The regular monthly meeting of the Mount Vernon Community School District School was held on December 13, 2021.  The following topics were addressed during the meetings:

Approval Agenda:  The meeting agenda was approved as written with no changes proposed.

Superintendent Report:  Dr. Batenhorst shared some preliminary information about the District’s performance on the Iowa School Performance Profile, noting that all three schools saw growth from the past several years.  Dr. Batenhorst commended all three schools for showing continued growth and improvement, especially during challenging times.  The entire report will be shared with the Board at its January meeting.   

Public Comments:  No public comments were made during the meeting. 

Program Division

Teaching and Learning Update:  TLC Instructional Specialist Michelle Boyden provided the Board with an update on the efforts of the teachers in vertical alignment work as it relates to helping students meet the various learning standards at each grade level.  Teachers are focusing on prerequisite skills and learning that will prepare students to be successful in learning units of study.  The elementary school has focused a great share of its learning on math standards, while the middle and high school focus on standards based curriculum work.  All of this is tied to the Iowa Core Standards, and the success criteria for students in each area and level of study.           

Talented and Gifted Program Update:  TAG Lead Teacher Susannah Maddock provided an update on the District’s efforts in support of its learners who are identified as talented and gifted.  Mrs. Maddock reviewed the program’s overarching philosophy, and provided an overview of current services being provided for talented and gifted students.  Currently, 212 students in grades 3-12 are receiving support in gifted learning.  She also reviewed the current identification criteria, which may be adjusted as part of the current program review being completed.  Program barriers were discussed including challenges with staffing, scheduling, and space.  Mrs. Maddock is also recommending that teachers receive more in depth professional learning on how to support gifted and talented learners.  Mrs. Maddock also provided the Board with important concepts she learned about at the recent National Association of Gifted Conference.  

COVID-19 Update:  Dr. Batenhorst again reviewed the metrics chart that has been created to track cases during the pandemic.  Dr. Batenhorst then encouraged the Board to allow the current mask mandate to lapse as of December 31, 2021, to be replaced by protocols that are tied to COVID-19 and student illness numbers in individual schools.  The Board approved the new protocols that will be shared with patrons in a communication this week.   

Personnel Division:  The Board approved the hiring of a series of support staff members, including food service workers and classroom associates.   

Facilities Division:  The Board approved giving Dr. Batenhorst permission to engage in contract negotiations with Cornell College regarding the possible purchase of a small parcel of Cornell College property related to the proposed Mustang Activities Complex.     

Administrative Division: The Board approved the Second Reading of a series of policy updates provided by the Iowa Association of School Boards.    

Reports:  No reports were offered by Board members during the meeting.   

Unfinished Business:  The Board discussed possible changes to the dates of the next several Board meetings due to a variety of conflicts for Board members and administrators.  The following changes were made to the meeting calendar:

January Meeting:  Move the time of January 10, 2022, to 5:15 p.m.

February Meeting:  Move from February 14, 2022, to February 7, 2022, at 6:30 p.m.

March Meeting:  Move from March 14, 2022, to March 8, 2022, at 6:30 p.m.

Work Session:  The Board tabled discussion of a date for a work session until the January 2022 meeting.

The Board also updated committee assignments for the next year.          

Consent Agenda:  All items in the Consent Agenda were approved as presented. 

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the School Board is scheduled for Monday, January 10, 2021.  The start time for this meeting has been changed to 5:15 p.m.