The Verona R-7 Board of Education heard an update on the building construction project and made plans for the 2010-11 school year during its latest meeting.
Architect Richard Werner was on hand to brief board members on progress with removing the old high school. Demolition had been completed. Less debris than expected was hauled away, resulting in a savings to the district. Plumbers had roughed in the location of new pipes. Masons have been on site during the last week in May putting up a new exterior wall.
The site for the old school will be converted into a parking lot by fall. Plans for erecting a retaining wall the length of the lot have been dropped in favor of a sloping lawn.
Expanded student options
High School Principal Terry Winton told the board the acquisition of a technology grant would enable students to access different dual credit courses over the internet, thanks to new distance learning equipment. Winton provided a list of 36 classes students would be able to take through Crowder College and the Arkansas School for Math, Science and the Arts.
A new state law, Senate Bill 291, established a flex program enabling students to attend school part-time and also attend work or go to college part-time. Winton provided guidelines from the student handbook on how the option will be implemented in the next school year.
Board members approved hiring non-certified employees for the coming year. These included: Becky Mayberry, school nurse; Bob Baker, technology coordinator; Melvey Hillhouse, Parents as Teachers coordinator; and three secretaries, six aides, three cafeteria staff and four custodians.
Health insurance for the coming year on the plan offered through Anthem rose to $339.32 per employee for the coming year. Board members voted to cap the district's contribution at $325 per month per employee.
Superintendent William Sweet reported the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) review had been completed. Sweet anticipated Dennis Cooper, regional supervisor for the Missouri Department of Elementary Education, will schedule a meeting in the near future with the administrative team to present the findings.
Sweet expected the district would close the current fiscal year in good shape. He expected the budget strategy would carry the district through next school year as well.
Winton reported girls basketball coach Ryan Yates had been selected as the Ozark 7 girls basketball Coach of the Year. The Ozark 7 high school principals also voted to give Verona the conference Sportsmanship Award. The girls basketball team won the Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award and the boys team won the Distinguishing Scholastic Achievement Award from the Missouri State High School Activities Association.
The senior trip to Silver Dollar City and Branson Landing had gone well, Winton added.
Elementary Principal Jeanie Abeln said teachers voted to use a school-wide Positive Behavior Approach Program next year. The approach sets standards of behavior and discipline that are consistent from one grade to the next.
Board members voted in favor of a contract to send 13 students to the Southwest Area Career Center next year, an increase of two over the 2009-10 year.