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November 2019 School Board Meeting
Posted 11/25/19


The Mount Vernon R-V School Board held its regular meeting on Thursday, November 21.  Below are some items of interest:


Our attendance percentage for October was 95.49%.  Our Average Daily Attendance for October was 1326.11, down 36.31 students from this time last year. We will be able to count an additional 13.84 students as a result of our Pre-K program.


The filing period for the April 7, 2020 School Board Election begins December 17, 2019 at 8 AM and ends January 21, 2020 at 5 PM.  Three members will be elected for three-year terms. 

  • The terms of Mr. Cowherd, Mr. Ingle, and Mr. Schmidly expire this April.


Mike Ray and Grant Berendt were present to report on the status of the Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball Programs.  Both coaches were excited for the start of the season and proud of their teams’ successes on and off the court. 

  • The Boys season opens on Friday, December 6 at Nevada
  • The Girls open their season in the Carthage Tournament against Hillcrest on December 5.


Jim Kleine was on hand to report on the status of the A+ Program.

  • Mr. Kleine reported that over half of the students in the Class of 2019 graduated with eligibility for A+ status. 
  • Of those 64 graduates, 5 are attending Crowder College and 35 are attending Ozarks Technical College. 
  • So far, MVHS has 52 participating Seniors in the Class of 2020 along with 35 Juniors and 25 Sophomores.  


Over the past few years, the Mount Vernon School District has come up just short on points assigned for Graduation Rate through the DESE Annual Performance Report despite a consistently strong performance. 

  • Dr. Ladd was tasked with researching this over the past month with the help of Sue Barb, Liz Elsey, and Kelly Holcomb. 
  • The purpose of the research project was to ascertain whether or not there were specific demographic trends we could identify which were contributing to the relatively flat performance of graduation rate and to determine how close we were to reaching the goal set by the state of a 92% graduation rate. 
  • Really, the news was good on both fronts. 
    • There was not a specific demographic area that was being overlooked.  Students who failed to graduate came from all walks of life and we identified no pattern contributing to their lack of success. 
    • Additionally, we found that we were very close to reaching 92% most years. 
    • In 2019, two additional graduates would have helped us achieve “on target” status on our APR. 
  • Dr. Ladd and his team at the high school are constantly looking for more ways to engage students and are to be commended for their efforts.  Please see the attached presentation for more information.


One new opportunity approved by the Board was the institution of an Archery Club at MVHS. 

  • Michelle Rust is serving as the sponsor of this group and she joined Dr. Ladd in sharing the details of this new program which has already received interest from 66 students. 
  • MVHS was awarded a grant by NASP (National Archery in Schools Program) in the amount of $1,500 to start this program. 
  • In addition, local archery shop Bowfreaks Archery, has pledged another $2,000 in donations. 
  • These donations will purchase, netting, 15 bows, 10 dozen arrows and 5 targets. 
  • The club will use the upper mezzanine space in the gym, once occupied by the weightroom, as a practice range once the nets are installed. 
  • The nets are retractable so multiple groups will be able to utilize the space. 
  • Mrs. Rust shared that the goal for this year would be to allow each participant the opportunity to compete at least one time in an archery competition. 


Finally, the Board heard from Mrs. West regarding the potential of adding another Early Childhood Education teacher. 

  • We are up to 76 students enrolled in our Early Childhood Program with 19 more on the waiting list. 
  • Interest in this program is growing at a very fast rate!
  • One of the major concerns with expansion of the Early Childhood Program is the area being used in the Elementary School. 
    • Restroom facilities were not designed for this purpose and are inadequate and classroom space is at a premium. 
  • The Board took no action on the addition of a position at this time and Mrs. West plans to accommodate as many students as possible using existing resources.  

In Closed Executive Session:


The Board accepted a retirement letter from long-time second grade teacher Tammie Henderson. 

  • Mrs. Henderson announced her retirement effective on November 30 after spending the last 18 years in Mount Vernon. 
  • We wish Mrs. Henderson the very best and thank her for her dedication to the students on Mount Vernon!


Valerie Conaway was approved as the long-term substitute in Mrs. Henderson’s second grade class.  


Jessica White was approved as the Interventionist Paraprofessional at the Elementary School filling the vacancy created by the resignation of Hannah Bloomer.


The next Regular Meeting of the Mount Vernon Board of Education will be held on Thursday, December 19 at 7:30.