The regular monthly meeting of the Mount Vernon Community School District School Board was held on April 11, 2022. The following topics were addressed during the meetings:
Public Hearing for the 2022-2023 Budget: A public hearing was held regarding the budget for the 2022-2023 school year. No public comments were provided, or questions asked, during the hearing.
Approval Agenda: The meeting agenda was approved as written with no changes proposed.
Superintendent Report: Dr. Batenhorst and the School Board honored School Business Official Matt Burke, who is retiring after over two decades of exemplary service to the District.
Public Comments: Several patrons provided comments regarding the guidance curriculum at Washington Elementary School. Dr. Batenhorst shared that one parent had made a formal request for review of the materials being used in the guidance curriculum, and that review is taking place within the next week. Several patrons also spoke out against the transgender sports law recently passed by the Iowa Legislature and signed by the Governor.
SEE-KS: Washington Elementary Principal Kate Stanton provided an overview of the SEE-KS program, a new program being piloted that studies student engagement through a social-emotional learning lens. The school was invited to pilot the program with the support of national experts who are training the Washington Elementary staff in the SEE-KS model.
Girls Wrestling: Activities Director Matt Thede provided the Board with an update on the Girls Wrestling program now that the sport has been sanctioned in Iowa. Mr. Thede provided an overview as to what will be required for full implementation of the sport as a sanctioned sport. The Board voted in support of the hiring of three coaches to lead the programs at the high school and middle school.
2022-2023 Calendar Modification: The Board approved a modification to the 2022-2023 calendar that moves Graduation from May 28, 2023, to May 21, 2023.
Personnel Division: The Board approved the hiring of a series of certified and support staff members and coaches to fill currently open positions, and to fill open positions for the 2022-2023 school year. The Board also approved the continuing contracts for teachers, administrators, and support staff for the 2022-2023 school year.
Natural Gas Sales Agreement: The Board approved a contract with Wood River Energy to provide natural gas services to the District. The District will enter into a three-year guaranteed fixed rate contract for these services.
Approval of Real Estate Purchase Agreement with Cornell College: The Board approved a contract with Cornell College that will allow the District to purchase a parcel of land for the purpose of moving the proposed activities complex further to the east, and thus further away from the Stonebrook neighborhood.
Mustang Activities Complex Update: Dr. Batenhorst shared that the District will provide final details of the project to the Mount Vernon City Council on April 18, 2022. After that, a public hearing regarding the project will be held in conjunction with the May School Board meeting on May 9, 2022. Details of this hearing will be sent to District patrons.
Approval of 2022-2023 Budget: The Board discussed and approved the proposed budget for the 2022-2023 school year.
Policies: The Board approved the First Reading of Policies 206.1 and 405.3, that will allow the District to use electronic signatures to process contracts and checks in a more timely manner.
Reports: Board members offered updates from We-Tap, the Booster Club, and the Mount Vernon Fine Arts Association.
Unfinished Business: No Unfinished Business was offered during the meeting.
Consent Agenda: All items in the Consent Agenda were approved as presented.
Closed Session: Superintendent Regular Annual Evaluation: The Board met in closed session to complete the annual evaluation of Superintendent Dr. Greg Batenhorst.
Superintendent Contract: Upon completion of the evaluation, the Board approved a new contract for Dr. Batenhorst for his continued service as the Superintendent for the Mount Vernon Community School District. The contract is effective through June 30, 2025.
Next Meeting: The next regular meeting of the School Board will take place on Monday, May 9, 2022. The meeting will start at 5:30 or 6:00 p.m. to facilitate the inclusion of a public hearing related to the proposed Mustang Activities Complex. The meeting will be held in the Performing Arts Center Lobby of Mount Vernon High School.