Superintendent Jerry Lingo presented details of the 2010-11 school year audit, completed by the Springfield accounting firm of Davis, Lynn and Moots. The clean audit had no non-compliance notices.
Thanks largely to federal stimulus money used for salaries, the district was able to place more into savings. The amount held in the incidental and teacher's funds increased by $378,000, from $1.16 million to $1.5 million. The district's unrestricted funds rose from 19 percent to 25.43 percent, better than the state's recommendation of 23 percent.
Lingo said that fund levels should hold unless the state fails to make its anticipated disbursements under the Foundation Formula or if the district fails to maintain its budget. The superintendent praised the board and administrators for careful handling of funds. Board members in turn praised Lingo for his leadership.
Dixie Farris, special services director, updated the board on the district's special education program. The district presently has 68 children receiving special services, an increase of eight over the previous year. Four full-time teachers, one part-time teacher and three para-professionals provide tailored instruction for the students.
Eight children receive special services at the early childhood level. Two presently attend the Barry-Lawrence County Development Center. Farris said both will likely need to go to Oakview State School, as significant building modifications would be needed to accommodate them.
The term "mental retardation" has been replaced by the state with "intellectual disability," Farris said. The district has 12 students with specific learning disabilities, half of which are at the high school.
Three students have been diagnosed with autism. Five are classified as "other health impaired," including two visually impaired at the high school. Twenty-nine students have speech and language disabilities.
The special services program undergoes its review for the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) this year, Farris said. The first round of reports are due on March 1.
High School Principal Bob Vice reported that since the death of longtime social studies teacher Carl Geyer, who was battling cancer on Dec. 9, 2011, Andrew Godsey had been hired as a full-time substitute. A December graduate from Southwest Baptist University, Godsey is certified in social studies and has been working out well, Vice said.
The board named counselor Katie Whitehead to serve as the district's foster care liaison.
In honor of School Board Recognition Week, Lingo presented board members with a proclamation for the occasion from Governor Jay Nixon.
Vice said only one student had dropped out of the high school since the beginning of the school year, an improvement from five students a year ago.
Middle School Principal Janet Boys said the discontinuation of the county's Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program represented a loss to the district. She hoped to incorporate some of the lessons into the regular curriculum but would like to find other ways to give students positive contact with police officers.
February calendars include the Friends of Music chili supper at the middle school on Feb. 24. The high school Future Business Leaders of American and the Family, Community and Career Leaders of America will celebrate FCCLA/FBLA Week Feb. 6 through Feb. 9. The Spanish Club and Purdy Recycling Program will hold their annual fundraising concert on Saturday, Feb. 18.
The board will meet next on Feb. 20.