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The Ava R-I Board of Education set the district tax levy at $2.75 per one hundred dollars of assessed value before their regular meeting on Aug. 19.
The tax levy has been at $2.75, the minimum allowed for a district to continue to receive their full amount of state funding, for the past several years.
During the portion of the meeting set aside to welcome visitors, the board was introduced to the four new teachers on staff at the district.
Board member Randy Spurlock then gave an update on a Missouri School Board Association Region 15 meeting that he recently attended.
Spurlock serves as the strategic communication and technology chairman for the MSBA’s Region 15.
On Sept. 23 the R-I district will host the Region 15 fall meeting.
Ava Board Spotlight
The R-I board spotlight this month was on High Schools That Work.
Three staff members from Ava High School presented at the national professional development conference for High Schools That Work.
Raising the Bar: Rigor, Relevance, & Relationships was presented by Teresa Nash, Airin Roberts, and Clint Gazette.
The elementary school had a good turnout for the Meet n’ Greet night. Several teachers also did home visits prior to the Meet n’ Greet.
Preschool began classes on Thursday, Aug. 19. Starting a week later allowed the preschool teachers to do their home visits before the students came to school.
Home visits are a requirement for both preschool programs.
The full-day program will serve 16 students, while the half-day program will serve 30 students.
There are still 15 3-year-olds on the waiting list.
The floors are shiny, and everything in the building looks great. The custodial staff has done an excellent job, as always.
Middle School Report
The custodial, maintenance and technology crew has done a fabulous job preparing the middle school for the start of the school year. A special thank you to Billie, Butch and Jerry for all the hard work they have put in this summer.
The first-day teacher meetings went very well.
One of the things that the building will be focusing on this year is building unity.
You will see staff members throughout the year wearing a shirt that says, “Unity: One Mission, One Vision, One Set of Values.”
There are four fundamental elements to a PLC (Professional Learning Community). They are a mission, a vision, values and goals.
Upon evaluation of our current PLC status, it was discovered that the majority of those elements for our school had not been implemented.
We will be working together to develop these pillars for our building.
The middle school football team will open its season on Sept. 2 at home against Willow Springs.
The volleyball team will begin its season with a match on Sept. 9 at West Plains.
High School Report
The high school staff thanked Palen Music for donating 20 black leather concert band folders to the AHS band.
The average ACT scores for Ava High School increased for 2010 from 20.9 in 2009 to 21.3 in 2010.
Freshman orientation and open hour was a success. There was good attendance by freshman students, parents and staff. The assembly was held in the Ava Performing Arts Center and afterward the high school was open for students to find their classes and meet their teachers.
The fall play will be “Little Shop of Horrors” and is scheduled to be performed Nov. 11-13 in the performing arts center under the direction of Mrs. Wolfskill.
National Honor Society will be volunteering with the Lions Club’s concession stand Sept. 4-11 at the Foxtrotters’ fall show.
Superintendent Brian Wilson announced that this year’s starting enrollment was 1376, compared to the starting enrollment of 1376 for 2009.
He also said that he had spoke to the district staff about the current state of the economy and how it will be affecting the district.
Wilson said that Missouri will be receiving more money from the federal government, which may trickle down to the school districts.
He also discussed the proposal by American Family Insurance to place signs at the football field, hand out magnets and do other advertisements. The district would receive $900 for allowing the advertisement.
The board decided to table the issue until next month.
Adult Education Classes
The board approved a motion to continue the adult education classes for one more year by a 7-0 vote, with some changes.
Last year, the program cost the district $3,766.70 while bringing in $1,040.
The program was approved with a rate increase from $40 last year to $50 for 1.5 hours of instruction each week for six weeks.
The class minimum was also raised from five students to six students for a class to be held.
Board member Pat Henry suggested that when the program is advertised in the Herald, that the class days and times are also advertised.
Wilson also said that he discussed with instructors the need to receive prior approval from their building administrators before holding classes, along with that they need to collect all class fees from students before the instructor can be paid.
Summer School Program
Wilson gave a short review of the summer school program.
The district had an average daily attendance of 42.46, compared to 45.24 last year.
He said that the question is already coming up of whether the district will have summer school next year.
“I think that’s a question that we probably can’t answer at this point, because we don’t know funding,” Wilson said.
The board set the tuition rate for the 2010-2011 school year at $7,343.93 per student by a 7-0 vote.
Last year, the tuition rate was at $6915.
The state formula for tuition is $6117.
Board member Larry Silvey asked why the R-I district’s tuition is higher than other districts that the local K-8 school students can choose from, such as Norwood and Mountain Grove, which are between $3900 and $4500 per student.
Wilson said that other districts may not be using a specific formula to calculate the cost per student for the district, they may not be receiving as much stimulus money, and some districts don’t have any students that need to pay tuition, so they may set the amount lower.
Wilson also said the district has to keep in mind the cost of providing educational services to students with special needs, which is figured into the average cost per student.
The board set the transportation rate (for students out of the district) at $794.53 per student.
Conflict of Interest
The board adopted a conflict of interest ordinance by a 7-0 vote.
The ordinance must be adopted every two years, but Wilson said that it was a good idea to adopt it every year.
The policy was unchanged from last year.
MSBA Full Maintenance Policy Service
The board voted by a 7-0 measure to have the MSBA do full maintenance on their policies.
Assistant Superintendent Nancy Lawler gave the results of the AYP/MAP testing that recently came back.
The district is in school improvement due to having two consecutive years where they have not met all standards.
The standards were all met in the high school and elementary, but some standards were not met in the middle school.
Lawler said that some students were placed in the wrong categories, and it is possible that the school’s status will change when they are placed in their correct places.
The Herald will publish more information about the scores when a final report is issued.
The board voted by a 7-0 measure to hire Sue Berger as the district’s speech pathologist.
The board voted by a 5-2 measure to hire Mindy Pinckney as the high school assistant volleyball coach.
Silvey, Spurlock, Henry, Regina Porter and Jeff Davis voted for the measure, while Johnny Burkdoll and Bill Philpott were opposed.
The next regular school board meeting will be Thursday, Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the administrative office.