Van-Far R-I High School recently received word that its earned a Bronze Status from the U.S. News and World Report’s classification of Best High Schools.
Van-Far Jr./Sr. High School Principal Cindy Pirch informed the board of this accomplishment during last week’s monthly school board meeting.
The report includes data on more than 19,400 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Schools were awarded Gold, Silver, and Bronze status based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college. The scoring index uses Algebra, English, and College and Career Readiness results as its basis.
Missouri schools are ranked on the same criteria as Van-Far High School received the Bronze status and national ranking.
“The U.S. News and World Report Bronze status is an honor and we are humbled to be a recipient,” said Van-Far Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hunter. “Such a distinction only comes from strong curriculum, dedication, and hard work on a daily basis. We are extremely proud of the efforts of our staff and students.”
Both Principal Pirch and Dr. Hunter expressed to the board that this was an honor for the district.
According to the meeting minutes, Superintendent Dr. Hunter reported total enrollment of 587, high school 257 and elementary 330.
He gave a facility and maintenance update. Jon Berendzen, architect (Porter, Berendzen and Associates) and Dr. Hunter reported on the progress of the construction/remodel project. The interior doors at the high school have been installed, with minimal finishing work remaining. At the elementary, the exterior doors have been installed, the restrooms are complete, the front sidewalk has been poured and faulty tile in the library has been removed and will be replaced tomorrow.
The new foundation has been dug, as well as plumbing and electric going in. Dr. Hunter also reported that the salvage trailer has been removed. Parking lot lighting was discussed and the suggestion was made to move the light poles to the outer perimeter of the parking lot, rather than in the middle, to free up more parking spaces.
He also said the MSBA Fall Regional meeting will be held October 21 at Montgomery City.
Superintendent Dr. Hunter reported that he had looked into a couple of options for investment returns on the bond money when it comes to the budget. He found that the best option, based on the dollar amount and time frame, was to leave the funds in the interest-bearing checking account at Central Bank at .30%.
Due to state funding decreases and future changes, Dr. Hunter suggested a budget workshop with the board, possibly in September.
Dr. Hunter also reported that the Champ Clark Center (Learning Center) has contacted the district about raising fees in some areas, a total of approximately $400 per week. Dr. Hunter will discuss the contract with them.
In addition to the written reports the following information was presented:
• Van-Far Elementary Principal Brian Hummel reported that elementary staff attended five days of “Leader In Me” training and he felt it would have a positive impact. The teachers will now work with the students for the next eight weeks teaching the “7 Habits” in the classroom.
• The pool party had good attendance.
• On August 25, a presentation on bullying will be held for grades 3-6.
• August 26 is picture day.
• PTO membership drive will be held in September and the next meeting is 6 p.m. on September 2.
Principal Pirch thanked the staff and community for their participation in the work day on August 15. She also handed out Character+ Surveys for board members to complete.
• Van-Far Alumni recently purchased 10 tables for the school.
• On August 25, a bullying presentation will be held at 1 p.m.
• The week of September 21 will be Homecoming Week.
• September 27 is the Van-Far Alumni luncheon.
Superintendent Dr. Hunter presented information comparing lease vs. purchase for a mower and had two bids. The warranty on the old mower has expired.
Bids were presented from Ennis Implement and Bowling Green Tractor. The board voted to accept the bid from Ennis Implement.
Fuel and oil bids were received from MFA Oil and Abel Oil. The board accepted a bid from MFA Oil.
Mr. Joe Basinger handed out minutes of the last VFTA meeting. The next meeting will be August 26 and committees will be set up at that time.
A first reading of MSBA Policies CBG, CFB, GBBDA, and GCN was given.
The board voted to readopt MSBA Policy BBFA – Board Member Conflict of Interest and Financial Disclosure
Board President Christy Nelson read a resignation from Shari Love.
In reports of members, Pete Nasir expressed appreciation for the swim party and thought everyone had a good time. He also mentioned concerns regarding DESE’s method for the Superintendent Evaluation. Nelson said she would like the board to complete a self-evaluation and will get it set up.