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Online registration, bus routes, IASB annual policy updates, enrollment numbers, and new teachers and staff were reviewed at the regular meeting of the Mount Ayr Community Schools board of directors on August 14.
The school board was eager to learn how the transition from paper forms to online school registration went after implementing new options for the 23-24 school year.
Board member Brandi Shay asked “How is it working on the back end?”
Board secretary Stephanie Newton reported that on the RevTrak side, it was “smooth,” as she saw a quick turnaround of information from the new system.
Secondary principal Josh Vanderflught “thought it went well,” and thanked Tess Rinehart for her hard work on getting online registration set up and ready to go.
Stephanie Newton was also thanked for working with RevTrack to get the new online payment system set up.
Diana Arends, Sarah Schafer, Mike Moran, and Cindy Stephens also worked hard to help parents through registration.
Building secretaries are now calling families that may not have registered and taking care of clerical clean up in the Powerschool system.
Board president P.J. West asked “will we always have a paper option?” Secondary principal Vanderflught stated “yes, we will,” noting they may plan a longer registration timeframe in the future.
Superintendent Jason Shaffer noted that new air conditioning units have arrived for the elementary building. The preschool classrooms have been warm during most of 2023, and they hope to get the new units up and running soon.
Bus routes will stay relatively the same for the 23-24 school year, with Nile Belzer taking on Faye Stull’s prior bus route.
Secondary principal Vanderflught held an Athletic registration night with Mr. Giles to get everyone registered on Bound ahead of the first day of practice. All HS coaches also attended to complete their parent meetings. It was well attended and Vanderflught stated “I think it helped the athletic registration process.”
Another night for MS students is planned for Monday, August 21.
Elementary principal Chris Elwood noted enrollment is up, with 30 additional students registered for the 23-24 school year.
The preliminary enrollment for PreK – 6th Grade is 355 students. The grade-level breakdown and number of sections are as follows:
PreK – 56 students (3 sections)
Kindergarten – 38 (2 sections)
1st Grade – 39 (2 sections)
2nd Grade – 51 (3 sections)
3rd Grade – 36 (2 sections)
4th Grade – 45 (2 sections)
5th Grade – 53 (2 sections)
6th Grade – 37 (2 sections)
Secondary principal Vanderflught also noted an increase in enrollment between the middle school and high school, estimating there are 16 additional students entering the 23-24 school year.
New district policies
Approved IASB Annual Policy Updates to comply with legislative session changes made in May of 2023.
Elementary principal Elwood is welcoming three new teachers and three new associates joining the elementary staff this year:
Sabrina Fox – Vocal Music
Channler Henle – Title I Associate
Emily Thomas – Art/STEAM
Ashton Trullinger – SPED Teacher
Courtney Sheil and Tracy Wilson have been hired as new SPED Associates.
At the high school, Sara Dukes will be teaching family and consumer sciences (FCS), Britney Baker will be teaching middle school English language arts (ELA), and Sabrina Fox will be sharing her time between the high school and elementary to lead vocal music instruction.
• approved Level I investigators Michael Moran and Stacey Andresen, and Level II investigators Mr. Elwood and Mr. Vanderflught.
• approved Josh Vanderflught as the educational equity coordinator, and Macy Larsen as an additional equity coordinator.
• approved Jason Shaffer as Affirmative Action Coordinator.
• approved Chris Elwood as Title IX Coordinator
• approved the elementary professional development plan as presented.
• approved a new preschool handbook as MACS is no longer partnering with Head Start, they are now using the Iowa Quality Preschool Performance Standards (IQPPS). Due to this change, a new handbook has been created.
• approved the low bid of $9,366.41 from 360 Degree Machinery for a new industrial technology planer. A second bid from Acme Tools in the amount of $10,899.99 was also received.
• approved moving forward with an ICAT Facility Review Plan through Estes Construction who serves as the IA Construction Advocate Team for the IASB. The plan comes with an initial facility assessment cost of $7,500 with an additional $2,000 fee for the Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing (MEP) evaluation.
• approved a quote from Maryville Glass & Doors in the amount of $9,051.90 as part of the security updates.
• approved a financil software system agreement with Vista for a one-time fee of $4,000, and an annual fee of $9,980 with a start date of January 1, 2024.
• approved the Southwest Iowa Apex Consortium Agreement.
• approved the district return to learn plan, continuing which is a continuation of the plan for last year.
• approved all fund-raising requests as presented.
An elementary “Meet the Teacher Night” will take place on Tuesday, August 22nd, from 5:30 until 7:00. The first day of school will be Wednesday, August 23rd.