By Jason Hoekema
Following a closed-door session, the Ava R-1 Board of Education convened with the public on Tuesday, August 17, 2021.
First on the docket was setting the Ava R-1 tax rate for the year.
According to information presented by Superintendent Aaron Dalton, the rate affecting the four counties which are included in the district will be set at 2.75-percent.
This is the lowest rate allowed by the State of Missouri and does not differ from the previous year. The motion set by Seth Thomson was unanimously ap- proved, 7-0.
Nearly a dozen new faculty members were introduced Tuesday evening. “We are excited about all of the new teachers we have this year,” said Dalton. Principal reports included a time-slot open house at the elementary school,
Thursday. New grants in STEM education at the middle school, and the issu- ance of Chrome Books to high schools students ahead of the August 23 start.
Food quality was discussed at the meeting with the board voicing concerns of keeping quality food in students’ stomach despite rising food costs.
According to Food Services Director Yvonne Honerkamp, it costs about two-thousand dollars to keep cafeterias going daily. Honerkamp stated that some meal items have increased in price by as much of a third the previous cost.
The district saw some difficulty in completing some building maintenance and improvements, mostly because of lagging supply chains and restrictions to delivery services because of COVID.
New flooring has been added to the elementary school while upkeep with the high school entry is still underway pending materials delivery.
The Annual Secretary of the Board Report was approved, 7-0.
Tuition rates were discussed. This is the amount smaller feeder districts pay Ava R-1 to finish a student’s K-12 education.
This year’s calculated amount is roughly $7,400 per pupil. Charging the full rate would amount to a 9.5-percent increase for those smaller districts.
The board agreed to set the rate at $7,100 per student, passing unanimously.
The Ava R-1 School District is sitting on used materials. A warehouse full according to Dalton.
The school board will look at streamlining the process which materials are made available for public purchase. Details would be made available on the school’s website after policy and procedures are followed to deem the items as sellable.
A 7-0 vote was held adopting the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education compliance plan.
The board unanimously voted in favor for the Conflict-of-Interest Policy for the school year. The policy helps prevent nepotism within the district.
A point of great contention and discussion involved the follow up to an is- sued tabled at a special meeting held on August 9.
The discussion covered verbiage on a pre-written document covering COVID leave policy.
(Story continued on page 12 of The Douglas County Herald Volume 135 Number 49.)