BOE Meeting Recap

November BOE Meeting

 The Board met on Wednesday, November 15, for their monthly meeting. Here is a recap of the meeting highlights. You can view the complete agenda and supporting documents at


November Board Spotlights: The Lawson Board of Education had the opportunity to celebrate three outstanding groups during this month's meeting.

The first group to be celebrated was Southwest Elementary Girls on the Run. Girls on the Run serves students in grades 3-6. The program is in its ninth year here at Lawson.  Mrs. Holly Spencer has been the coach/sponsor for all those years. With her group of girls and coaches, they follow a curriculum designed to teach students confidence, positivity, teamwork, and perseverance.  This year's group just completed their Final 5K at Swope Park.  

 Our second evening spotlight was on Lawson Central Office staff members Marti, Knecht, and Kayla Anderson. Marti was recently recognized at the Missouri Association of School Business Officials (MoASBO) Conference for completing her Certified School Business Specialist training. Kayla recently took over the School District Student Information System Coordinator (SIS) duties. As the coordinator, she has been responsible for many positive changes to make the district more technology-friendly for sharing and gathering student information with parents. Marti and Kayla are phenomenal assets to our school community, and we are happy to celebrate them.

Our final evening spotlight was on our Lawson Community Foundation – Lawson Haunt volunteers. Over the past 10 years, the Lawson Haunt has provided sound, clean, scary entertainment to thousands of people near and far from Lawson through the Fall each year. Every dollar earned from their haunted house has been reinvested into our graduating seniors each year through scholarships. Over time, this group of community volunteers has been estimated to have donated nearly $100,000 from paid admission to the haunted house toward scholarships for graduating seniors attending technical schools, 2-year colleges, and four-year colleges and universities.

Items for Discussion:

2023-2024 Professional Development Plan – The Board approved the PDC plan as presented. The plan's development was a collaborative effort of the District PD Committee, Building Principals, and the Superintendent of Schools. The plan is designed to ensure continuous communication between teachers, building principals, and district-level personnel. The plan will guide the work of the District in developing professional learning goals for the continuous improvement of the District and each attendance center within the school system (Southwest Elem. Lawson Middle and Lawson High School).

 Admin Assigned – Extra Duty Pay – The approved 3-dollar per hour increase for assigned extra duties. The need for maintaining adequate staffing for admin-assigned – extra duty is a continuous need of the school district. These extra duties include work required above the scope of an employee contract or letter of intent (i.e., gate workers, table workers, clock/game book for athletic events.) The increase in hourly wage from the current $12.00 to $15.00 fits the goal of the School District for minimum pay for full-time employees to be no less than $15.00 per hour.

Track and Field & Stadium Complex Improvements – The Board approved the following Track and Field and Stadium Improvements: 1- Replace the Wooden Boardwalk on the stadium's home side. 2-Replace and relocate the Discus throwing pit and net. 3-Replace the shotput throwing pad and update the pit area. 4- Construct a pole-vaulting runway and mat pads in the north endzone. 5- Install drainage tile and catch basins around the entire span of the track/football infield side. The district will use Capital Improvements (Fund 4) dollars to pay for the improvements. When completed, the listed improvements will make significant and needed improvements and repairs to our track and field facilities and stadium and meet the growing needs of our students.

Items for information:

Long-Range Facility Planning – The Board was provided an update by Incite Design related to what Phase 1 and 2 of our long-range facility plan could look like. You can access the presentation connected to the update using the link above. The long-range plan has been designed by assessing current and future needs based on ongoing facility maintenance, programming needs, and student enrollment.

 Long-Range Financial Planning – Dr. Stephenson provided the Board with information related to our investment of reserve funds. Over the next 12 months, the district will benefit from the higher yield rates, which will generate additional dollars through sound investments of reserve funds. These added funds will directly benefit the district's financial outlook. Dr. Stephenson also provided the Board with sample language connected to the potential Zero Tax Increase Bond April 2, 2024 ballot question related to phase 1 of our long-range facility plan. The board will revisit the language and decide on the April 2, 2024, ballot question at their December meeting.   

 Early Childhood Programming Update –Mrs. Christina Cross, Elementary Principal, provided the Board with an update on the District's Strategic Plan Goal #9 (Explore expanding Early Childhood Learning Opportunities for 3 and 4-year-olds).  Mrs. Cross informed the board that we will add an additional Cardinal Nest class starting in January to meet the needs of families on our waiting list. She also reported to the board that the district is continuing to make plans to transition our Cardinal Nest to a state-approved and recognized preschool program as we enter into the 2024-2025 school year.

Career Education Expansion – Mr. Daniel Petet, High School Principal, provided the Board with an update on the District's Strategic Plan Goal #7 (Establish a plan to update curriculum offerings to engage students in career exploration). In his report, Mr. Petet provided a comprehensive report covering the listed action steps connected to the Strategic Plan goal. Over the next 30 days, Dr. Stephenson and Mr. Pete will work on completing the final financial planning and future forecasting of our district's career education programming and recommend to the board how to proceed with providing curriculum offerings to engage students in career exploration.

 Superintendent Update: Dr. Stephenson updated the Board on a list of topics that can be viewed using the provided paperless board meeting link.

Additional Announcements:

Board Candidate filing for the April 2, 2024 Election - Filing begins on Tuesday, December 5, and concludes on Tuesday, December 26. Please contact our Board Secretary, Kayla Anderson (, for more information if you are interested in serving as a Lawson R-XIV Board of Education member.

December Meeting Date - The next BOE meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 20, 2023, at 6pm in the Lawson Library Media Center.

Please contact Dr. Stephenson with questions or concerns regarding any information provided in this recap or other district matters. He can be reached by email at or by phone at (816)-580-7277.