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New Van-Far teachers introduced to board

Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 2:08 pm

New Van-Far teachers were given opportunities to address the school board. Shown, from left: Donald Aulburt and Stephanie Fischer.

New Van-Far teachers were given opportunities to address the school board. Shown, from left: Donald Aulburt and Stephanie Fischer.

Four new teachers to the Van-Far R-I School District were recognized at last week’s monthly school board meeting.
Van-Far Elementary Principal Brian Hummel introduced two of the new teachers in the elementary building in  Ms. Courtney Blattel, 2nd grade, and Ms. Jennifer Purk, 1st grade. One of the new elementary teachers was not able to attend due to coaching responsibilities and will be introduced at the October meeting.
Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hunter introduced the new teachers at the Jr./Sr. high school building. They included Mr. Donald Aulburt (PLATO, American History, and Personal Finance) along with Ms. Stephanie Fischer, Vocational Agriculture.
Ryan Morris thanked Floyd Stewart and Dan Bybee for their hard work and field preparation.
According to official meeting minutes, Dr. Hunter a total enrollment of 612 students, with 241 in the Jr./Sr. high school and 371 in the elementary.
Superintendent’s Reports
Superintendent Dr. Hunter gave a legislative report.
Information was recently sent out that state money to fund A+ program scholarships has had $2.1 million dollars withheld.  Increases in student participation and tuition costs may result in a cap, at 11 credit hours, at participating state community colleges and technical schools for the spring 2015 semester.
Effective December 31, 2014, Missouri Department of Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro has resigned and a replacement has not been named at this time.
Money previously withheld by the state from the Foundation Formula has been released. This is not new money and was already included in the budget.
In regards to the district’s facilities, Superintendent Dr. Hunter reported that the newly formed Facilities Committee, which includes members from the community, school board and administration, met on September 11.  They discussed areas needing improvement and the top items were the parking lots and volume of parking areas, the early childhood education trailers, elementary school pods, a storm shelter and the entrance, and doors at the secondary building. The next steps will be to conduct a survey for public input and to prioritize a long-term plan.
Dr. Hunter also provided updates on the moisture issue of the high school gym floor, the progress of the elementary computer lab and the status of the storm damage and insurance claim for the early childhood education trailers. Discussion followed concerning the trailers, particularly in regard to the immediate needs as well as a permanent solution for the future. Elementary enrollment is growing and the preschool program is a good investment. Further information will be gathered and presented at the next meeting.
Principal’s Reports
Principal Hummel said the elementary celebrated Star Spangled Banner Day on September 11, by singing patriotic songs and taking a moment of silence in remembrance.
Students in 4th-6th grade who scored proficient or advanced on the 2014 MAP test will be walking in the Homecoming parade.
Principal Cindy Pirch noted that the district was in Homecoming week and a Powder Puff football game was added this year. Activities will wrap up Friday with the parade and dedication of the new football tower prior to the start of the game.
The annual MSBA conference will be September 25–28 at Tan-Tar-A.
The annual MSBA Region 17 meeting will be October 23 in Warrenton at 6 p.m., with registration at 5:45 p.m.
Dr. Hunter presented the MSIP 5 Annual Report information and discussed the districts data and scores as well as strategies for improvement.
Bus routes for 2014-2015 were approved.
Tuition was set for 2014-2015 at $8,968.33.
The Professional Development Plan is developed in conjunction with district needs and the budget needs to be 1% of expenditures by statute. The plan and budget were approved.
Due to Senate bill 719, MSBA recommended the district approve policy BBFA to replace the local “Code of Ethics”.
The measure was approved.
Board member Kimber Nation read thank you notes from Esther Robinson and Crystal Sparks.