Mt. Vernon School Board approves creation of new special ed teacher, social worker positions

Steve Chapman

The Mt. Vernon R-5 School Board approved the creation of two new positions in the district during their meeting on Thursday, Feb. 16. One position will involve a dual-role of special-education teacher and process coordinator, while the other will be a part-time social worker position.

Special educator/process coordinator position
The special educator/process coordinator position will include teaching four special-education classes a day, two at the middle school and two at the intermediate school. The rest of the school day will be spent as the process coordinator for the third through eighth grades.
While discussing the position, Scott Cook, district superintendent, told the board that the new position was necessary due to the heavy workloads currently being held by the middle and intermediate school special-education instructors.
“They’re overworked, and their caseloads are high,” he said. “At the same time, we also have Mrs. Bradshaw really working hard as a process coordinator, really almost by herself in that role. One of the things that has made that more difficult is the explosion of pre-K kids that we’ve been screening and writing IEPs for. So, we thought that the best of both worlds is that we would post a dual position and seek applicants, because we think we will have some internal interest for that.”

Social worker position
The social worker position was approved as a temporary, one-year position. The duties of the social worker will be to: develop and implement support plans for students in crisis, provide short-term therapeutic interventions for students and their families, and act as a liaison between the school and outside agencies and/or private mental health care providers.
While discussing the position, Cook told the board that the district is applying for the Immediate Responsive Services Grant, which if approved, would provide the funds to hire the social worker. He also said the creation of the new role “might be a good experiment to see how useful, beneficial this might be,” and if the district wanted to continue the position, might continue the position beyond the initial year.

In other business
The board also heard proposals from two health insurance consortiums: Show-Me Benefit Consortium and the Missouri Educators’ Trust. Both groups also made their presentations to an insurance committee ahead of the board meeting; the committee will review their proposals and make their recommendation to the board ahead of their meeting in March.
Additionally, the board also approved the school calendar for the 2023-24 school year.

For more info
More information on the two new positions can be found on the employment page of the district’s website at


Lawrence County Record

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


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