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Mr. Scott Cook

Superintendent's Corner
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The Mount Vernon R-V Board of Education held its annual Tax Levy Hearing and Regular Meeting for August on Thursday, August 19.  Below are some items of information:

 

The Board set the District’s tax levy at $3.67 for the second consecutive year after passage of Proposition MVS in June 2020.

  • The 2020 increase was the first increase since 1999.  The District’s operational levy remains at $2.75 which is the lowest operational levy allowed in Missouri since 1999 when Amendment 2 was passed. 
  • There are 59 Districts in the state of Missouri out of 518 which have a $2.75 Operating Levy (11.4%). 
  • The Debt Service levy was approved at $0.92. 
  • The Board has the authority to set the debt service levy at $1.08 but instituted a rollback of $0.16 to match the levy approved by voters.

In the Regular Meeting, a report on Summer School ADA was given.  Enrollment and attendance were much improved in 2021 over 2020 with an increase of 144.72 in ADA.  See the attached chart below for additional information.

 

Jeremy Shivers from CTS to report on projects in the District. 

  • We have now reached substantial completion on all projects related to Proposition MVS approved by voters in June 2020. 
  • Mr. Shivers reported that finishing touches are still ongoing at the Early Learning Center but that the building is ready for students on Wednesday the 25th. 
  • There was also good news regarding the ESSER II CTS project of replacing the ground source system at the high school. 
  • Classroom and hallway units arrived sooner than expected and the system is expected to be fully functional by the first day of school with ceilings replaced where possible. 
  • Larger units are scheduled to arrive by the end of August with an expected total completion date of the second week of September. 
  • Please see the attached presentation for additional information. 

Fall sports coaches were present with several student-athletes to preview the upcoming sports seasons.

 

The Board voted to return to school at Level 2 on our  Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan. Level 2 includes 

 

  • Instruction will take place in school buildings during the normal school day. 
  • Students and staff are encouraged to wear masks when social distancing is not possible but there will not be a mask mandate in place.
  • Requests for virtual placement will be processed based upon the procedures outlined in Board Policy IGCD.
  • There will be some restrictions on visitors to campuses which will be further communicated by building principals.  

Other mitigation measures in place will be:

  • Social Distancing in all school areas when possible.
  • Cohorting of classes in grades K-5
  • Improved Air Quality Measures 
  • Voluntary vaccination opportunities for staff and students who request the opportunity.  Parent permission is required for student vaccinations.
  • Antigen testing upon request.  Any student antigen testing would be done by parent request only.  The purpose of this testing is to help with the shortening of quarantines.

Separate from Level 2 intervention, masks will be required for those using district transportation including school buses. 

  • This is due to the federal government mandate that masks be used on any public transportation.

The Board approved an initial budget for the American Rescue Plan funding (ESSER III) which is due to DESE no later than August 23. 

Recently a survey was conducted district-wide including staff, students, and parents to determine the priorities for battling the impacts of COVID.  The survey asked stakeholders to identify their most pressing concerns and to prioritize funding allocations for the ESSER III money accessible to the District. 

 

These priorities were ranked in order of importance as follows:

  1. Purchase of Mobile Technology

  2. Upgrading HVAC Units

  3. Increase Behavior and Mental Health Supports

  4. Additional Facility Repairs

  5. Internal Technology Improvements

  6. Improve Afterschool Programs

  7. Instructional Materials and Resources

  8. Access To Telemedicine

  9. Diagnostic Tools

  10. Additional Cleaning Supplies/PPE

The budgetary priorities reflect stakeholder priorities and were approved as follows:

 

  • Completion of the High School Geothermal Project
  • Installation of Air Quality Improvement technology District-Wide and other general HVAC Improvements
  • New K-5 Math Curriculum
  • Wifi Improvements
  • Purchase of Tyler Pulse which is a data analytics tool that acts as a central repository, combining and transforming data from multiple databases within the district into usable, accessible information to help us make informed decisions about student needs and achievement.
  • Expenditures for Summit After-School Program
  • Free access to Cox Telemedicine for staff members for the next three years.
  • A second High School Counselor position.
  • Replacement of aging smartboards and projectors with SMART TV's
  • Replacement of aging Desktop Computers for teachers.
  • Student Virtual Education Licenses 
  • A third van for District Activity Transportation
  • 6-12 Reading Remediation Software
  • A Secondary Level Benchmark Testing Platform
  • Wellness Equipment to help complete a staff-wellness room
  • Textbooks

Other items will possibly be added to this list as the budget may be amended over time.

 

In accordance with Board Policy DG, an RFP was released on July 22 for institutions wishing to serve as the District’s partner for Depository Services. 

  • Bids were due to the office by August 13 and the District was fortunate to receive bids from all three financial institutions in Mount Vernon (Mid-Missouri Bank, Old Missouri Bank, and Simmons Bank). 
  • The Board voted to partner with Old Missouri Bank on a three-year agreement with mutual options for 2 additional years.

In Closed Executive Session:

 

The following personnel recommendations were approved:

 

  • Barbara McCune for a one-on-one Paraprofessional position at the Elementary School. 
  • Sue Barb as a Part-Time District Data Coordinator.
  • Anne Garoutte as a Part-Time Title I Teacher
  • Joel Barber for the Seventh Grade Boys Basketball Position.
  • Cameron Brewer for a Middle School Football Position.
    • Logan Alumbaugh is transferring to the High School Football staff opening a Middle School Position.

Welcome aboard (and in some cases welcome back!) to all new members of the Mt’Neer team.

 

The next Regular Meeting of the Mount Vernon R-V Board of Education will be on Thursday, September 23 at 7:30 PM in the District Administration Office.

Posted 8/20/21
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Mr. Cook
Mr. Cook