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Ava R-1 School Board: Most Students Will Return to Class

180 choose distance learning option

by Michael Boyink /

The Ava R-1 School Board held a special session on Thursday, August 6th at 6:30 p.m.


Board member Dan Johnson attended via speakerphone. Bart Ellison was absent.

During the hour-plus meeting, the board voted on the following action items:

Copier Bids

In a 6-0 vote, the board approved a $17,290 bid for Sharp copiers from GFI Digital in Springfield. 

Chromebook Purchase

In a 6-0 vote, the board approved purchasing 250 Chromebooks from CDI Technologies for $58,412. According to Superintendent Dr. Jason Dial, the school will be recompensed by the State of Missouri for 75% of the costs of the Chromebooks and other gear including wifi access points and iPads for PreK.

Approval of Transportation Contract

In a 4-2 vote, the board approved new contracts for the bus driver contractors. The motion contained two changes:

A disclaimer on the Right to Contract saying the new contracts meant any old or previous contracts are null and void

Removing terms for the school to purchase a route from one of the two contracts for each bus driver – to remove possibly interpreting the two documents as saying the school needed to buy each contract twice. The purchase price for a route will be set at what the route earned in the previous year.

Board members Brandi Stanifer and Mark Henry voted against, Deana Parsick, Dan Johnson, Troy Tredway, and Lowell Strong voted in favor.

Bus Route #1

The board approved sale of Bus Route #1 to Jessica McNish.

Return to School Plan

Dr. Dial and Assistant Superintendent Aaron Dalton then laid out the current plan for how Ava will return to school this fall. The school had previously published a document with four levels of school:

  1. School as usual
  2. In-person school with extra precautions and cleaning
  3. Hybrid of in-person school and online/remote learning
  4. All school online/remote

Currently Ava Schools are pursuing a Level Two return. Generally masks will be required when students and teachers can’t practice social distancing – on buses, in hallways, cafeteria lines, etc.  Dr. Dial said the 67 school bathrooms would be cleaned three times per day.

Families are also being given the option of 100% distance learning. According to Assistant Superintendent Aaron Dalton, 180 students have currently chosen this option.

More details about the facemask policies can be found on the school Facebook page:

Closed Session

During the closed portion of the meeting, the board:

  • Voted unanimously to hire Sherry Wheat as a HS Special Education teacher.
  • Voted unanimously to end the employment of David Hampton, Terinda Hampton, and Debbie Tabor.


View the video footage of the meeting – including all board member and bus driver comments and discussion on the Douglas County Herald’s YouTube Channel (note that technical difficulties prevented the entire meeting from being recorded).

Next Meeting

The next regular board meeting will be held on August 20th at 6:00 p.m. (subject to change, check ahead) in the Ava Board of Education room.

Meetings are open to the public.