R-I district concerned about HB 253

The Van-Far R-I School District is like many districts in the state of Missouri, worried about the effects of House Bill 253 on its students.
The bill is up for a veto override beginning on September 11. If passed, the bill will affect permanent consequences for education and mental health facilities statewide.
For Van-Far, it could cost the district from anywhere between $173,000 to $300,000. During the August 15 school board meeting, school board members voiced their concern and mentioned the need to contact area representatives.
While the district awaits the decision at the state level, it did receive money locally that will help counter any big decision, at least in the short term.
After $1.2 million in fines were levied against an Audrain County business for a hazardous spill, Van-Far and seven other districts received a percentage share of the collected dollars.
Van-Far is receiving $195,529.64. Mexico received the most at $859,694.51 while Community R-VI is slated for $89,907.09.
In the board meeting, Dr. Stephen Hunter recommended for the board to not earmark the money until the HB 253 situation is resolved. The board members agreed with his decision.
In his report to the board, Dr. Hunter said he will meet with neighboring schools this week in regards to a school resource officer. He said the likely next steps would include meeting with the county commission and sheriff’s departments. While the costs are still unknown, Dr. Hunter said he wants to make sure the program is affordable and a venture that the district could sustain.
Dr. Hunter added that auditors had completed their visit to the district on August 14 and had only positive comments. A formal report will be presented to the board in October.
Dr. Hunter thanked Ryan Morris and the custodial crews in both buildings for their hard work this summer. White board were being installed in the elementary. MUSIC inspection noted some items that needed attention such as safety lights and battery backups. Dr. Hunter complimented the condition of the buildings and added it is a great place for kids to learn.
Principal Reports
Van-Far Jr./Sr. High School Principal Cindy Pirch gave the board Character + surveys to fill out.
Van-Far Elementary Principal Amber Crane thanked her building’s teachers for the extra time they’ve spent in rooms and attending conferences this summer.
She said the RTI workshop had a lot of valuable information. All elementary teachers attended SFA training on the new 4th edition that aligns with the common core. All new teachers attended a PLC training in Columbia on Monday and the entire staff was trained on the new writing curriculum that is also aligned with the common core. Her enrollment is up from 348 to 362.

Miscellaneous
MSBA Fall Regional Meeting is Wednesday, October 16 in Mexico. The spring meeting will be hosted by Van-Far.
The MFA Oil bid for fuel, oil, and antifreeze was accepted.
The dual credit agreements with Lincoln University, Moberly Area Community College, and Central Methodist University were approved.
Four 10.00R20 tires, tubes, rims, Firestone T546 16 ply M&S and Dayton rims were approved for surplus.
Policy updates for GCBDA/GDBDA (Short Term Leaves) and GBBDAA (Sick Leave Pool) were approved.
In Executive Session, Christi Vigil was hired for the elementary health room aide pending the passage of a background check.
In reports of members, board member Jim Hopke, according to meeting minutes, asked if the board should make a blanket approval on teachers requesting their service be recognized as 30 years when they are short a few months.
This approval would allow teachers to receive retirement bonus if they retire at the completion of their 30th year. It was decided to act on each request separately.

Posted on Friday, August 23, 2013 at 9:19 am