NEVC board hears football proposal

Wednesday, November 22, 2017
LCN Graphics of El Dorado Springs produced this new sign located at the intersection of C Highway and Leslie Street in Walker.
Johannes Brann

The 7 a.m. Monday morning meeting of the Northeast Vernon County R-1 school board heard a proposal on football, approved a new policy, regulations and forms, heard about a possible sports injury and received reports from the principals and superintendent.

District parents Nicole Walters and Stephanie Fritts began the meeting by submitting a written report on developing and implementing “a program that offers participation in football activities for grades 7-12, either individually within our own district or in collaboration with Sheldon R-8.”

Walters held up a number of pages with multiple signatures which were said to be “signed petitions from citizens who reside within the NEVC and Sheldon school districts who are in support of developing and implementing this proposed program.”

A separate page reviewed major costs involved ranging from insurance to equipment to transportation.

The proposed home field would be on the existing football field located across from (south) of the Sheldon R-8 school building.

The section on transportation discusses the possibility of using the district’s buses as well as the option of organized carpools which it notes “have already been proven successful amongst parents within NEVC, Sheldon and Bronaugh school districts.”

Further sections address Missouri State High School Athletic Association requirements, coordination of schedules with other sports, a willingness to establish a separate booster club and overall benefits.

“Revenue from football games – such as ticket and concession sales – is how many smaller schools fund other programs,” states the proposal.

On Tuesday, Superintendent Charles Naas stated how, in closed session, the board directed him to contact Jason Irwin, Sheldon’s superintendent, in order to gauge the interest by the board and administration of that school and gain any insight they bring to this matter.

Board meetings at NEVC open with all standing as a member leads the assembled in prayer. The opening prayer on Monday included a petition for sophomore Jackson Prough, who appeared to sustain a non-contact injury in a recent basketball scrimmage. The family is taking him to appropriate specialists in order to determine his actual condition and best course of treatment.

At a previous meeting, the board received a total of 10 policies, regulations and forms which comprised 27 pages for review. Said board member Bill Alexander, “This is another time when I’m glad we’ve gone largely paperless.”

These items included establishing a memorandum of understanding with the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office on the definition and method for the reporting of third-degree assault, participation of non-traditional students in interscholastic activities, as well as training staff and establishing protocols for suicide awareness.

These items were given a third reading and a resolution for their adoption received unanimous support.

The board approved candidate filing dates of Dec. 12, 2017, through Jan. 16, 2018, for those seeking to file as candidates, next April, for school board.

The two seats which are expiring are those of Bill Alexander of Gina Ensor. Ensor had earlier resigned her seat to which the board appointed long-time previous board member, Mike Newman, to serve the balance of her term.

Kendal Ogburn, principal of the district’s elementary school in Schell City, began his report by noting enrollment stands at 131.

“I want to give you an update on our walk-in freezer, the one which had icicles where they shouldn’t be,” said Ogburn. “Well, now it has rust where there shouldn’t be.”

Ogburn said the company which sold the relatively new unit and previously worked on it said they will likely replace the full unit next summer.

He reported particulars on a bid for a pair of aluminum doors for the elementary school as well as the doorbell and intercom system in order to gain entrance.

High School Principal Chris Hudson, thanked board members Bill Alexander and David Bruce for painting in the gym, which included a new logo on a wall and other work.

With clear pride in her voice, Hudson described students setting up, serving and then cleaning up for last week’s Thanksgiving dinner at the community center.

On Dec. 7, NEVC high school will host the Golden Valley Vernon County Conference Science Fair with up to four entries from each school.

Hudson reported high school enrollment stands at 113.

The superintendent reported a voltage regulator going out at the elementary school prior to Halloween, which resulted in repairs being made and an insurance claim being filed.

Naas asked if board members had noticed the new two-sided, grey and black metal sign, mounted on posts, with the school’s name and an arrow, located at the junction of C Highway and Leslie Street in Walker.

Following the meeting, the superintendent was asked to comment about the district’s 2017 Annual Performance Report score which is issued by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The APR is designed to be a simple measure of a district’s overall academic performance. With a top score being 100 percent, the number is a compilation of 14 factors including student scores in English/language arts, math, science, social studies as well as attendance, graduation rates and post-secondary placement.

APR scores across the state recorded a significant drop in 2017 when compared to the previous several years.

While all county districts recorded a drop in APR scores, NEVC’s was the most dramatic, going from a score of 92.1 in 2016 to 81.1 in 2017.

To be fully accredited, districts have to receive at least a score of 70 percent. Provisionally accredited districts fall between the 50-69.9 percent mark, and unaccredited districts fall below 49.9 percent.

In a subsequent statement Naas wrote about NEVC, “the district was pro-active in adopting the ‘new’ learning standards even though the last round of state testing was centered around the ‘old’ standards. The district KNEW this was a risk but didn’t want to waste time in the ‘old’ way and surged forward. We fully expect our 2020 scores to reflect our advances in our new learning standards. Our ELA scores continue to be strong, despite the irregularities in the testing/scoring process. A couple of years ago when our score was much higher, I celebrated with cautious warning that it only takes a few scores in a school our size to tip the scale in the other direction. Consider us tipped!”

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