CARES Act funding approved; $78K to MV School District

Kaleena Ricketts

District thankful for much needed federal money to help with pandemic shortcomings
Thanks to the Lawrence County Commission’s approval, the Mt. Vernon School District will have $78,137 distributed from funding by the CARES Act.
The first round of funds used by school officials will be spent to purchase Personal Protective Equipment and other screening and sanitation supplies. The county also approved payment to cover the cost of free telehealth visits for all MV staff and their families. A second round of requests, now through July 31, will allow the district to ask for funding for purchases related to canceling out the cost of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lawrence County was awarded $4.99 million from the federal government to be distributed throughout the county as part of pandemic assistance.
Board meeting…
The Mt. Vernon Board of Education held its monthly board meeting Thursday, July 16.
Multiple items were discussed during the regular meeting, including a report given on the work of the School Re-Entry Committee, which held a meeting the previous evening. This meeting consisted of administrators, school nurses and teachers from each school, as well as a fine arts teacher representative and a special education teacher representative.
 Those in attendance we able to give feedback and concerns regarding the return to classes in the fall.
CTS Manager Jeremy Shivers, also gave an update on progress being made on the many updating projects being done around the district. Shivers reported that thus far no major hiccups or delays had occurred and all projects were expected to be completed on schedule. Shivers presented a slideshow with multiple photos showing the progress being made, including the electrical work being done at both the elementary and middle school campuses.
Board approves the bonds…
Mr. Larry Hart, along with two associates from LJ Hart and Associates, were present to provide information regarding the issuance sale of $10,000,000 in general obligation bonds approved by voters back in June.
Hart described the current bond market as the strongest in the last 60 years due to favorable interest rates.
Hart reported the firm provided the first opportunity to local banks, and Mid-Missouri and First Independent Bank were both contributors to the project.
Another round, a smaller round, of bonds will be issued early next year to comprise the remaining funds, $1.5 million, included in Proposition MVS.
In other news..
Due to an unexpected vacancy occurring—the death of Mt. Vernon educator Vendelin— the board approved the hiring of a Special Education Paraprofessional at the high school for the following year. Due to the timing of the vacancy, both Jeremy Smith, Director of Student Services and High School principal Josh Ladd, recommended the hiring of a paraprofessional rather than a teacher. This matter will more than likely be revisited in the spring and a teacher position will be posted at that time. If so, the position of the paraprofessional would be eliminated or that employee could be transferred to a vacant position.
The board also approved breakfast and lunch prices for the upcoming year. Those prices will be as follows:
Breakfast $1.70; Adult breakfast $2.35; K-5 lunch $2.15; 6-12 lunch $2.35; and adult lunches would be $3.06.
The board voted to keep athletic event admission at the same level. This has been the board’s approach for the last 10 years.
In closed session, the board was informed of Stephanie Crider’s resignation from her position as Paraprofessional. Sherri Kirk was approved as a paraprofessional at the middle school for the 2020-21 school year, bringing 32 years experience working at Head Start in Mt. Vernon. Lynna Rathman was approved as a paraprofessional at the Elementary School. Rathman also worked at the Mt. Vernon Head Start and brings 30 years of experience in working with early childhood students. Rachel Zerby was approved as a substitute teacher covering two long-term teacher absences in the fall at the elementary school.
The next regular meeting of the Board of Education will be held Thursday, Aug. 20.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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