit with an $8.6 million withholding from transportation. Due to this withholding Fort Osage will receive approximately $96,000 less funding for transportation this year. Experts are predicting additional withholdings from the state in the future.
The state legislative session began January 4 in Jefferson City. Currently 62 education bills have been introduced and are being tracked. The most pressing are bills that call for charter school expansion and educational savings accounts which would likely take funding from public education. Updates will be provided throughout the session.
As winter lingers on and Valentine's Day approaches people are in need of a sweet treat. A $20.00 gift card to Cold Stone will be given away to one lucky winner utilizing the RNG. For those of you interested, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with 'Cold Stone' in the subject line. Entries will be accepted until 8:00 am on Monday, January 30.
Give Away prizes are not purchased with District funds. Only Fort Osage employees are eligible to enter the drawing.