The Neosho R-5 School Board has scheduled a public tax rate hearing for 6:45 p.m. Monday at the District Administrative Center, 418 Fairground Road.
The hearing, set to take place prior to the monthly board meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. that evening, concerns a proposed property tax rate of $2.75 per $100 assessed valuation for school purposes.
According to district administration, if approved, the rate will be the same as proposed last year.
The tax rate ceiling for school purposes, set by the state auditor, is $2.9386. The district has also recommended that the board members approve a rate of $.36 per $100 of assessed valuation for debt service, resulting in a total tax rate for the 2012-2013 school year of $3.11 per $100 of assessed valuation.
Board members are also expected to vote on a proposed Neosho High School band trip, which was presented to board members in the July school board meeting.
Ryan Lovell, NHS band director, proposed a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Friday, May 24, 2013, through Wednesday, May 29.
Lovell told the board that the trip would be at no expense to the district, as band members have already begun fundraising to pay their part of the trip.
According to district administration, if all 148 band students choose to participate in the trip, the student to parent ratio would be 3-4 students per parent. The district has also elected to include a paid security guard in the trip, an expense that will be added to the students' total overall fee and will be of no cost to the school district.
Lovell said in the July board meeting that the students are signing up for more than a fun vacation, and cited several learning experiences involved in the trip, including a performance at Disney World.
"They're doing one really cool performance venue, and I think it's way better than anything I ever did performing," Lovell said.
Lovell said the students would then be guided by the performers in playing the musical part for a cartoon feature film, which they will receive a copy of on DVD, with their music included.
He said the students also have the option of playing in the Disney World parade, on a beach or at Epcot Center.
Though board members expressed support for the trip in their July meeting, many voiced concerns regarding the district's liability and the students' safety while on the trip.
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The administrative recommendation is that the school board members approve the trip, so long as the band students, teachers and chaperones abide by the policies and regulations set forth by the R-5 school district.
School board members are also expected to vote on the approval of the district achievement scores.
The assessment scores from the MAP test and end of course exams show NHS students scoring above the state average in most subjects, including algebra two, geometry, government and American history. The students scored even with the state average in algebra one, and below average in biology.
The achievement report also reflects positive test results from grades third through eighth. According to the report, the district saw positive gains from students in that age group in communication arts and mathematics. The report also notes especially noticeable gains made by English language learners and Hispanic students in communication arts and mathematics.
Board members are also expected to:
• Vote on the adoption of a new science curriculum. The proposed curriculum is the hands-on Pearson Science program, which interacts with students via SmartBoard, iPad, science kits and interactive books. District administration recommends the approval of the new curriculum.
• Vote on whether the school district should pay tuition of students enrolled in the MoVIP program during the 2012 fall semester. The program, which allows students to take classes for equal credit off campus, is being addressed by the district this fall to review district policy and to address issues with MoVIP participants participating in sports and activities, tuition responsibilities and other issues related to the program. The administration recommends that the district fund the students' MoVIP classes during the Fall semester, while the program is being reviewed.
• Vote on the approval of a chip and seal project on Maple Road, to the north of Carver Elementary. The Newton County Road District would join with the school district to cost share chip and sealing the road. The project, which is not to exceed $32,000, is intended to improve the road conditions leading into Carver Elementary and the future sports field complex. The bus road turning south off of Maple Road would also be chip and sealed to the existing asphalt parking lot on the north side of Carver Elementary.