With summer vacation approaching, the Columbia School Board’s agenda is looking to the future. The board will consider a new superintendent contract, and board members and trustees will receive committee assignments for the 2022-23 school year.

Superintendent contract

The board will vote on a new contract for Superintendent Brian Yearwood. It would run until June 30, 2025, and raise Yearwood’s annual salary by $230,000 to $239,200.

This will be Yearwood’s second year with the district.

Finance Update

Chief Financial Officer Heather McArthur will present a financial update covering revenues and expenses for the upcoming school year.

At a finance committee meeting on Wednesday, McArthur said state funding based on weighted average daily attendance would not be affected. The borough was concerned about this because of the slow rebound in attendance linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Consideration of amendments to the budget for this school year is also on the agenda of the meeting. The total impact to the operating budget for the 2021-22 school year is a decrease in revenue over expenses of $1.8 million, according to board documents outlining the changes.

Isolation, restraint policy

A new seclusion and restraint policy, approved by the policy committee last month, will be part of a lengthy consent program pending full board approval.

The policy changes the parent notification schedule, adds a reporting process and excludes the use of locking hardware. The change comes after the enactment of House Bill 432 last July.

GSA Wardrobe Grant

Also under the consent agenda, the board is likely to approve the submission of a grant application for a Rock Bridge High School clothes closet by the Gay Straight Alliance. The app is asking for $10,000 from the It Gets Better project to fund a clothes closet for all students to express themselves at school.

This is the second time the application has been submitted to the Board of Directors for approval so that the submission process can continue. The original application was removed from last month’s consent agenda to allow students time to work with the district to strengthen their application.

The revised app renames the closet from a “gender-affirming closet” to “Coming Out of the Closet In Style Clothing Closet”.

Several sections of the revised application focus more on the Rock Bridge school community and student body compared to national trends and attitudes in the previous version. The review is more specific on anticipated logistical challenges.

School calendar 2023-2024

The board will also vote on the calendar for the 2023-2024 school year. If passed, the first day of classes will be August 22, 2023 and the last day of classes will be May 23, 2024.

Career-focused programs

With the approval of the consent program, the board will enter into two agreements that will create career-focused experiences for students.

One, with Safal Partners, would develop a registered apprenticeship program at the Columbia Area Career Center. The program would enable students to become apprentices in cyber, IT and technology trades.

Another deal would give a student with academic difficulties shadowing experience at Horton Animal Hospital.

An agreement between the district and Central Methodist University for the COMOEd support staff program is also on the consent agenda. Under the agreement, up to 10 program participants will be admitted to CMU’s elementary education program each year. This agreement is designed for paraprofessionals in the district to attend Central Methodist Church at little or no cost to further their education.

Native Plant Grant

Also on the agenda is a grant application to the Missouri Native Plant Society for Mill Creek Elementary School Outdoor Classroom Tools. The application requests $600 to fund approximately 20 native Missouri plants, a variety of gardening tools, and field guides to plants and trees for students to use in Mill Creek’s current garden and pollinator meadow.

Special recognitions

The board will recognize:

  • Ahmad Ennin, a student at Rock Bridge High School, for receiving the Missouri State High School Activities Association’s Speech and Debating State Championship.
  • Rock Bridge students Shreya Dasari and Mika Angelovici for receiving the State Championship of America’s Future Business Leaders.

Rock Bridge students Jack Malone, Gentry Duncan, Hayden Duncan, Tivon Straub, Hunter Snow, and Ethan Vanderwert; Hickman High School students Sam Tummons, Abigail Eddy, Lauren Neimeyer and Madilynn Wehmeyer; and Battle High School students Ethan Cooper and Charlie Hazelrigg for winning the Future Farmers of America (FFA) State Championships.

  • Rock Bridge students Ray Adelstein, Hannah Kuhnert, Anish Ganga, Kevin Mao and Evrim Agca for receiving the Health Professions Student of America State Championships.
  • Students Lucy Sadewhite, Morgan Bussard, Madison McAnelly, Christina Cox, and Emma Petersen for receiving the Missouri Educator Rising State Championships.

Rock Bridge students Eli Hanson, Jonathan Imboden, Christopher King, Theodora “Dora” Grafakos; and Hickman students Owen Kington and Judah Robbins Bernal for receiving the SkillsUSA Missouri State Championships.

Missions of the Board Committees

Board members and administrators will receive their committee assignments for the upcoming school year. The three standing committees in the district are finance, long-range facility planning, and policy.

The Finance Committee will be led by Chris Horn and will include Jeanne Snodgrass and Suzette Waters.

The Long Range Facilities Planning Committee will be led by Katherine Sasser and will include Waters and Blake Willoughby.

The policy committee will be led by Willoughby and will include Sasser and Snodgrass.

How to watch the meeting

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Aslin Administration Building, 1818 W. Worley St. It will be broadcast live on CPS-TV, which can be viewed on the district’s website, CenturyLink, Mediacom, Charter Spectrum, Roku, Apple TV and Fire TV.