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- General Interest
By Sue Curry Jones
The Ava R-1 School Board met last Thursday evening in the newly appointed board room located in the east building of the high school campus. The board had a quorum with six of the seven members at the meeting. Johnny Burkdoll was absent.
For the ensuing school year, the board voted 6-0 to maintain the current cafeteria prices for students. Fees are as follows: in elementary, students pay $1.35 for lunch and $1.00 for breakfast; middle/high school cafeteria fees are $1.50 for lunch and $1 for breakfast. Students qualifying for reduced meals pay the same throughout the campus, with 40¢ for lunch and 30¢ for breakfast. Adults charges are $2.00 for a lunch and $1.50 for breakfast.
The proposed budget for 2011-12 was approved with a 6-0 vote. In addition, board members also voted to absorb the cost increase in health insurance premiums for next year, an expense totaling $61,000.
Board members approved the salary schedule for 2011-12 which includes the addition of one step to the chart expanding service recognition to 26 years.
Finalizing the 2010-11 budget, the board adopted an amendment authorizing the transfer of funds to cover scholarship awards, and close-out outstanding budget entries and expenses for the past year.
Superintendent Brian Wilson said Daktronics, the company presently maintaining the scoreboards at the athletic field and high school gymnasium are phasing out maintenance support for the outmoded equipment. The company plans to focus on LED boards exclusively.
Dr. Wilson noted Daktronics will maintain Ava’s scoreboards through 2012, and subsequent fees will triple. District-wide replacement of the scoreboards will cost $60,000.
Board member Larry Silvey recommended a partnership with Coca-Cola as a possible venue for assistance with scoreboard upgrades and expenses. Silvey thought scoreboards in the high school gym were installed in the early 1990s, and at the football field in the mid-1980s. Both locations were installed through an agreement with Coca-Cola, and in turn, school officials contracted with the company for all soft drinks sold on campus. Silvey noted Ava schools have always maintained a sound relationship with Coca-Cola, and pursuing another partnership could be beneficial.
Citing another option, board member Pat Henry said the board had received a similar offer from an insurance company several years ago, and this company had proposed a scoreboard partnership as well. The deal wasn’t doable at the time, but might be acceptable now.
Dr. Wilson offered to investigate all reasonable options for replacing the boards, and what partnerships might be considered at a later date.
Following a discussion in closed session, the bus routes for 2011-12 were adopted as previously presented. The vote was 4-2. For the year, bus contracts will include a one-percent increase on base and 1.3 percent raise on mileage.
Grant funding for the Missouri Pre-School project is gradually decreasing and monetary support for the full-day pre-school program will be phased out over the next few years. During a previous session, board members chose to continue with the program, voting to charge a per student fee to supplement program funding. However, in the near future, board members will have to determine whether or not to fund the pre-school or allow it to phase out. For 2012, the school will receive 85 percent of the original funding amount, and in 2013, 65 percent. By 2016, grant funds will be depleted.
Ava Middle School Principal Cody Hirschi reported summer school is underway, and some of the courses include Fly High with Adventure, Rails and Scales, G.O.S.S.I.P., and reading and course completion. The students have the opportunity to participate in learning activities as well as exploratory field trips.
Hirschi said the middle school gym is receiving a new look this summer, as the walls and floors are being re-painted.
He also reported the Schools That Work grant, which will provide additional funds for curriculum and instructional upgrades and improvements, was awarded to the school.
In high school, summer school enrollment numbers are up by 53 students, with a total of 147 students participating in the June program. Course offerings include: creative writing, summer writing, personal finance, physical education, speech I/II, alternative school, and weightlifting.
Principal Teresa Nash reported the high school was awarded the Schools That Work grant, in conjunction with the middle school, and the two will share $87,500 over the next five years for professional development.
The Ava FFA Chapter won a Monsanto Chapter Challenge grant for $1,500, and the money will be applied to Washington Leadership Conference registration.
Principal Diana Premer reported elementary students are enjoying local field trips this summer school session, as students and teachers will visit the Ava Water Park several times and the local movie theatre.
In the lower grades, summer enrollment totals 228 students, with the class breakdown as follows: kindergarten, 50 students; 1st-grade, 57; 2nd grade, 46; 3rd-grade, 45; and 4th, 30 students.
Maintenance supervisors Lennie Johnson and Monty Valentine report the crews are working on a host of building improvement projects, which include, painting hallways, stripping/waxing floors, repairing windows, remodeling classrooms, and completing a landscape project at the elementary campus.
Johnson noted some classrooms are being remodeled for next year, and modifications incorporate the addition or removal of doorways. The focus of the remodeling is to accommodate needs by reallocating rooms. The changes were cited as: bringing the alternative school back to campus and into Coach Mitchell’s room; Mitchell moves to the video room; gifted classes move to an area called the health room; Coach Kyger takes the space above the stage; and ISS will use the gifted classroom.
Bids submitted for the purchase of new equipment for the cafeteria and food service department were reviewed, and with a 6-0 vote, the board selected Fellers Fixtures of Springfield as the vendor to supply equipment costing $18,000.80.
Items to be purchased included a convection gas oven, tubular rack, electric food slicer, stationary sneeze guard, free-standing heated shelf, 6′ worktable with stainless steel top, and 60-quart mixer.
Other bids considered were from Food Service Equipment Brokers, Branson, ($20,568.41); Springfield Grocer, Springfield, ($20,400); and B & J Equipment, Joplin, ($18,537).
School board member Marsha Aborn was selected to serve as the Missouri School Board Assn. delegate from Ava R-1, and Regina Porter was chosen as alternate. Both votes were 6-0.
At the meeting, board members also approved the following business items: payment of monthly bills totaling $209,318.81; financial fund balances; minutes of the May board meeting and June budget session; and to proxy vote on an election of board of directors for the Missouri Securities Investment Program (MOSIP). MOSIP is a membership group that provides school districts, municipalities and other political subdivisions with tools for meeting cash flow and investment needs. Ava R-1 is a voting delegate of the group, but has not used the service for a while.
School board members attending the session were Ron Wallace, Regina Porter, Pat Henry, Randy Spurlock, Larry Silvey and Marsha Aborn.
The next school board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 26, 6:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.