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Mr. Scott Cook

Superintendent's Corner
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The Mount Vernon R-V Board of Education held its regular meeting on Thursday, September 23.  Below are some items of interest:

 

Traditionally, the District has used the Tuesday after Labor Day as a benchmark for comparing year-to-year enrollment. 

  • For the first time since 2017, our overall enrollment number increased from the previous year. 
  • We have gained 23 students from this time last year and stand at 1,419 students overall. 
  • In addition, we are currently serving 82 total students in our Early Childhood Program and that number traditionally grows as the year progresses. 
  • It is encouraging news to see enrollment numbers trending in the right direction. 
  • See the attached document for more in depth information.

 

The start of the 2021 school year has seen continued impacts of COVID-19. 

  • However, after a rocky first two weeks, the impacts have stabilized and lessened. 
  • Below is a chart of positive cases and quarantines for the first month of school.
  Positive Cases Health Dept. Quarantines
August 25-September 23 14 (3 Staff/11 Students) 85 (23 Active)
Totals 14 85

 

Jeremy Shivers of the CTS Group was present to announce that all projects related to Proposition MVS have reached substantial completion and the ground source system renovation at the high school funded by ESSER II is also almost complete. 

  • We have had a great experience partnering with CTS and the scope of improvements made in the District under their management has been substantial. 
  • Mr. Shivers was accompanied by the two site superintendents for the varied projects. 
  • Anthony Moore supervised construction of the ELC as well as work occurring at the Middle and Elementary Schools as well as the ground source renovation at the High School. 
  • David Gray supervised the work at the high school campus. 
  • These gentlemen have been in-District since June of 2020 and their service has been much appreciated.

Sheila Hansen was present to report on the bi-annual trip to Washington, D.C. which just occurred in the summer of 2021. 

  • Each time this trip is made Ms. Hansen provides testimonials of how much the students enjoy this trip and the depth of learning it entails. 
  • The Board approved the next Middle School trip to Washington, D.C. to occur in the summer of 2023.

 

 

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The Board approved the Special Education Local Compliance plan for the 21-22 school year. 

  • This is an annual requirement. 
  • The Compliance Plan is designed to ensure local educational agencies (LEAs) implement all laws and regulations related to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Finally, the Board officially adopted the Budget for FY 21/22. 

  • Much of the work of budget planning is done in June but adoption of an official budget document is required by September. 
  • We have always taken the opportunity to complete this process in September to have more reliable data related to revenue and expenditures. 

In planning the budget this year the positives outweigh the negatives:

  • The District had an increase of $6,434,840 (5.42%) in Assessed Valuation. 
    • This was an extremely positive increase and was due to 2021 being a reassessment year in Lawrence County. 
    • The overall District Tax Levy was set at $3.67 per $100,000 of Assessed Valuation by the Board in August. 
    • This increase in AV resulted in approximately $127,000 of new revenue for the District which enabled us to invest in salary schedules for both professional and support staff.
  • The District has been allocated $1,264,684 through ESSER II.
  • The District has been “allocated” $2,806,578 through ESSER III. 
    • The reason for the quotation marks is we are still awaiting approval from DESE on our ESSER III plan and the state legislature must appropriate the ESSER III funding before Districts are able to request reimbursement for planned projects. 
    • This is expected to occur in the new calendar year.
  • Insurance rates increased 3.2% from FY 20/21 which is a more manageable increase and permitted full funding of staff health insurance for those who qualify for the wellness incentive.

There were some mitigating factors to consider both for this fiscal year and in the near future:

  • The WADA used for state formula payments is from FY 19/20. 
    • Districts are permitted to use the best weighted average daily attendance from the two previous years and ours is the oldest allowable attendance figure.  
  • Title I allocations decreased - but very slightly.
  • The local Operating Levy remains at $2.75 where it has been since 1999. 
    • This represents the lowest allowable operating levy rate in the state of Missouri.

These factors allowed for a budget which:

 

  • Allowed for incremental movement based on experience and additional education (which averages to approximately 2% for professional and support staff).
  • Provide an increase to the base salary on the Professional Staff Salary Schedule of $500
  • Increase the base salary on the Custodial Salary Schedule to $12/hour (8.5% increase).
  • Provide a 1.5% increase on other Support Staff Salary Schedules
  • Provide a 3.5% increase for employees not on a salary schedule
  • We are able to use (or plan to use) ESSER funding to:
    • Renovate the ground source system at the high school
    • Install air purification technology in all HVAC units District-Wide
    • Provide several supports to address learning loss caused by long-term closure in the spring of 2020 due to COVID-19

In Closed Executive Session:

 

The Board hired the following personnel:

 

  • Lisa Wilson as a one-on-one Special Education Paraprofessional at the Elementary School.
  • Chance Cornell as a Paraprofessional at the High School supervising In-School Suspension and serving as Attendance Official.
  • Madison Gurley as a Middle School Softball Coach.
  • Jessie Buttram as Middle School Boys Track Coach.

The District is also able to return Parents As Teachers position to a full-time position due to an increase in funding. 

  • Lisa Barnes has been serving in a part-time capacity and will now be working full-time for the District as the Parents As Teachers liaison.

The next regular meeting of the Mount Vernon R-V Board of Education will be Thursday, October 21 at 7:30 PM in the District Office Board Room. 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted 9/24/21
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Mr. Cook
Mr. Cook