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The Ava R-I Board of Education met in regular session on Thursday, Sept. 16.
Ava will be hosting the Region 15 meeting for the Missouri School Board Association today (Thursday).
Randy Spurlock gave an update on the policy review committee. The committee will next meet on Sept. 27, and will review the first 10 sections of “B.”
Spurlock also said that he is participating in the Missouri Public Education Vision Project.
“The last time they did this was 26 years ago when they revamped the public education for the state,” Spurlock said.
Spurlock said that he was pleased that Ava was chosen to participate in the project, because the next closest districts are Nixa and Springfield, both of which are much larger than Ava.
Ava Board Spotlight
The board spotlight featured several teachers who received various grants.
Teachers who received grants included Carrie Stewart, Susan Trowbridge, Liz Kyger, BJ Sterling, Airin Roberts and Sarah Sacco.
Equipment received included: a digital microscope, supplies for Friday Feast, school supplies for low-income students, digital cameras and a digital recorder.
Kelly Johnson’s kindergarten class had perfect attendance 12 out of 13 days in the month of August.
Her class celebrated with popcorn, Capri Sun and dancing.
Congratulations to Haley Hawkins and Blake King for having paintings framed and on display this year in the performing arts center.
We also have art work displayed at our courthouse downtown.
Fourth grade special choir has begun and Ms. Deegan has 35 students singing and memorizing lines for the Prince and the Pauper play.
The play is scheduled for Nov. 4at 7 p.m. in the performing arts center.
The paraprofessionals attended a two-day workshop recently on the Ava campus.
Jan Loving with the regional professional development center worked with our paraprofessionals on teaching reading skills.
The district had safety drills during the week of Aug. 23.
Teachers, students and staff members participated in fire, tornado, lockdown and earthquake drills.
Middle School Report
The fifth grade has had perfect attendance on two separate dates so far.
Student Council officers and representatives have been selected for the 2010-2011 school year.
President will be John Lubbering, vice president will be Halley Johnson and secretary will be Brandee Cutbirth.
Eighth grade representatives will be Cody Huff, Joe Herrell, Madison Guill and Lakota Blakey. Seventh grade representatives will be Dakota Pierce, Nate Bray, Hunter Shelton and Bailey Ray.
Sixth grade representatives will be Tyler Johnson, Titus Pinckney, Cera Longino and Kira Collett. Fifth grade representatives will be Weston Stillings, Evan Heinlein, Haylee Hare and Belle Giorgianni.
The middle school has started a new positive behavior recognition system called “Bears Achieving Excellence.”
Teachers recognize students for their great behavior on a daily basis by completing an award certificate that gets turned into the principal.
Every two weeks, Principal Cody Hirschi randomly pulls certificates out of the bucket and those students get to have Sonic for lunch with Hirschi.
High School Report
Congratulations go to Henry Weathersbee for scoring the only “Level 5” on the Advanced Placement exams. Henry earned a 5 score on the environmental science exam.
Congratulations also to Bethany Loge and Josh Dewaard, Academic Students of the Month for September.
The FFA blood drive had 82 donors and collected 67 units of blood at their blood drive on Aug. 18.
It was reported that many of the donors were first-time donors.
The spring play sponsored by the drama department will be “The Diary of Anne Frank.”
On Sept. 30, Ava High School, Ava Elementary and Missouri State University will be having a book fair and “kick-off” for the adult literacy program in the Ava community.
“Aunt Norma” will be in the performing arts center that evening to talk about the importance of literacy.
The Future Farmers of America will host a day of celebration on Nov. 5 for the 75th year in Ava.
There will be a petting zoo, Food for America, an assembly and an evening meal.
Superintendent Brian Wilson said that he has been to several meetings concerning the financial status of the state of Missouri and of public school districts.
A recent survey of public school districts revealed that 88 percent of those districts surveyed are experiencing budget cuts this year.
The majority of schools surveyed said they would next consider cutting: summer school (72 percent), professional development (61 percent), support staff (60 percent) or classroom teachers (56 percent).
Wilson also announced that the Annual Performance Report (APR) has been received, and the district passed all 14 areas, along with the bonus areas.
APR is the state of Missouri’s performance evaluation.
Because the district was not in session for enough days last year (short by one day), the first day of the 2010-2011 school year counted as the last day of the 2009-2010 school year.
The board voted to add a day onto the end of the calendar.
The last day of school will now be Monday, May 16.
Early Retirement Incentive
The board made a small change to the early retirement incentive program.
A line was added that would make professional staff members only able to receive the early retirement incentive one time.
“So if we have someone who retires, and they come back and do something else for the district, or they serve half-time, or if they come back in an emergency situation, they are not eligible for this (the incentive) a second time,” Wilson said.
Wilson said this situation has occurred in the past, and is just a small loophole that needed to be tied up.
The board tabled the discussion on the policy review until next month.
The policy review committee had a few policies that they were suggesting to be changed, and the board asked that they be given another month to look over the changes.
Football Field Light Poles
After receiving reports of concerns with the steadiness of the light poles at the football fields, Wilson said that he had a core test done to estimate the life of the poles.
He reported that the northeast and southeast poles still have about 70 percent life, while the northwest and southwest poles only have 29 percent and 36 percent life.
“In the next one to three years, he (a representative for the Anderson Engineering Company) said he would look very seriously at replacing those poles,” Wilson said.
Wilson spoke with the engineering firm about doing a study to see if other equipment needs to be replaced before the lightpoles.
He said the company could do a study of the athletic facilities for $3,000 to $5,000, or a study of the entire district for $15,000.
The board voted to have a study done of the athletic facilities, with a request that the athletic director be involved in the study.
October Meeting Date
Most of the school board members will be at the regional MSBA meeting on the third Thursday of October, the district’s typical meeting day.
The board voted to move the meeting to Oct. 19 at 6 p.m.
Assistant Superintendent Nancy Lawler presented the board with the district’s assessment plan.
The plan outlines testing personnel, calendar, policies and procedures, district-wide.
Lawler said the majority of the plan concerns special education testing.
The board approved the plan by a 6-0 vote.
Professional Development Program
The board approved the professional development program review by a 6-0 count.
During the closed session portion of the meeting, the board accepted the resignation of Calen VanNess as Academic Team advisor.
The board voted to hire Jackie Carl for that position by a 6-0 vote.
Board members present were Pat Henry, Jeff Davis, Randy Spurlock, Regina Porter, Johnny Burkdoll and Larry Silvey.
Bill Philpott was absent.
The next regular board meeting will be Tuesday, Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. in the administration office.