A new facility could be built on already-owned property

The School of the Osage is inching closer to making a decision on what to do about overcrowding at Mills Elementary in Lake Ozark.
The board of education heard an update from the Strategic Planning Committee during the regular board meeting Dec. 19. The committee, comprised of district residents and board members, has met a handful of times to identify school facility needs and then map out a plan. Several projects have been identified, but the group agrees the most pressing concern is Mills Elementary.
The consensus seems to be that a new facility could be built on property currently owned by the school district near the Middle School on Highway 42. That area is the school district’s campus for the high school, upper elementary and middle school now.
There are three locations under consideration, but Superintendent Brent Depeé will meet with Ittner Architects of St. Louis (the Middle School architect) and then with staff for their input on a wish list. He hopes to have some estimates on a new building to present to the board by spring.
Another question raised by the committee was what to do with the existing building if and when a new building is completed.

Budget Amendments
The board handled a trio of bookkeeping matters by approving amendments to the 2011 budget.
The first was to amend the budget to allow for $924 in unanticipated interest income.
The second was to transfer money from the general fund to the teacher’s fund to create a zero balance at the request of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
The third was to establish some new bookkeeping codes as the result of new funds created by DESE.

MSBA policy
The board approved first reading of a Missouri School Board Association’s policy regarding the interaction between teachers and students on Facebook, with texting and other one-on-one relationships. The board asked for clarification on students babysitting for teachers, attending group dinners and meetings at teachers’ homes, etc.
The board:
•Approved a request by the city of Osage Beach for a five-foot easement on the west side of Highway 42 in the area of the Middle School to maximize the distance between sewer and water lines that will be built as part of infrastructure improvements.
•Set the January board meeting for Jan. 23 to allow for more time after the start of school Jan. 3.