Despite the challenging times, there are an unbelievable amount of positive things occurring in our district. Teachers are engaging students in ways we never could have imagined. Students are completing assignments at home with encouragement and direction from staff and parents. The food service team is serving approximately 18,000 meals per week and is on pace to serve over 160,000 meals through the end of May. The technology department is providing support for teachers and students which has been crucial for our success with distance learning. The custodial and maintenance department are continuing to take excellent care of our campuses. There are staff in every department and school making a positive difference. We have an amazing team doing incredible work. Thank you for your continued dedication to make these challenging times a success.
Among the many concerns that COVID-19 has created is the impact on the economy. Since Fort Osage relies heavily on the state budget, next year certainly presents financial issues. Thus far Governor Parson has made two cuts to the current state budget (FY 20) which have directly impacted Fort Osage's transportation budget by a reduction of 7%. The state is currently projecting between a $700 million and $1 billion shortfall for next year's budget (FY 21). The legislators are working to pass a budget by the May 8 deadline although a special session to complete this task isn't out of the question. I will be meeting with Team Fort Osage on May 7 to discuss salary and benefits for the coming year. One factor that always impacts the budget is rising health insurance costs. We are keeping this likely increase in mind as we plan for next year’s budget. Maintaining a balanced budget is a priority for the Board, and my goal is to achieve that while continuing to provide appropriate staffing, good health insurance coverage, and fund steps and movement for staff.
It's important to end the school year strong. For the week of May 18 each building principal is creating a plan for students to retrieve belongings from their building, return items and 'check out' for the school year. In order to help with this process staff will be asked to assist. Social distancing measures will be implemented to help keep everyone safe. Additional information will be sent prior to May 18 regarding the specific details.
A $25.00 gift card to Frye's Greenhouse located at 2910 N Buckner Tarsney Road in Buckner will be given away to one lucky winner utilizing the RNG. For those of you interested, please send an email to email@example.com with ‘Plants' in the subject line. Entries will be accepted until 8:00 am on Monday, May 4. The card will be mailed to the winner's home address.
Give Away prizes are not purchased with District funds. Only Fort Osage employees are eligible to enter the drawing.