The Brookfield Board of Education met Oct. 17 to go over various facility upgrades that need to be made to the district.

The board also approved a mandatory policy update and approved an early resignation policy for district teachers.

The Brookfield Board of Education went over long-range facility goals during their October meeting. The goals discussed by the board were an improved HVAC system, or replacement of the system, parking lot upgrades, concession stand and restrooms for the school’s baseball and softball field and repairs to building foundation.

According to Brookfield Superintendent Dr. Kyle Collins, the upgrades are going to take time to complete.

“We’re going to continue working on smaller facility projects, like the LED lighting project, until we get to April 2020,” Collins said.

The district completely switched over to LED lighting this summer. The project had been worked on primarily over the last school year. Through the switch over, the district has been able to cut their electric bills by almost 27 percent since July.

The board discussed other projects, which may be easy to solve, like the LED lighting. Currently, the district uses three separate computer systems to control heating and cooling across the district. The goal now is to find a new system, which can unify the district’s heating and cooling. According to Collins, the system will allow the district to save money on electric costs to monitor the systems more closely. At least one of the systems currently used is more than 20 years old.

In addition to the new computer system, the district will look into fixing building foundation. Some foundation around the district is sinking, or cracked. The district will be looking into the issue more to find a solution soon.

To complete some of the larger, or more expensive facility upgrades the district hopes to pass a no-tax bond increase. The board is hopeful to pass a no-tax bond increase for the April 2020 Linn County Municipal Election. Depending on what the district is able to accomplish then, they will put the projects up for bid.

The Brookfield Board of Education unanimously passed a mandatory policy update to allow students to take online courses. The MSBA policy specifically states the district must have the ability for students to take online classes through MOCAP by next semester.

Previously, the district had allowed students to take online classes through the program MOVIP. Although they have different names, both programs are run by the Missouri government.

MOCAP and MOVIP generally allow schools with smaller course loads to make other courses available to their students. Brookfield School District offers nearly every course MOCAP would have available, however some courses offered through the program may be more rigorous.

According to Collins, a small number of students have utilized the online classes in the past. Students may sign up for courses on MOCAP when they are signing up for their next year, or semester of classes.

The courses made available to MOCAP must be approved by DESE, the same group, which governs Missouri public schools. Currently, there are no courses available on MOCAP.

In other business, the board unanimously approved an early resignation policy for district teachers. The policy is approved annually to give the district and educators and incentive for resigning early.

Collins says the policy is beneficial for the district.

“It gives us an advantage to get ahead of the curve in planning and recruiting,” Collins said.

The incentive depends on when educators signal their departure. If district teachers notify the district no later than Feb. 1, they will receive $750, if they decide by March 1, to leave the district they will receive $500. After March 1, teachers will not be part of the incentive program.

In the past, teachers have utilized the early resignation policy. On average, about three teachers use the program annually.