Linn County Leader - Brookfield, MO
  • R-3 Board Places Academics Above Athletics

  • The Brookfield R-3 Board of Education met in regular session last week.
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  • The Brookfield R-3 Board of Education met in regular session on Tuesday night in the Brookfield High School Library with all Board members present. Over the course of this four-and-a-half-hour marathon meeting, the Board agreed to the increasing of eligibility requirements for athletes, talked about saving the District some money by paying off bonds, and certified the results of the August election.
    The agenda was approved unanimously after a motion and second by Jim McIntyre and Marc Amer. There were no public comments, and the consent agenda was approved unanimously after a motion and second by McIntyre and Stu McMains.
    The Board then went into a series of recognitions. First up were Katie Falconer and Ally Parks of the BHS Future Farmers of America program. The pair presented a slideshow of their recent trip to Washington D.C. Next, the Board recognized the Brookfield Athletic Booster Club for the work in the BHS gym and weight room. Booster Club members Julie Wright and Linda Falconer were present at the meeting. Superintendent Dr. Paul Barger recognized the R-3 District for their outstanding performance on the APR (as seen in Monday’s LCL). Finally, the Board recognized Dave Moore and the R-3 Transportation Department for their outstanding work in passing all of the bus inspections. Moore credited Tim Speichinger for the success as well.
    Program Evaluations
    The first program evaluation was a report from Roger Adamson of L.J. Hart and Company concerning the District’s bonds. Adamson noted that a series of bonds that are due in March of 2014 could be refinanced or payed off early, saving the District significant money. This is due to the historically low interest rates that are currently available.
    The first option is to knock the bonds ‘interest rates down to two percent, saving the District approximately $391,000. The second option involves paying off the bonds a year early, paying forward on the principal, and saving the District approximately $350,000.
    The Board gave permission for L.J. Hart and Company to move forward with securing the rates, and will vote on this issue at a future Board meeting. The bonds in question are Series 2004, worth $1.675 million.
    A lease-purchase plan was also presented to the Board; it would eventually purchase 14 new busses over seven years. The plan is not binding to the District, as no current Board can contractually obligate future Boards. The interest rate presented would be set at 2.25 percent, with the highest payments coming in the 2013-2014 school year. This matter will be discussed at future meetings.
    The Board then discussed the Debt Service Levy Hearing, and set a date of August 30 at 5 p.m. for the hearing. The Board then discussed a possible rollback of the just-passed $0.90 levy, and not using anywhere between $0.20 and $0.40 of said levy. This matter will be finalized at the August 30 hearing.
    Page 2 of 2 - Activities Director Mike McBroom presented the Board with the same Activities Handbook that students and parents of the District receive each season. McBroom discussed the programs and eligibility at R-3, as well as what information the parents and athletes are presented at their mandatory meetings.
    McBroom noted that he, as well as 100 percent of the Brookfield Middle and High School coaches, were seeking to raise the District’s academic eligibility requirements, to make sure that our student-athletes are not only performing in the classroom, but excelling.
    The old requirements required students to pass eight of ten classes per semester, checked at the semester break. This system was in line with the minimum requirements set forth by the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA).
    The new requirements would change to having quarterly grade checks, and would raise the requirements to each student-athlete having and maintaining a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). This higher standard was applauded by the Board, which also discussed wanting to have even higher requirements. This was met with some trepidation, as some of the coaches could fear losing their jobs if they lost games due to ineligible players. While that point was up for debate, it was noted that the eligibility guidelines are not Board policy, and the 2.0 standard was adopted by consent of the Administration and coaches.
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