Vandalia Leader

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Van-Far board receives good report on audit

Posted on Monday, December 12, 2011 at 12:04 am

While the vote to approve a measure for cooperative football with Community R-VI dominating the school board meeting on Thursday, November 17, the Van-Far district also approved the 2011-2012 audit among other items during their weekly meeting.

Travis Hundley, a partner with Gerding, Korte & Chitwood, made a presentation on the audit and noted a beginning fund balance for the district of $1.6 million in operations. He said this is a minimum the state likes to see in reserves for districts. The total is an average three months of expenditures.

“I’m happy to note the district is in compliance on all the federal programs that we test,” said Hundley as he directed the board to pages 3-9 in the report.

The audit included a Management Analysis that gave a summary and comparison for the last two years of financial data. For federal programs, 50-percent were tested and this audit focused on ARRA funds. The lone finding was a recommendation regarding the segregation of duties, something 90-percent of all districts have noted during audits. Hundley said it’s not feasible to hire additional office staff to work on financial matters.

Scoreboard Update

Booster Club President Tony Lower and boys basketball coach Pat Connaway informed the board that enough donations had been received from the community to pay for two new scoreboards in the high school gym. The goal was exceeded and no dollars were requested from the school board.

For warranty purposes, the Booster Club asked to give the district a check so the district could make the purchase. The Booster Club will install the new scoreboards and the old ones will be installed in the elementary gym.

“I just want to say a public thank you to the community,” said Van-Far Superintendent Chris Felmlee. “Thank you for caring.”

The board also approved a Request for Qualifications prepared by Schneider Electric.

The district will now gather information so a company can be selected to work with relating to cost estimates for the bond proposal. The notice will run for in The Vandalia Leader and will run for one week in the Columbia Tribune.

Preschool Evaluation

Preschool instructor Shelly Buie made her presentation to the board on a program that has 20 students.

“I am proud of what the kids are able to accomplish at this age,” Buie said. “Repetition is a No.1 factor of teaching kids this age. The preschool, I feel, has been able to motivate children to wanting to learn and invited parents to wanting to be involved in their children’s education.”

To be in the program, students must turn four by August 1 to be considered. They are screened and parents must fill out a questionnaire. Scoring is based on academic as well as social need. The higher the score gives a greater chance of being chosen. Buie added that Smart Goals are assessed monthly. She also provided a detailed percentage report on how her students have progressed in the current school year.

Superintendent’s Report

The district wide enrollment was reported by Van-Far Superintendent Chris Felmlee as 613, with 343 in the elementary and 271 in the Jr./Sr. High School. The average daily attendance was 574.16 for October.

He noted the MSBA Scholarship Applications are due January 13, 2012 and the local deadline is December 1. Members decided to choose a Van-Far applicant at the December board meeting. A Lighting Project Update was given as the project is nearly completed. Reportedly, a payment of $2,000 is being held from the $156,000 payment until a detailed walk through is completed. Both Superintendent Felmlee and board member Jim Hopke noted positive comments on the lights from staff.

Read more about the story in the November 30 issue.