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High school students will no longer have a late start on Monday mornings, due to a vote by the Ava R-I Board of Education at their regular meeting on June 17.
The board voted to replace the late start with a district-wide early release on Wednesdays to allow teachers time to gather for professional development.
“At this time, teachers don’t really have an opportunity to gather with teachers in their subject in other buildings,” Underwood said. “The elementary doesn’t have a professional development time at all.”
The buses will come 30 minutes early for students. After-school tutoring will still be offered by aides, the school will still provide after-school care and student-athletes will have a supervised study hall until their practices begin.
Assistant Superintendent Nancy Lawler announced that the school will be receiving 1,600 children’s books through the First Book program to pass out to students.
Summer school has started, with enrollment down a bit from last year, according to Principal Diane Premer.
“The enrollment has dropped each day,” she said.
The school is unsure of the reason for the drop, since the district is still providing transportation.
Other local schools have decreased enrollment as well, Premer said.
Summer school field trips will be kept local this year, and will include movies and trips to the pool.
The bathroom floors in kindergarten and first grade are being resurfaced.
After the bathrooms are finished, the same technique will be applied to our steps and ramps in the halls.
Middle School Report
The 2009-2010 school year concluded on May 20.
Students were honored at awards assemblies in the morning and participated in the final class competition assembly in the afternoon.
The seventh grade edged out the sixth grade to remain class champions.
The staff held off a strong effort by the eighth grade to retain the tug-of-war title and run the unbeaten streak to four years.
Middle school athletic camps will be held throughout summer vacation. Camps include boys basketball, girls basketball and football.
Beginning summer school enrollment for students entering fifth through ninth grade was 154 students.
High School Report
The high school summer school began June 1. Classes include personal finance, lifetime sports, math recovery, reading, speech I, physical science, alternativr school, and social studies – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of World War II.
On May 25-26, Ray Davison, David Williams, Dwayne Nash and Teresa Nash attended the “Drug Impairment for Educational Professionals” workshop hosted by the Missouri Police Chiefs Association in Springfield.
The workshop provided information and training on how to identify chemically-impaired individuals, types of drugs and symptoms of drug use to ensure a safe learning environment.
Nurse Bonnee Stafford provided CPR classes for staff members on June 1.
The ACT test was given on June 12 to students in the local district, along with surrounding schools.
Underwood said that the district had been approached by American Family Insurance about advertising on the school’s athletic fields.
The insurance company would pay the school $900 for field-level signs, program inserts, public address announcements and an on-field check presentation for the online teen safe driving pledge.
“In the past, the board has not wanted to get into advertising to avoid showing favoritism to one bank or insurance company,” Underwood said. “If you recall, this past year we did not approve advertising for the library or for the gymnasium.”
The $900 would be earmarked for the fall football season.
Underwood also announced that the governor’s office will be cutting the biggest chunk in education funding from transportation.
Transportation funding was cut from $83 million to $70 million, which would mean a cut of $30,000-$50,000 for Ava R-I.
MSBA Leadership Summit
School board members Randy Spurlock and Jeff Davis attended the Missouri School Board Association summit this past month.
“It was very informative,” Davis said.
He said he appreciated the seminar on superintendent evaluations, and plans to use his new knowledge in that area next year when the superintendent evaluation occurs.
Spurlock said that he received a lot of knowledge from the legislative review, including a seminar on the Sunshine Law.
Breakfast, Lunch, Milk Prices
“Our plan is to not increase costs at this time,” Underwood said. “Our goal with the breakfast, lunch and milk prices is not to make a profit, but to break even.”
Current lunch prices are $1.35 for elementary lunch, $1.50 for middle and high school lunch and $2 for adult lunch.
Current breakfast prices are $1 for all students and $1.50 for adults.
Extra milk is .30 cents and reduced prices are .40 cents for lunch and .30 cents for breakfast.
The board approved a measure to keep the prices the same as last year by a 7-0 vote.
Health Insurance Premium
The district’s health insurance premium amount per individual went up from $314.04 per month last year to $323.90 this year.
That is an increase of $9.86 per person, for a total cost of $25,000 for the district.
The board voted to cover the increase for the district’s employees by a 7-0 vote.
At the last meeting, Underwood suggested that certified staff receive their “step” on the pay scale, along with a $290 raise.
That would put the district’s base salary at $29,296.
The measure to approve that salary schedule passed by a 4-3 vote.
Davis, Spurlock, Johnny Burkdoll and Bill Philpott voted for the measure.
Larry Silvey, Regina Porter and Pat Henry voted against it.
Silvey had suggested that the salary schedule include another year for veteran teachers, so that they would receive an equivalent percentage raise to the teachers lower on the scale.
Bus Driver Contracted Amounts
The board voted by a 7-0 count to approve a raise of 4 cents per mile for bus drivers, both on dirt and highway miles.
Drivers would now receive $2.52 per dirt mile, up from $2.48, and $1.78 per highway mile, up from $1.74.
The 2010-2011 budget has been discussed over the past few months, and was approved at this meeting by a 5-1 vote.
Porter voted against the measure, and Silvey abstained.
Underwood noted that the budget includes $40,000 for new band uniforms, which has been discussed at several meetings over the past year.
The budget would also cap extra curricular stipends at the 2009-2010 amounts.
The board approved a measure signing off on budget amendments for the 2009-2010 budget.
“This is to make sure that we have the revenues and expenditures to say that we are meeting and exceeding the expectations for the budget,” Underwood said.
The board was given a list of possible committees that they can join.
Underwood said they can decide on what committees they would like to join at the next meeting. He asked that each board member choose at least three committees to possibly serve on.
Bus Route Transfer
The board approved a measure to transfer a bus route from Randy Jenkins to Clay McFarlin.
“Clay has driven a bus for Lester Sanders for the past two years,” Underwood said. “He’s licensed and he does a good job.”
Summer Tutoring Session
The district has the opportunity to extend summer school by two weeks, with 80 percent of the cost paid by the Department of Health and Senior Services.
“This would be a way for teachers to come in and get 60 hours of tutoring in nine days toward their Career Ladder,” Underwood said.
High school students could earn ½ of a credit during the extra nine days.
The extra session will last from July 6 to July 16.
The board approved the measure by a 7-0 vote.
The board voted to conduct a full policy review over the next several months.
They plan to create a committee of administration, board members and community members to look at what policies need to be updated.
The board accepted the resignation of Keri Shiebel and hired Laura Walker as the part-time Pep Club sponsor.