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Ava R-1 School Board Hears Review of Community Involvement Program, Technology Program

By Michael Boyink /


The Ava R-1 School Board convened for their regular monthly meeting last Thursday, January 16th.

Closed Session

During the closed session that began at 6:00 p.m., the board accepted two resignations:

Clayton Poulson, Middle School Phys. Ed and Health (Poulson will finish out the year).

Tristan Haltom as H.S Golf Coach.

Open Session

Consent Agenda

The board  voted to authorize payment of bills, approved an updated substitute list, approved the minutes of the December 19th meeting, and approved the financial balances summary fund in one 7-0 vote.

Baylan Alexander

The new student representative, Baylan Alexander, was not present due to playing school basketball.

Board Spotlight

The School Board spotlight this month was on the athletic booster club, and on the high school students who were recognized for all-conference, all-district, or all-state in sports, theater, or band.

Principal/Director Reports


Elementary School Principal Clint Hall commented on the recent efforts of High Schoolers coming to the Elementary School to both greet and read to the younger students.

Middle School

Middle School Principal Patty Nelson also commented on the Middle School students who achieved recognition in the band program.

High School 

High School Principal Dr. Teresa Nash mentioned an ACT Certified Instructor program that some Ava High School Teachers are planning to pursue.

Special Services

Special Services Director Erin Swofford gave an update on the programs efforts to achieve Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) certification. 

Administration Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jason Dial reported that the school would be estimating enrollment again this year. He said the work helps claim state funding. He reminded that the deadline to file intentions to campaign for one of the three expiring school board seats is January 21st. Dial also highlighted education-related items from the recent State of the State address by Governor Mike Parsons, saying that Parsons intended to “fully fund the formula.”

Assistant Superintendent Aaron Dalton mentioned the local drug task force its involvement in the Bears Den program to help young students learn healthy skills early on. Dalton also mentioned a program he and Dr. Dial are working on that will allow them to meet with Ava school teachers in small groups for feedback.

Action Items

The Board discussed several action items during the meeting. All items needing a vote were voted in 7-0.

Designate School Contacts

This item was voted on with no discussion.

Community Involvement Program Review

Erin Swofford mentioned some highlights of the school’s efforts to engage the Ava community, including signs of suicide training, parents as teachers program, the JAG program, surveys, etc. 

The board discussed how the school was using Facebook more effectively than in the past. Also discussed was the positive reception of adding the ability for parents to pay for school lunches online using credit cards. 

Dr. Dial commented that the school currently had $20K of school lunch debt they are working to mitigate.

Technology Program Review

School Technology Director Jon Doane reported that the school had recently upgraded approximately 250 computers from Windows 7 to Windows 10. He mentioned the school Chromebook program, saying they had enough to allow each middle school and high school student to use one, but not enough for all elementary school students. 

Doane reported that a recent lightning strike had damaged some equipment that they were still replacing. 

Dr. Dial commented that he’d like to see some Computer Science classes added to the school curriculum.

MSBA Policy Update 2019C

Information was provided to board members for review only, they will vote on the policy update at the next meeting.

Reorganization Meeting

The board set the date for the post-election organization for April 16th at 6:15 p.m.

Next Meeting

The next regular board meeting will be held February 20th at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are open to the public.