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Monett R-1 School Board adopts policy revisions

Monday, October 12, 2009

Policy revisions and the lawsuit over school funding were reviewed by the Monett R-1 Board of Education during its September meeting.

The board adopted a number of policy revisions recommended by the Missouri School Boards Association. Changes removed some policies that had been on the books for nearly 20 years, said Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann.

Included was a new policy on solicitation and advertising on campus.

"This is a huge policy with a lot of tentacles," said Jungmann. "We want to make sure that if someone advertises on school grounds, it must be positive, like the YMCA. We want to make sure we are not sponsoring the activity, thus reducing our liability."

Materials going home from organizations outside of the school will now have to print: "This is not sponsored or endorsed by the school district."

"Before the administrators acted on past precedents," Jungmann said. "Now we've got a policy on what we can and can't do. It gives us a policy to support what we are doing. We're not changing anything."

Board members expressed their disappointment over the Missouri Supreme Court rejecting the appeal by the Committee for Educational Equality. Jungmann said he did not see any other efforts moving forward to address more even funding to school districts. The only option still open appears to be a statewide ballot initiative.

Enrollment for the district had risen to nearly 2,200 students following Labor Day. Jungmann was pleased to see overall growth continuing. The kindergarten class remains smaller than it has been for several years while a number of higher grades showed gains.

Board members agreed to join the Ozark Education Research Initiative, a consortium of school districts that also includes Nixa, Ozark, Springfield, Lebanon, Willard, Logan-Rogersville and Missouri State University. The organization formed three years ago and this was the first year Monett had been invited to join.

Monett's financial commitment to the consortium is $1 per student. Jungmann said the group works on professional issues such as teacher retention, job satisfaction and the culture of schools. Presently the group is focusing on how to improve special education. Monett will participate in surveys done as part of the group's research.

Choosing from three bidders, board members selected Enhanced Network Solutions to complete the data cabling for the new addition at the Southwest Area Career Center. Cost of the contract is $22,465. Work will include installation of all the electrical and network wiring.

Enhanced Network Solutions had the contract to do the rest of the Career Center earlier. Other bids ranged up to $50,000.

The resignation of John Patterson was accepted as a part-time instructor in the Delta at-risk program at the Career Center, effective Oct. 2. Interviews had begun for a replacement. Jungmann hope to have someone hired in the coming week.

Transportation routes for the year were approved. A list of surplus property was approved for sale by bid, including 13 tables that will seat 12.

In upcoming activities, the board agreed to hold a tailgate party for all district employees in the parking lot outside the superintendent's office before the Oct. 9 football game. Board members and administrators will cook hot dogs for district employees and their families, continuing a practice started last year.

To avoid scheduling conflicts, the October board meeting was moved to the 18th to not conflict with the reginal Missouri School Boards Association meeting. The December board meeting was moved to Dec. 17, a week earlier than usual to avoid holiday issues.

The district financial report showed that receipts through August from the statewide Proposition C sales tax generated $1,202,931.69, a drop of nearly 5 percent from 2008.

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