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The decision to purchase a new scoreboard for the Ava football field was only one of the determinations reached Tuesday evening by the Ava R-1 Board of Education.
The choice was made so a new LED scoreboard will be in place for the fall football season this year. The $30,000 expense will be supplemented by an agreement with Coca-Cola Co., who will contribute $10,000 to the project.
The motion to purchase the board was presented by Ron Wallace and seconded by Johnny Burkdoll. The vote was unanimous.
Board members also asked the superintendent to pursue options for getting assistance and financial support for the purchase of new LED scoreboards for the gyms and baseball field.
During closed session, resignations were accepted from Stephanie Hall and Crystal Bartels, both paraprofessionals at the school.
For the ensuing year, Sefora Billups, who was recently hired to teach high school Science, will also assume the role as assistant to the girls middle school basketball team; and Janell Stewart will serve as assistant to the girls middle school volleyball. Both positions were previously held by Lacey Roberts.
Allowing K-8 public schools and private middle school athletes to participate in the Ava middle school sports program was approved for the 2011-12 year. Board members concurred it was important for the school to be consistent in co-oping with other schools.
However, it was pointed out that the burden of responsibility falls on other participating schools such as Plainview, Skyline or Ava Victory Academy, to comply with Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) rules and regulations, as well as the regimens set by Ava schools.
Activities director and coach Rex Sawyer noted one Plainview student had already signed up for football, and, a student from Skyline as well. Skyline has also made provisions to play volleyball. The motion was made by Johnny Burkdoll and seconded by Pat Henry. The vote was 7-0.
Dr. Brian Wilson, superintendent, explained the basics of a new violent intruder program called A.L.I.C.E., the program is being introduced to personnel this year. A.L.I.C.E., an acrynym for Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Evacuate, teaches a new reactionary philosophy for handling intruders and/or violent situations that might occur in a school. According to Wilson, the program offers teachers and students a way to react with precision, and a mindset to reduce the chances of becoming a victim.
Wilson also explained a new law, SB 54, entitled the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act, which is being implemented this year. The legislation requires schools to share information about teachers who have sexually abused students, and it will restrict online communication among teachers and student.
Part of the legislation is aimed at preventing school districts from unknowingly employing someone with a history of substantiated sex abuse allegations. Basically, the law demands disclosure between school districts, with the potential threat of a law suit if rules aren’t followed. However, school staff members that report allegations of inappropriate behavior will maintain positions as long as their actions are made in good faith.
Another piece of legislation now requires schools to develop a policy for communication between teachers and students by 2012 – it addresses applications such as text messaging, social networking websites and other electronic devices. The intent is to restrict teachers from interacting with students in venues that are not open for viewing, and accessible to parents and/or administrators. This legislation has been considered for several years because of the fact that teachers who have participated in sexual misconduct with students were able to gain another position in Missouri because the district that let them go did not pass the information to the new employer. It was noted that the new legislation will be difficult to administer, however, it was also stated the measures create important safeguards to help protect students. Under the new law, background checks will be required annually.
In a 7-0 vote, school board members allowed a bus route transfer from Jeannie Miller to Brenda Miller.
Each school board member selected committee assignments for the 2011-12 school year, and those commitments are as follows:
Randy Spurlock: A+ Advisory; Policy Review; Professional Development; and Vo-Ag.
Regina Porter: Attendance; Elementary Handbook; and Vo-Ag.
Pat Henry: Attendance; Career Ladder; CSIP; High School Handbook; and Middle School Handbook.
Larry Silvey: Calendar; Insurance; Policy Review; and Salary.
Johnny Burkdoll: Drug Testing; Vo-Ag; and Vocational Business.
Marsha Aborn: Guidance & Counseling; and Special Services.
Ron Wallace: Technology; and Title I.
Wilson reported installation of the new poles and lights at the football field were sidelined this week due to a discrepancy between the electrical contractor and lighting company. He said the original wiring specifications were incorrect, and the problem will be remedied this week at no additional cost to the school. Costs will be absorbed by the two companies.
Maintenance supervisor Monty Valentine reported school upgrades and improvements are nearing completion. He said most of the classrooms floors have been stripped and waxed, plus many of the halls refinished. The new equipment for the cafeteria is scheduled to arrive the last week in July, and even though many projects are still in the works, everything is progressing well.
Ava High Principal Teresa Nash provided a schedule of upcoming events, which included:
Aug. 4-5 open enrollment;
Aug. 8 administration law conference;
Aug. 10 Workshop with staff;
Aug. 11 New teacher orientation;
Aug. 15 Teacher meetings, open house;
Aug. 17 First day of school
Nash also recognized high school math teacher Alison Decker for her recent nomination by DESE to work with community colleges to analyze the math test for HVAC students.
Diana Premer, elementary principal, reported a good summer school attendance, and during the last week the students enjoyed a watermelon feast and visit from the local fire department.
Middle school principal Cody Hirschi said the school has received all the eMINTS technology, and the SMART boards are installed in the classrooms. He also noted books, supplemental materials and supplies have been ordered for the upcoming year.
Board president Randy Spurlock reported on a Missouri School Board Assn. Board of Director’s meeting he recently attended in Columbia and Jefferson City. Spurlock said the group is creating more online training to help curtail travel expenses for board members, and to make training sessions more accessible. The meetings were productive and educational.
At present the proposed Missouri School Improvement Plan (MSIP) accreditation standards have not been approved for the 2011-12 year. According to Supt. Wilson, the advisory committee is planning to have standards approved by Aug. 1, and adopted soon thereafter.
During the session, the board acknowledged former board member Jeff Davis for four years of service to the school board. They also recognized staff members and 23 high school students for taking part in a Joplin Cleanup effort and assisting a family. Information about the project was presented by Liz Kyger.
The August board meeting is set for Thursday, Aug. 18, at 6:30 p.m. The annual tax rate hearing will take place at 6:00 p.m., just prior to the regular monthly session.
The annual campus walk through is slated for Monday, Aug. 15, and will begin at 5 p.m.