Kelly Smith, director in Baker Tilly’s Municipal Advisor Public Education Group, joined the regular Houston School Board meeting November 18 via Zoom to report on the bond sale he helped facilitate for the school earlier that day. According to Smith, interest rates were at near record lows. Robert W. Baird and Co. had the lowest bid of 1.607% on the 15-year bond term.
The school received an A+ rating. December 16 will be the closing date of the bond; the funds will be available to the school after that. It was noted that the debt service was already included in the proposed levy.
The principal amount of the bond is $1,510,000; with fees, insurances, and commissions the total bond amount is $1,660,000. Premium pricing on the bond will give the school $1,015 for a $1,000 bond; as a result, fewer bonds will need to be sold.
World’s Best Workforce
During the World’s Best Workforce meeting, Superintendent Mary Morem shared a PowerPoint in which she detailed the goals of the school. Each goal shared included an input section from community members on how to achieve those goals. Goals included: all students ready for school, grade level literacy by third grade, closing the achievement gap, and college ready by graduation.
Morem told the board that data from testing had shown that students had continued to make growth last year, although not as much as usual.
Credit recovery was offered this past summer to aid in the college ready goal. Community input suggested help in legitimate resumes and practice interviewing. Getting student mentors was recommended for all students; MNVA students have a leg up since they already have such mentors.
The application for World’s Best Workforce is due at the state December 15. Morem assured the board that they would review the goals in the spring in order to see the progress made toward the goals.
In other business, the board:
•Learned that Morem was checking with MDH on whether the school needed to include teachers who teach from home (MNVA) when they determined whether they needed to follow OSHA requirements of employers of 100 or more to mandate COVID vaccinations (Since the matter is still in the courts, the board will take a wait and see attitude.);
•Approved acceptance of an additional door estimate for $6,210 from La Crosse Glass Co., Inc. to replace door four at the elementary school which had been having trouble sealing;
•Heard from the negotiations representatives that negotiations with remaining groups will be on the agenda for the next meeting;
•Reminded the public that the Truth in Taxation meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. December 2;
•Heard from Morem that the musical could not be live-streamed as concerts and sporting events because it is copyrighted. The musical could be recorded and played at a later date, but there would need to be a $10 fee to view it. The school intended to do so with the recording available on Sunday afternoon.
The next Houston School Board meeting will be held December 2, at 6 p.m. The public is welcome to attend. In addition, the meeting will be live-streamed on the link available on the school’s web page. There were some technical sound issues at the November 18 meeting; as a result, the meeting was videotaped so it could be uploaded to the website later.