December 3, 2020
MUSIC Matters – Volume 24 – 4th Quarter 2020
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
DR. BERNARD DUBRAY
SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
FORT ZUMWALT SCHOOL DISTRICT
Dear MUSIC member,
Since our school districts and community college members are now past the Thanksgiving break, we move on to the Christmas holiday season. We also continue to experience the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic while trying to conduct school either in-person or virtually. Recently, the Governor, DESE, and the Department of Health and Senior Services announced revised quarantine procedures that will allow those school districts meeting in-person to cut back on how many students are quarantined due to a positive case in schools. This was welcome news and, even though the CDC did not endorse this modification, the CDC has recently indicated that masks can help avoid the acquisition of the virus. The CDC has also indicated that the length of quarantine periods might be changing in the near future. So, with this information and the positive news about vaccines on the horizon, maybe we are beginning to see a “light at the end of the tunnel.”
On October 8, the MUSIC Board held the fourth Board meeting of the calendar year. Highlights included the Board approving Arthur J. Gallagher’s management services contract for 2021; a good report on the budget for 2020; and plan document changes for the next year.
In other action, the chair appointed a nominating committee to recommend Board candidates for the next one-year period. Board members Jenny Ulrich, Jeanette Cowherd, and Tracy Bottoms are completing their terms, and their director positions will be open for 2021.
The general membership meeting is scheduled for January 28 – 29. It has been determined that this meeting will be virtual. Stay tuned and watch for announcements so you can take the appropriate action to participate in our general membership meeting.
From the Board of Directors, I’d like to wish all of our members a safe and productive holiday season and express our good wishes as we continue to traverse these strange times.
MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
MR. MARK STOCKWELL
I hope everyone had a Great Masked and Socially Distanced Thanksgiving Holiday! WHAT A CRAZY YEAR! Although you’re approaching the school year’s mid-point, MUSIC is wrapping up its 2020 plan year. I want to use this article to provide a general overview of the year’s activities and results.
Although the virus is providing a great deal of uncertainty for everyone, MUSIC finances are stable, and membership remains strong. Generally speaking, the program is experiencing slightly better than expected results of operations for 2020. Through November, property claims are trending above original projections. Fortunately, workers’ compensation and liability claims are significantly below projections, and the overall MUSIC budget is trending slightly better than originally projected. We are cautiously optimistic that we’ll end 2020 with a $4-$6 million operating surplus. MUSIC remains strong and is prepared for a great 2021.
The overall property insurance market has continued to harden over the past eighteen months. Although this shift is making our excess coverage renewals more difficult, the impact on MUSIC is much milder than the impact on commercial insurance carriers. The difference is that the vast majority of MUSIC expenses represent direct claims payments to members, and the general property insurance market drives less than 20% of our total expenses.
MUSIC began 2020 with 476 members and added Belton on February 12, Jefferson City on June 1, and Morgan County R-II on July 1, bringing the current membership total to 479. We currently have three members seeking bids for 2021 and three prospects requesting proposals from MUSIC. Harrisonville will also join the program on January 1.
The 2021 member rates and membership credit remain at current-year levels. A few reasonable actions can improve the safety of your students and staff and reduce your MUSIC assessment significantly. We’re currently contacting several members whose workers’ compensation mods are moving in the wrong direction to offer assistance. Please contact a member of the MUSIC team or me if you’d like assistance bringing your workers’ compensation claims under control.
I’d also like to remind everyone about the Jack Holley/MUSIC Scholarship Program. Each year we present six $2,000 scholarships to graduates from member districts. The scholarship program is named in honor of the original MUSIC Executive Director, Dr. Jack Holley. The scholarships are funded through the MUSIC/MOASBO Golf Tournament and corporate donations. The 2021 applications are currently available on the MUSIC website. Please share this information with your principals and counselors. The submission deadline is February 19, 2021.
As Chairman DuBray mentioned in his message, the MUSIC Board of Directors recently made the very difficult decision to host the 2021 annual membership meeting virtually in January. We’ll definitely miss seeing everyone in person, but we still plan to provide valuable information through the virtual format. Please watch your emails for details on the meeting over the next few weeks.
It has been a very difficult and bizarre year! Fortunately, vaccines will soon be available, and 2020 will be in the rear-view mirror. I wish you a Wonderful 2021 and Thank You for the opportunity to support your efforts as we “Protect Missouri’s Future.”
It is a busy time of year for everyone and MUSIC would like to remind you of some important dates.
December 31 – Due date for MUSIC Invoices. Your MUSIC Assessment Invoice can be located in the Admin Portal Document Library under the 2021 Other Documents tab.
January 28 and 29 – This year’s annual meeting will be hosted in a virtual format. MUSIC will provided more details in the near future. Please watch for MUSIC Eblasts and announcements on the MUSIC website for details about the annual meeting.
