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Several summer projects on tap at Van-Far

Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Dr. Stephen Hunter

Dr. Stephen Hunter

Van-Far Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hunter reported several projects being scheduled for this summer at the district during its monthly board meeting held Thursday, May 15. The report came just days before the administrative team met on May 19 to prioritize projects.
The space behind the maintenance shed will be cleared and graveled to allow for a central storage area of items that are now in various locations around the district campus.
Dr. Hunter said the elementary basement has a vacant room that will be cleaned, and prepared to house a new computer lab for the upcoming school year. Dr. Hunter told the board he plans to pull together a committee to begin long range facility planning for the district. Board President Christy Nelson and board member Kevin Motley volunteered to serve on the committee.
Dr. Hunter added he would like to include community members on the team as well. The committee will be asked to compile and wish, want, and need list. Resurfacing the parking lots at both buildings will be a high priority. He would like to schedule the first meeting of this committee for the first week of June.
He also reported a May enrollment of 607, which is 11 more students than in May 2013.
Legislative Update
Dr. Hunter reported that with the passing of Senate Bill 509, education funding continues to be a concern.
State lawmakers have promised to “take care” of education funding even if revenues decline. The ideal situation would be for the state to fully fund the current foundation formula and do what is right for the kids.
Van-Far Elementary Principal Amber Crane reported that MAP testing was completed May 6-9.
Principal Crane also reported 53 children participated in kindergarten round-up. Thirty-one of them will be attending summer school.  MAP testing is complete. Each year the elementary applies for P.B.S. awards based on the building implementation level. This year the application was sent in for the silver award and it has been approved. Van-Far Elementary will be recognized at the summer institute.
Van-Far Jr./Sr. High Principal Cindy Pirch asked board members to be at the school by 1:30 p.m. on Sunday for graduation and by 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, May 27 for the 8th grade promotion. On May 20, is the Jr. High National Honor Society induction. She reported the summer schedule includes athletic camps and basketball shoot-outs. Band camp is slated for July 28-August 1.
Her report included a list of several recent and upcoming activities at the district.
Amend the 2013-2014
Dr. Hunter explained that the district is are short a day and needs to add on a day of three class hours to meet the 174 day minimum.
President’s Day is on February 17 was on the calendar as a scheduled make-up day, but due to bad weather, the district was not able to attend classes and use it as a make-up day leaving one day to be made up as advised by DESE.
The board voted to amend the 2013-2014 calendar by adding Thursday, May 29 for three class hours.
Policy Update
There was a first ready of the Policy KG update.
Dr. Hunter explained the minor changes have been made to this policy. District-sponsored activities will take precedent in use of the facilities. Staff members are not allowed to give unauthorized access to buildings or serve as a proxy for outside organizations.  Members decided to waive the first two readings of this policy update and approve it.
There was also a first reading of the 2014B policy updates. A third reading of the 2014 A policy updates was also approved as well as an update for policy GCPCA.
Summer school will begin June 2. The application was sent in before the May 15 deadline.The elementary will offer a schedule similar to previous years and the Jr./Sr. high school will offer credit recovery.
Dr. Hunter reported revenues have been adjusted with more current figures received from DESE for the 2014-15 budget. He added that even with the new revisions, revenues continue to be budgeted very conservatively. He feels the current year budget is shaping up nicely. Railroad and utility funds came in higher than expected.
The last day luncheon will be on Wednesday, May 28 at noon in the high school cafeteria.  PDC will provide the meat and staff members are asked to carry-in sides.
Board members approved a first proposal from First National Bank for two years, in regards to a depository bid.
The First National Bank turned in a depository proposal containing two options. The first option proposed an interest rate of .3% and included various fees. Option No. 2 proposed an interest rate of .01% and included no fees. Dr. Hunter recommended option No. 1 for a two year period.
Summer School salaries were approved and will be the same as last year.
A contract with Opaa for summer school was approved.
The 2014-2015 student insurance measure was approved. The district offers parents the option of purchasing student insurance from Markel Insurance.
A resignation letter was read and accepted for bookkeeper Crystal Sparks.
Board President Christy Nelson and board member Larry Wheeler thanked the First Baptist Church for once again sponsoring the Senior Banquet and commented that it was a very nice event.
Nelson read a note from Mrs. Nation thanking all that donated food items for Teacher Appreciation week at the elementary. She also noted the Prom Promenade was a nice event to showcase the students attending.
Executive Session
The board hired Christian Rost and Esther Robinson as 2015 prom sponsors.
Melinda Nasir was hired as the 2014-15 lead 12th grade sponsor.
Courtney Christine Blattel was hired as an elementary teacher for the 2014-15 school year.
Don Aulbert was hired as a history teacher for the 2014-15 school year.
An MSBA Spring Regional Scholarship was awarded in the amount of $250 to Ciara Craven.