The Dent-Phelps R-III school board heard public concerns and answered questions about starting school after the pandemic at a public hearing held prior to the board’s June 16 reorganizational meeting in the school cafeteria. Five board members and 36 members of the public attended.

The hearing was held on a state board of education exemption on the 2020-21 school start date due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The state is allowing earlier start dates than 14 days before the first Monday in September mandated in a new law. Exemptions are being granted on a case-by-case basis.

At the regular meeting that followed, the R-III board approved the June 2 election results. Board members elected were Bill Manthey, Caleb Gidcumb and Nick Gover. The board also reorganized, electing Will Loughridge as president, Frank Barnitz as vice president, Alisa Brookshire as treasurer, Denise Polk as secretary, Brandon Schloemer as MSBA delegate and Bill Manthey as delegate alternate.

Outgoing board member Ron Copeland was presented with an appreciation plaque for his years of service.

Superintendent Vickie Brooker discussed an exemption to the school start date with the board.

The board approved the 2020-21 budget and revisions to the 2019-20 budget. Bids were discussed on food service products and meal planning and the contract was awarded to U.S. Foods. Members noted satisfactory prior services and consistency with brands and quantities currently in use as reasons for selecting U.S. Foods.

The bid for milk products for the 2020-21 school year was awarded to Hiland Dairy, the only bidder.

The bid for diesel/gas products for the new school year went to County Fuels, which bid the products at cost plus five cents a gallon. The bid for propane went to Ferrellgas at $1.045 per gallon with a $1.245 per gallon employee rate.

Brooker discussed roof repair bids but no action was taken. The board discussed student lunch prices and approved raising the prices 10 cents to $2.30.

The board also approved the corrected student/parent handbook, and the certified staff and classified staff handbooks, also with corrections.

A certificate of appreciation was given to Kevin Creighton for his time as principal. Brooker gave the superintendent’s report.

In closed session, the board voted to hire Erin Pogue as a paraprofessional.