Team Fort Osage met for the second time this year on December 4. It was a productive meeting with exceptional feedback provided by the committee. There was discussion about budget, health insurance, school calendar, staff COVID leave days, second semester learning and capital projects (information provided below on each). The next Team Fort Osage meeting is scheduled for February 19.
The state has withheld funding from schools despite the fact that state revenues are running ahead of this time last year. The District has had some additional expenditures due to COVID-19 (PPE, staffing, hot spots, etc.) however, there are some line items that have had fewer expenditures (travel, professional development, etc.). All told, with the addition of CARES money, Fort Osage is currently running a balanced budget. As always, we will continue to monitor things closely.
You may recall that the District is changing insurance starting January 1, 2021. Fort Osage will be part of the SipGKC consortium with Blue Springs, Grain Valley, and Smithville School Districts. The health insurance provider will remain with Cigna.
2022-2023 school calendar
The committee provided feedback regarding the placement of professional development days as well as spring break. The calendar will look similar to past years. After finalizing the calendar, it will be presented to the Board in March.
Staff COVID leave days
We are proud to be one of the few Districts in the metro providing this benefit for our deserving staff. The leave will be extended to June 30, 2021 and be increased from 20 to 25 days total.
Second Semester Learning
As previously communicated, we are planning to begin the second semester in the same learning format we are ending the first semester.
Once we return to school second semester, we will monitor our active cases, quarantine rate, and sub fill rate to make a decision, when it's possible to begin transitioning our hybrid students back additional days. The transition will be no sooner than mid-January beginning with our 5th and 6th grade students.
The next grade levels to transition back will be the 7th and 8th grade students followed by the high school students. There will be a minimum of two weeks between transition periods. When 5th-12th grade students return from hybrid learning they will attend four days per week. In order to provide additional support for students we will maintain virtual learning on Fridays. We will give as much advance notice as possible regarding upcoming transitions.
In order to address projects outlined on the District's master plan, at their January meeting, the board will consider placing building projects on the April 2021 ballot.
As part of this process, the District met with a community engagement committee and performed surveys to patrons and staff in order to receive feedback on the proposed projects. The projects being considered are improvements to all school kitchens, a new gym at the high school, a new transportation/maintenance/central office building, Blue Hills Elementary and central campus parking lot improvements, FOHS band room improvements and Fire Prairie traffic improvements. After the January board meeting more information will be provided to staff.