North Nodaway rejects contractor’s proposal | Schools

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HOPKINS, Mo. – After unsuccessful negotiations with Smith Contracting, the construction manager chosen at the November meeting of the North Nodaway Board of Education, the board rejected the company’s project proposal at its meeting of the last week December 13.

Superintendent Chris Turpin wanted to negotiate beyond the amount originally offered by Smith Contracting, and the company was unwilling to do so. Thus, Turpin and the company could not agree on a price.

“When I went to negotiate with them, (Smith Contracting) basically said, ‘No, I’ll have to do a separate contract with an architect,’” Turpin said. “And I was like, ‘That’s not what you told us.'”

After an unsuccessful negotiation, Turpin began asking others for recommendations for moving forward.

“So my recommendation, after speaking with our attorneys at the school and others who have done construction projects, is to go in a different direction, so I would like us to go with an application process for quote, ”Turpin said, adding that district FEB policy allows for this change.

According to the North Nodaway Board of Directors Policy Manual, the FEB policy states that, if the board is “unable to negotiate a contract acceptable to the district with the selected company, the board may negotiate a contract with another company. from the list or may direct the superintendent or designate to request additional statements of qualifications from other companies and then submit a new list of qualified companies. “

Turpin then described the content of a tender, which states the subject of the tender, information about the district, district objective, additional information, deadline for response, award criteria, scope of work, format of proposals, conditions and reservations, selection process and contract negotiations.

“The RFQ basically says we’re going to send at least four RFQs to the architects. Then we’ll (the board) have to rank them from one to three, the top three, ”Turpin said, adding that the board would then appoint someone to negotiate the contract on his behalf.

The RFQ also mentions that the district wishes to establish a relationship with an architectural firm to assist it in “the development of a master plan for the facilities, future improvements to fixed assets and educational material for the referendum on bonds … ( and) with all aspects of educational programming, construction planning, design and administration, resulting capital improvement projects. “

“I felt that we could, with the architectural process, definitely get a lot more people (to submit proposals),” Turpin said. “And my experience has been, with the project that I was involved in, we’re probably looking at a little less than the fees that Smith (Contracting) gave us to start with.”

After this discussion, the board rejected Smith Contracting’s proposal as construction manager for their 2022 bond project and approved the bidding process for architectural and construction services. engineering.

“Some of the companies I spoke with said they believe they can still get us the prices we need for the bond language, which needs to be written, and it will be approved at the board meeting. ‘January administration,’ Turpin said. “And then it will go in the newspaper, and the ballot. It will have to go to the secretary of the county clerk’s office for approval along with all other voting languages ​​on January 24.

The district will send out calls for tenders to four architects, who must submit their responses by January 3. The board will discuss the tenders submitted at its January 5 meeting. At the meeting, the architects will be rated based on the FEB policy and then ranked from one to three.

If it is not possible to negotiate with the council’s first choice, the request for quotation allows negotiations with its next choice. Turpin said the negotiations will involve discussion of costs, including the design, engineering and supervision of the project.

Directors Ashley Marriott and Roger Johnson presented North Nodaway’s most recent Missouri Assessment Program test results compared to past results, as well as Missouri’s average MAP scores. Within each grade level, the percentage of district students who performed in the top two categories, proficient and advanced, was relatively similar to the state average of students who performed in those categories. The only exception was last year’s eighth grade class, which had a lower percentage of students achieving proficient or advanced scores than the state average. Johnson said part of this is that the class size is smaller than average, which helps skew the results.

Marriott and Johnson noted that there were several ways to assess scores. Johnson said he believes the best way is to compare a student’s composite score over the years, rather than comparing the categories a student falls into. Indeed, the criteria for each category become more stringent as the child ages. Even if a student improves their score, the student may get a score in a lower category because their degree of growth is not compatible with the growth of the category.

Marriott and Johnson said their goal is to move students up one category from where they are now, such as from elementary to elementary or from proficient to advanced.

In addition to discussing the MAP test results, Johnson presented the district’s ACT results.

Once ACT no longer became a requirement, fewer North Nodaway students took it.

“We felt like we were seeing those numbers go down, which is one of the reasons we started pushing (for students to take the test) last year,” Johnson said.

To combat this decline, the district pays for an ACT test for each student.

Johnson has indicated that he hopes to offer a day next school year for students to take the ACT or the Accuplacer, another standardized one that can replace the ACT. This day would ensure that students have the opportunity to take advantage of the free ACT provided by the district.

Johnson mentioned that some students choose to take the Accuplacer instead of the ACT because sometimes the score received on the Accuplacer is more indicative of the child’s knowledge.

“What we’re seeing is that some of our kids are doing better with the Accuplacer,” Johnson said.

School districts are now responsible for creating COVID-19 guidelines for close contacts exposed at school, whereas previously the health department had this responsibility.

Turpin says the district’s policy for creating coronavirus guidelines should be “don’t be reckless.” To further this goal, a survey was sent to parents in North Nodaway, so that they could express their opinions. The district received 109 responses to the survey.

Seventeen people interviewed said they would hold the school accountable if their child was negatively affected by the district’s COVID policies.

“We would like to put in place a plan that allows parents to have choices, based on this data,” Turpin said.

Potential guidelines include 1) allowing close contacts who are symptom-free to go to school while wearing a mask and social distancing, 2) implementing a test to stay, 3) recommending students to stay get vaccinated against COVID-19 and 4) force students to quarantine themselves at home.

The board will discuss a written proposal for potential guidelines at its January 5 meeting.

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