The regular monthly meeting of the Mount Vernon Community School District School was held on August 21, 2023.  The following topics were addressed during the meeting:

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

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

Superintendent Report:  Dr. Batenhorst spoke about the beginning of the school year, and the great work done by the staff in preparation for the year.  Dr. Batenhorst also provided a preview of the positive performance of students on the ISASP, information that will be reviewed during the September meeting.  Dr. Batenhorst also welcomed the return of Sherry Grunder to the Board, as she completes the last three months of a Board seat that becomes open with the resignation of a Board member in July.

Program Division

Superintendent Search:  The Board heard presentations from the search firms of Hazard, Young, and Attea, and Ray and Associates with regard to the upcoming superintendent search.  The Board will provide feedback on the presentations, and choose a firm to enter into a contract with by September.     

Medical Update:  The school nurses and the Director and Assistant Director for the Wellness Coalition of Rural Linn County provided a presentation on medical training for staff members, including the availability of Naloxone to assist anyone who may be experiencing an opioid overdose while on campus.

Student Handbooks:  The Board approved the student handbooks for the three schools for 2023-2024.  These handbooks will eventually be sent to all families, and parents must acknowledge receiving the handbook.  An addendum will need to be made to the handbooks later this year when new information related to discipline guidelines will be provided by the Department of Education.

Personnel Division

Approval of Personnel Contracts for New Hires:  The Board approved the hiring of individuals for support staff positions for the 2023-2024 school year.

Facilities Division  

Activities Complex Update:  Dr. Batenhorst provided an update on the progress of the construction of the new activities complex, including providing an overview of the schedule for completion of the project that will now be in September of 2023.  The facility will open on September 28, 2023.    

Administrative Division

Policy Update:  The Board approved the Second Reading of a series of policy recommendations provided by the Iowa Association of School Boards policy experts, recommendations that are tied to the 2023 legislative session.

School Board Elections:  The Board discussed the logistics and timeline for the Board election in November, including the timeline for filing as a candidate.  The filing period opens on Monday, August 28, 2023, and closes on Thursday, September 21, 2023, at 5:00 p.m.  The seat being vacated by a Board member who has resigned will be a two-year seat for the November election.  

Reports:  No reports were offered during this portion of the meeting.  Sherry Grunder will take over the role of the Board contact with WeTap, and will also serve on the Policy Committee if needed.      

Unfinished Business    

Health Insurance:  The Board opted for a work session on the topic, and one will be scheduled in the next month to look into the issue.    

2023 IASB Convention:  The Board discussed planning for the upcoming convention in November, including letting those running for the Board know that it is the expectation that they attend the convention if at all possible.       

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

Changes were made to the upcoming Board calendar, including the following:

September:  The meeting scheduled for Monday, September 11th, has been moved to Tuesday, September 12th, at 7:00 p.m.  

October:  The meeting scheduled for Monday, October 9th, has been moved to Wednesday, October 11th at 6:30 p.m.

November:  The meeting scheduled for Monday, November 13th, has been moved to Tuesday, November 14th, at 6:30 p.m.

Closed Session:  The Board met in closed session to discuss a matter related to a real estate purchase or sale.  The Board took no action related to this once ending its closed session.

The next regular meeting of the Board will take place on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at 7:00 p.m.