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Friday, May 6, 2016

More teachers are staying at Monett School District

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Monett R-1 Board of Education members discussed preparations for the coming year on several levels during their July meeting.

One personnel change was made. Farrah Elsenraat resigned as a third grade teacher. Taking her spot will be Sarah Edwards, a first year teacher from Southern Baptist University.

Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann and Assistant Superintendent Julie Germann reported on turnover trends with the faculty. The board and administrative team have been working on greater staff retention. For the past five years, the district has been hiring more than 30 teachers a year. The number has been reduced to 17 for the coming year. New teachers are in classrooms Aug. 3 to 5 for professional development sessions. The kickoff for the new school year will be held on Aug. 13.

Jungmann and Germann reported that of the 36 faculty hired for the 2007-08 school year 32 have stayed. Of the 32 hired for the 2008-09 school year, 29 have stayed, leaving a retention rate of 90 percent for the last two years. For the previous three years, retention has only been at 50 to 75 percent.

"Once you get in a cycle, getting out is tough," Jungmann said. "We're excited to see us moving past [low retention numbers]. Without a doubt the district has benefitted from the economy. Not so many teachers are moving. Building administrators are working on relationships. We have teachers who want to be part of the Monett District long-term."

Completion is nearing on the lighting, ceiling work and new floor installation on the South Building at the middle school, as well as installation of new bathroom fixtures at Central Park Elementary. A new floor and paint has significantly improved the lower gym in the E.E. Camp gymnasium, used by the intermediate and middle schools, Jungmann said. Progress is also continuing on extending the canopy from the high school across the parking lot to the Career Center.

Contracts with school districts sending students to the Career Center for the coming year were approved. Jungmann said it appeared enrollment for the Career Center would be about the same as last year.

A new handbook was approved for the Career Center. Changes identified in the accreditation process with the North Central organization were made but did not represent significant alterations, Jungmann said.

Several policies recommended by the Missouri School Boards Association were adopted on collective bargaining. Since collective bargaining with teachers was made legal several years ago, policies on the new arrangements have been evolving. The latest round got approval from the Monett District's legal counsel before board action.

Jungmann said the process of developing a pay scale in the district has not changed.

"We meet with the CTA [Community Teachers Association] Salary and Benefits Committee," Jungmann said. "We have a great relationship with the CTA, and we hope that continues."

Board members had a request for a longterm lease of the commons room at either the high school or the Career Center for use by a local church. Following a previous decision on a similar request, the board turned down the arrangement.

"We prefer a one-time lease, not a long-term contract that may get into interfering with our education programs," Jungmann said.

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