Monett School District Tax Levy Set

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BY MELONIE ROBERTS

Members of the Monett R-1 School Board have set the 2022-2023 tax levy at 3.9086, the same as last year.

Based on a 100% recovery, the royalty is expected to generate $8,087,599, compared to $7,976,724 last year.

Board members signed a non-binding letter of intent with Solera Energy, seeking more definitive numbers on cost savings should the district choose to install solar panels on every campus.

Earlier discussions resulted in the District saving approximately seven percent, however Board Member Ken Gaspar drilled deeper into actual costs versus components of savings versus what the District is currently spending on the energy provided by the city of Monett. He advised the council to conclude the letter of intent in order to obtain firmer figures before making a decision.

The board hosted a videoconference with Dr. Jim Hinson regarding the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP 6) and the district’s Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP).

MSIP 6 divides the standards into three components: performance, continuous improvement, and best practices. Hinson said the focus this year would be on climate and cultural assessments. The surveys should be sent out in September.

The CSIP guides the development and implementation of other plans such as building and secondary school improvement plans, professional development, assessment and technology plans.

Hinson stressed that the local council ensures that CSIP focuses on the academic preparation and well-being of each student.

Steve Garner briefed board members on the facilities and said the new gymnasium bleachers were due to arrive, with expected completion of the installation expected around Labor Day. He also said the Monett Early Childhood Center (MECC) playground was pushed back to mid-September, with educators offering alternative plans for outdoor exercise in the interim.

Deputy Superintendent Dr. Melissa Huff noted that assessments will be done quarterly instead of monthly this year and student performance will be reviewed at the end of the year.

Daryl Bradley and Michael Calhoun presented potential turf plans for baseball and softball fields.

The district-approved safe return to class plan notes that students and staff who test positive for Covid-19 must quarantine for five days and, if showing no symptoms, can return to class. masked for the next six to 10 days.

The district will not provide vaccines to staff or students. These can be obtained at Barry County or Lawrence County Health Departments, Cox Monett Clinics, Bruner Pharmacy, Old Town Pharmacy, Walmart Pharmacy, and Price Cutter Pharmacy.

The district will provide free rapid tests for Covid to people with symptoms.

The school closure will occur when attendance drops to 80%, there is a high level of teacher and staff absenteeism, and the district moves to virtual learning protocols if necessary.

The plan is evaluated monthly. The council accepted letters of resignation from Jessica Deffendall, MMS councillor; Teresa Alverson, MHS Special Educator; Carrie Stone, educational coach; Skylar Williams, ELL paraprofessional; Katie Tindell, MRLC paraprofessional; and Maria Serrano, MMS special education paraprofessional.

Contracts have been offered to Patric Pettigrew, MHS Business Professor; Teresa Huntress, MHS science teacher; Brian Cox, MMS Social Studies Professor; Debra Hamilton, part-time MMS counselor; and Deb Wycuff, Teacher Retention Grants Coordinator.

New recruits include Vanessa Rueda, daycare educator; Emmi Kerr, MRLC paraprofessional; Lizbeth Parros, MES food service; Mackenzie Walker, MMS special education paraprofessional; and MECC paraprofessional Jessika Esparza.

Teresa Knott, food service employee, also presented her retirement.

The next Monett School Board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on September 15 in the superintendent’s office.

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