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Van-Far R-I School Board holds workshop to discuss budget

Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 10:40 am

Van-Far Jr./Sr. High School Principal Kim Pafford.

Van-Far Jr./Sr. High School Principal Kim Pafford.

The Van-Far R-I School Board held a Board Budget Workshop to discuss financial concerns of the district just before their monthly board meeting on Thursday, January 19.
According to the meeting minutes, Van-Far Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hunter presented information related to programming considerations regarding objectives, funding sources, and expenditures.
Superintendent Dr. Hunter presented a PowerPoint handout to break down several items needing to be discussed.
One item noted that potential savings for a four-day week would be $108,576. It was noted that the new Missouri Governor has cut transportation funding for the 2016-17 school year.
Following discussion, a goal of 23% reserves was set and the board directed Superintendent Dr. Hunter to appoint a committee to prioritize possible cost savings related to health insurance, 4-day week, and staffing, as well as the possible increase of revenue.
Suggestions for committee members were administration, certified and non-certified staff, parents, tax payers, and ex-board members. The committee will meet and report back to the board at the next regular meeting.
During the regularly scheduled board meeting, administration discussed the possibility of adding cross country to its current list of sports offerings.
According to the meeting minutes, Superintendent Dr. Hunter presented information on the possibility of adding Cross Country to the sport offerings.
He presented options and potential costs of this addition.
Van-Far Jr./Sr. High School Principal Kim Pafford mentioned  the potential opportunities to students.
Discussion followed and the consensus was to hold off to hear the budget committee report and to gather more information on the status of state funding before making a decision.

Superintendent Dr. Hunter reported that total enrollment is 575 students, with 277 in the Jr./Sr. high school and 298 in the elementary.
He also reported on maintenance and upkeep at the facilities.
As discussed in the budget workshop, Superintendent Dr. Hunter will form a committee to meet and report back to the board next meeting.
Principal Pafford reported that she and Van-Far Elementary Principal Brian Hummel attended a workshop with Ruby Payne on “A Framework for Understanding Poverty” in Kansas City. She recommended it for a future professional development opportunity for staff.
Principal Pafford also noted that the EMO Band will be at Clopton for their first rehearsal date on January 21 with an EMO Concert set for February 1.
The Pink-Out Game and Chili Supper will be on Monday, February 6 during the game against Wellsville-Middletown.
A Special Education Department Book Fair will be held the week of February 6. Courtwarming will be February 10 from 4:30-8 p.m.
Principal Hummel said Myra Collins from the Northeast RPDC will be at the elementary working with teachers in the areas of Math on January 18. He also noted Paul Pitchford will visit the school to talk about the progress with “Leader In Me.”
In her report, A+ Coordinator Joy Davis said she was handing in her letter of resignation after serving in her position for 10 years.
She noted that some 175 students have earned A+ financial incentive or A+ Scholarship with a minimum value of $875,000.
“The program has given students the opportunity to earn on their own money to go to school after graduation,” she noted in her report.

Candidate Filings
There will not be a need for a competitive election as there were three board candidate filings for the three positions available. Those who filed were Larry Wheeler, Jim Hopke, and Justin Hopke.

Superintendent Dr. Hunter presented certificates to board members and expressed appreciation to board members for their service to our district.
A second reading of MSBA 2016D Policy Updates was done.
Superintendent Dr. Hunter reported on the final finishing items to complete the elementary projects. Final change orders were discussed and the payments were tabled until next meeting to meet with the architect.
Superintendent Dr. Hunter reported that the district is required to bid out audit services every three  years. The board authorized him to seek out the audit bids.
A letter of resignation was read from Joy Davis, A+ Coordinator and accepted.
A measure was approved for a Special Education Testing Contract with Lisa Lovell for the remainder of the 2016-17 school year.
Board member Pete Nasir read a thank you note from the Epperson family.
A resignation was accepted for Kenneth Hofer after an Executive Session was held.
In Executive Session, Helen Jennings was hired, pending a clear background check, as janitor.
Melissa Lehenbaur was hired as a special education para and a separation agreement was approved with Kenneth Hofer.
The consent agenda was approved and later the exception of checks No. 37453 and No. 37427 were accepted during action items.
VFTA’s Courtney Blattel gave a report on the VFTA to the board.