February 19 – Due date for the Dr. Jack Holley / MUSIC Scholarship Application. Six $2,000.00 scholarships (non-renewable) will be awarded to 2021 graduating seniors of districts that are MUSIC members, unless a MUSIC K-8 district nominates the student.
REMEMBERING SAFETY BASICS DURING THE PANDEMIC
ALAN SCHMITT, ARM-P
AREA VICE PRESIDENT, LOSS PREVENTION
The year 2020 has dealt us many obstacles and forced us to think outside the box and change how we perform our daily duties. However, some of these changes may impact the safety of our facilities, students, and staff. Therefore, we must take a step back and refocus on some safety basics.
There are three primary areas I would like to address:
- Life Safety
- Slip, Trip and Falls
When thinking of the safety of our students and staff, Life Safety should be our top priority. As you walk your campus, it is important that you continuously look for items that could impact life safety systems. For example, COVID has changed many traffic flows in our schools and has also limited some of the emergency drills we perform. Although some physical changes have been implemented, we must ensure that they do not affect our ability to safely and efficiently exit the building. This is also true with the emergency drills we are required to perform. Although we may not physically perform all of the drills in real-time, we can still perform virtual drills and physically show our students the proper route for exiting the buildings.
Finally, we can’t forget to inspect fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, and exit lights.
COVID has also changed how many of our schools have staff and students enter and exit the facility. Since there is an increase in the use of numerous doors, we need to make sure that all perimeter doors remain secured. It may be necessary to perform several security checks during the day to make sure we are maintaining perimeter security.
Slips, Trips and Falls
There are several items we need to consider pertaining to slips, trips, and falls. COVID protocols have created additional slip trip and fall hazards. Two key areas to review and monitor include: the increased use of chemicals for cleaning, which can create a slip and fall hazard, and markings on floors to identify social distancing and direction of travel. Many times these markings either begin to come loose from the floor, or they are made from a material that has a greater possibility to create a slippery surface.
Slip, trip, and fall accidents continue to be a common source of injury to our students and staff. It is, therefore, important to consciously look for and be aware of these hazards.
Overall, safety basics have not changed. Schools must continue to be on alert for safety concerns and hazards. However, during this school year, we have many other distractions that can cloud our focus on the basics.
Take a minute to look around your facilities to make sure you have the safety basics covered.
WHEN YOUR FACILITIES ARE IN USE
AREA VICE PRESIDENT, MEMBER SERVICES
MUSIC members are frequently approached by various groups to use the members’ facilities. These requests can range from using one room for a meeting, to sports events in the gymnasium, to social events such as reunions or chili suppers in the cafeteria. The groups and uses can vary widely from member to member. Each of these requests can create potential liabilities for the MUSIC member, so we have developed several methods to assist in eliminating or transferring the risk.
The following are methods of assessing and dealing with the risks associated with having the public use your facilities. Here are the four we have selected:
Facility Use Request Form – This is a form to be completed by each group wanting to use your facilities. When completed, you will have an understanding of the group and the event, and can use this to determine the best way to protect the entity against potential legal suits. (Note: There is a “SAMPLE” form, followed by a blank form. You can fill in the key blocks on the blank form in advance and then copy it for use as needed.)
Certificates of Insurance – Once you have approved the use of your facility by an organization, you need to determine if they have insurance. If they do, you will need to obtain a Certificate of Insurance that confirms their coverage. You should also request to be named as an Additional Insured to their general liability policy. This should be shown on the certificate and an endorsement to the policy should also be provided to you.
Special Events Coverage – If the facility user does not currently have insurance, they can purchase it through MUSIC’s online program TULIP for those events that will be held on the member’s premises only. By providing the required information, and selecting the type of event that is eligible from the dropdown, the facility user will be provided an online quote that they can choose to purchase and pay for online. The policy provides $1,000,000 liability coverage for the short term needed. If you would like other options, please let the MUSIC Staff know and we will assist in the different resources available within the insurance industry. Please email us at email@example.com with any questions you may have on this coverage. (Note: This coverage is only for spectators at an event; it does not cover participants or performers of the event.)
Hold Harmless Agreements – In addition to proof of insurance or the purchase of a special events policy, the facility user should sign a Hold Harmless Agreement. If the Facility Use Request Form is used, then there is already a hold harmless agreement included. However, if that form is not used Here are three sample agreements developed by one of the law firms MUSIC uses. NOTE: Hold Harmless Agreements may also be called Indemnity Clauses and are required in addition to insurance in construction or service contracts. The enclosed agreements are not intended to be used for construction or service contracts. Those should be crafted by your school attorney.
These are ways to protect both the member and MUSIC, as a pool. It is up to each member how they choose to protect themselves from outside risks. All must follow your Board Policy Service to determine which has already been selected for you, but these are MUSIC’s recommendations.