At the Oct. 15 special meeting/work study session of the Van Buren Public Schools Board of Education, the board received a report on the student head count following Official Count Day, which was Oct. 6.
The state’s Official Count procedure gave districts several days after Oct. 6 to count those who didn’t show up on the counting day.
The fall full-time count is 5,215, which is down 20 students from the spring total of 5,235.09.
The budget was set with an expected 90 fewer students this fall, so the district is 70 students ahead of where it thought it would be.
The Official Count determines how much student aid each district will get. Van Buren Public Schools currently receive about $7,500 per student.
The recent count gives the Van Buren district about a half a million more dollars in its budget than it counted on.
Also at the Oct. 15 meeting, a Student Loss Report showed that 208 students moved out of this town/state, 62 moved to a charter/academy, 116 were no-shows and unable to be contacted, 100 transferred to other nearby districts, and 10 moved within this district.
Donald Martin and Tara Seward, parents of Owen Intermediate School students, spoke to the board, complaining about issues at the school. Martin had problems with transportation and handling of behavior problems and Seward was concerned over a student on the bus who harassed her daughter.
The parents got to speak at the beginning of the special meeting after the board voted to change from its regular policy. Board members voted unanimously that questions and comments from the audience on non-agenda items, usually allowed at the end of the meeting, were combined with questions and comments on agenda items at the beginning of the agenda.
President Martha Toth announced that this change is not to be taken as a precedent for regular meetings.
The special meeting, which was set for 7 p.m., did not begin until 7:47 because a 6 p.m., closed-door, disciplinary session was not over until then.
Following the closed session, in open session the board voted unanimously to permanently expel an unnamed Belleville High School student.