The Sedalia 200 Board of Education gathered at Smith-Cotton High School on Monday night where they heard updates on the district's finances and security.

The meeting began with a public input session regarding setting the tax rate for the 2018-2019 school year. No one from the public offered any comments and the board went ahead and approved the tax rate.

Information in the board packet indicates that school districts must set a tax rate by September 1.

Additional information in the packet states that the forms submitted to the State Auditor’s Office, based on the Pettis County Clerk’s July 20, 2018, Assessed Valuation of $338,945,833, the Tax Rate Ceiling is $4.0013. It was noted that state law requires figures to the 4th decimal.

This includes a Temporary Capital Projects levy of $0.55 for 20 years, set to expire in 2027. The district may legally levy $3.30 in the Operating Fund and $0.70 in the Capital Projects Fund for the 2018-19 school year. The board approved levying 70 cents in the Capital Projects Fund to meet obligations for the new High School.

$3.30 was approved for the Operating Fund in order to appropriately fund the operating budget, according to District Finance Officer, Dr. Harriet Wolfe. The total levy is $4.0013. Wolfe noted the district has nearly 59% in reserves.

In other financial action, the board approved the 2017-2018 ASBR, the 2018 Audit, and other financial statements. Legally the audit results must be published in the paper and the figures will appear soon.

S-C school resource officer, Sgt. John Cline updated on the board on the details from the active shooter training exercise that took place in July. Kline praised the coordination efforts of all area agencies that took part in the exercise, saying "it was a lot of people coming to together for the mission of the common good."

Kline emphasized that he would like to see future training scenarios in the district. One of his hopes is to possibly have yearly training at different locations, with different logistics to help prepare area first responders for a multitude of options.

Sedalia 200 Superintendent Steve Triplett and board members praised Kline for coordinating and making preparations in regards to the training scenario.

The board also heard an update from Nighwatch Security regarding security cameras that have been installed at Smith-Cotton High School and the junior high. The new camera system uses software Open Eye, which is cloud-based and has the ability for users to monitor several different areas around the district using a tablet or mobile phone. It was emphasized that Open Eye software is encrypted and requires a two step authentication process for users to login. Users include school administrators and security personnel. Nighwatch Security noted that each new camera has infrared capability.

The Open Eye will eventually pushed out to local law enforcement as well, so officers can monitor district campuses remotely.

In regards to additional security, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Todd Fraley said four armed security personnel are in place, with five more officers to be added. The decision to hire armed security was taken up earlier this summer and approved at the July board meeting. Fraley noted that eventually each building in the district will have an armed security officer. He mentioned that two officers will be placed at the high school, as it is the biggest campus in the district with the largest student population.

The next board meeting will convene at Heber Hunt Elementary on September 24.

Ryan Skaith
Ryan Skaith

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