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The Mount Ayr Community Schools board of directors covered a relatively light agenda at its meeting Monday, January 10.
Mount Ayr 7-12 principal Bill Huntington and elementary principal Chris Elwood both reviewed the latest School Performance Profiles from the Iowa Department of Education.
Huntington said he was pleased with the newest profile results that saw his building’s rise from an “Acceptable” rating to a “Commendable” performance rating.
He credited the staff and students for their work that has resulted in a continued rise in performance scores over the past three years.
(A review of the middle/high school Performance Profile appeared in last week’s Record-News.)
Elwood reported the elementary students earned a “High Performing” rating for the fourth consecutive cycle.
Mount Ayr student performed at or above state averages in all nine performance indicators used to calculate a school’s overall score.
(A review of this year’s elementary Performance Profile appears in a separate article on this page.)
Among Pride of Iowa schools, Mount Ayr trailed only Bedford in their overall performance scores, and both schools were the only ones designated as High Performing schools in the conference.
Elwood explained one change in this year’s profile concerned the weighting of various performance indicators.
In the past, most weight was given to student growth in math and English/language arts with less weight given to actual student proficiency in those areas.
During this cycle, Elwood explained, equal weight was given to growth and to proficiency.
At Monday’s meeting the board accepted resignations from elementary teacher JoAnn Gregg, associate Kristy Klommhaus, and assistant wrestling coach John Ford.
In his report to the board, 7-12 principal Bill Huntington included a brief discussion of steps being considered to challenge highly capable students.
He said the guidelines to qualify for the middle/high school Talented and Gifted program are being reviewed to include more data from achievement on standardized tests.
He added his building might include Advanced Placement courses in the curriculum.
Advanced Placement courses assure rigor that some college-level classes might lack. Huntington said such rigor would better prepare students for the expectations they would encounter at major universities.
In his report, elementary principal Chris Elwood said students in grades 3, 4, 5, and 6 who were able to meet their second quarter Raider Reading goal will have the opportunity to enjoy a movie at the Princess Theater at the end of January. The Margaret Ricker Endowment will pay for student admissions and S.O.S will pay for concessions.
In other business, the board:
• approved the purchase of 45 new football uniforms for the 2022 season from Podium Ink for $13,516.20.
• approved replacing language to the district’s early retirement policy to include the payment of up to 105 unused sick days, vacation days, and personal days to certified and classified employees who announce their early retirements. The policy applies only to those employees aged 55 or more with 10 or more years consecutive employment with the district.
• heard a brief review of discussions concerning the potential move of the sixth grade to the middle/high school building next school year. Superintendent Jason Shaffer said considerations such as staffing, space, scheduling, curriculum and others are still being explored. Shaffer said he plans to survey the public and hold discussions with various groups prior to bringing a recommendation to the board later this winter.