Mount Vernon Community School District School Board News Brief
The regular monthly meeting of the Mount Vernon Community School District School was held on September 13, 2021, with the following issues discussed:
Dr. Batenhorst shared details about the positive start to the 2021-2022 school year, and discussed the importance of a positive district and community culture to ensure a successful school year. He also shared that staying true to the community culture is important when dealing with difficult issues.
Several patrons provided comments on the issue of a possible mask mandate being put back into place, most supporting the parent’s right to choose whether their children wear masks. Several other patrons provided input on the Wednesday-Sunday activities discussion, favoring flexibility for activities leaders in how they use weekend days for practices and meetings.
Dr. Batenhorst reviewed the current data with respect to the COVID-19 outbreak, and reviewed a variety of communications related to the current response of school districts to the pandemic. Dr. Batenhorst also provided an update on current litigation taking place that could impact the District’s response to the wearing of masks. A Temporary Restraining Order was issued by a judge on September 13, 2021, which once again gives districts the authority to issue mask mandates if they see fit. The Board discussed the mask mandate issue, but did not reach a final decision on the subject. A special Board meeting to address this issue will likely be scheduled in the next week.
Review of ISASP Results:
Dr. Batenhorst provided an overview of the performance of MVCSD students on the recent Iowa State Assessment of Student Progress. Dr. Batenhorst provided comparisons of scores from the 2019 and 2021 testing, and shared information about the progress of students from 2019 to 2021 (the ISASP was not given in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
Discussion of Student Activities on Wednesday Evenings and Sundays:
Dr. Batenhorst and Activities Director Matt Thede led a Board discussion of protocols for student activities on Wednesday evenings and Sundays. The District will offer a survey for all parents to complete to gather further data on the topic.
School Improvement Advisory Committee Update:
The Board approved the membership for SIAC for the 2020-2021 school year
The Board approved the hiring of several associate and activities positions, and approved the increase in compensation for teachers who have moved across the salary schedule due to their completion in graduate course work in areas that support their teaching.
Dr. Batenhorst provided a brief overview on the progress with the new softball complex, and the secured entrances to the elementary and high schools. Dr. Batenhorst also provided an update on meetings taking place with respect to the Mustang Activities Complex project.
The Board approved the First Reading of a series of policy recommendations provided by the Iowa Association of School Boards policy division.
No reports were provided during the meeting.
Dr. Batenhorst spoke to the Board about future meetings of the Management and Policy committees that will be scheduled within the next month, and the Board discussed details regarding attending the Iowa Association of School Boards Convention in November. The Board also shared calendar information with respect to the scheduling of a special Board meeting to discuss the possibility of a mask mandate for the District.
All items in the Consent Agenda were approved as presented.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the School Board is scheduled from Monday, October 11, 2021. If a special meeting is called in the near future, the public will be given at least 24 hours notice of the time and location of the meeting.