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Ava R-1 School Board Votes to Allow Homeschoolers to Participate in MSHSAA Activities

The Ava R-1 School Board held its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, January 21st at 6:30 p.m.

Principal/Director Reports

Ava Elementary School Principal Dr. Clint Hall mentioned the coverage Mrs. Lawlers class recently got in the Herald for the facemask experiment they were doing.

Middle School Principal Patty Nelson highlighted recent donations from Walmart.

Ava High School Principal Dr. Teresa Nash congratulated Kaylee Downs, Shianne Meile, and Kiera Rothenberg for being nominated for Hoopcoming Queen, and Quinton Donley, Payton Evans, and Aidan Murphy for being nominated for Hoopcoming King.

Special Services Director Erin Swofford gave the board further information on “2nd Mile Therapy.”

Food Service Director Yvonne Honerkamp reported that the count of students getting meals at school had gone up 150 since the school began cooking meals in house.  Dr. Dial added that as of the 21st the school had served roughly 83% of the meals it had served all of January 2020. He felt they were on-pace to exceed the numbers. School staff and board members reported hearing positive feedback about the quality of food being created by the in-house staff.

Administrators Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jason Dial reported a total of five candidates filing for two seats in the upcoming school board election: Deana Parsick, Rory Boeddeker, Chance Dry, Jason Churchill and Carol Floyd.

Dial went on to discuss a couple of potential funding options for the school that were in the works after the recent presidential election. He and the board discussed how the school might prepare plans to use the money, in order to be prepared for when the money was there.

Dr. Dial reported that the school had 60 COVID-19 cases to date, with 419 staff or students in and out of quarantine.

Assistant Superintendent Aaron Dalton reported that the number of virtual students was down. He mentioned the school was working on an assessment to help students return from virtual to seated classes. 

Dalton also reported researching how a four-day school week would impact Ava Schools. 

Discussion/Action Items

School Contacts

The board voted 7-0 to approve designated school contacts.

Community Involvement Program Review

The board heard a review of the Community Involvement Program from High School Principal Dr. Teresa Nash. The board approved the report 7-0.

Technology Review

The board heard and voted 7-0 to approve a technology report from  Jon Doane, Technology Coordinator. Doane said all Ava students now have access to a connected Chromebook or iPad.

Interactive Panels

In a 7-0 vote the board approved the purchase of 44 more smart panels, enough to outfit the high school classrooms and have one extra to cover any repair downtime. The purchase will cost the schools approximately $81,000. 

High School Graduation Date

The board voted 7-0 to approve a 2021 graduation date of Saturday, May 15. The date was based on a recent school survey that showed 53% of parents wanted a Saturday graduation.

Homeschoolers in MSHSAA Sanctioned Activities

During the most-discussed portion of the meeting, the board voted 4-3 to allow homeschooled students who meet MSHSAA requirements to join Ava R-1 students participating in MSHSAA-sanctioned events, including band competitions and sports games.

Voting in favor were Dan Johnson, Deana Parsick, Troy Treadway, and Lowell Strong. Dissenting votes were Bart Ellison, Brandi Stanifer, and Mark Henry. 

Homeschool students wishing to take advantage of the new opportunity need to enroll in two seat-time classes at Ava schools for a total of at least one unit of credit in progress, show that those classes, in addition to the rest of their homeschool workload, amounts to fulltime schooling, and present transcripts, curriculums, portfolios, or other school materials to school officials for review (similar to the process of accepting a transfer student).

Reorganizational Meeting

The board voted 7-0 to set the date for the post-election School Board Reorganizational Meeting for April 15th at 6:15 p.m.

Closed Session

During closed session the board accepted the resignation of Garrett Baird, Alternative School Director and hired Westin Loftin as Middle School Assistant Softball Coach.


View the video footage of the meeting on

Next Meeting

The next regular board meeting will be held on Thursday, February 18th at 6:30 p.m.

Meetings are open to the public.