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story.lead_photo.caption Attendees at the News Tribune forum Tuesday, March 5, 2019, at Blair Oaks Middle School view possible design concepts for the proposed new Blair Oaks High School, which will be featured on the April 2 ballot. Photo by Mark Wilson / News Tribune.

As the April 2 election draws nearer, the Blair Oaks R-2 school district will be hosting two public information meetings regarding the district's questions voters will see on the ballot.

Blair Oaks will ask voters on the ballot whether it should issue $14 million worth of bonds to build the first phase of a new high school and whether the district should raise its operating levy by 30 cents per $100 of assessed valuation in order to pay for a new high school's staff, maintenance, programs and utilities.

The first phase of a new high school would be anticipated to open in August 2021, and the second phase in August 2025.

The district will host public information meetings about what's on the ballot March 21 and March 28 — both meetings start at 6 p.m. in the Blair Oaks Elementary School gym.

"These (ballot) propositions will shape the future of the comprehensive learning environment of Blair Oaks for years to come. All interested patrons are encouraged to attend," according to a news release from the district.

Blair Oaks Superintendent Jim Jones said Tuesday after the Board of Education's March meeting he wants to make sure he's available for any last minute questions people may have on the ballot issues and about a new high school.

More information is also available at

The current Blair Oaks High School is hosting Gov. Mike Parson and other state public safety and education leaders this morning, as Parson signs an executive order that will establish a school safety task force for the state.

Jones did not know much, if anything, about what was going to be said at Parson's announcement, but he said the governor's action "is a step in a very positive direction."

When asked what he would be looking for from such a school safety body — be it annual reports, a conference or site consultants, as some examples — he said "it's a little bit of a collection of all those things," adding much of the focus is on prevention of potential issues.

Also at Tuesday night's school board meeting, the 2019-20 school calendar was approved — with Aug. 15 as the first day of classes — and the Blair Oaks Falcons' Class 2 state champion football team and coaches were recognized for their 54-0 win in November.