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Building plan approved despite questions about number of classrooms; charter renewal looms

The board of Miller-McCoy Academy met on April 23 to discuss next month’s charter renewal process. The board expects their financial statements, facilities and state test scores to be evaluated before an extension of the charter is approved.

The facilities and finance committees both expressed confidence in their ability to meet Recovery School District standards, but no one expects test scores to be factored in at this point. The school’s most recent performance score was a 71.2, just shy of the minimum score of 75 required for renewal.

The board voted to change their next meeting to May 21, avoiding the Memorial Day holiday and making it possible for representatives from the RSD to discuss the renewal procedure.

Following a recommendation by the facilities committee, the board also approved RSD plans for a new campus. The board made its decision despite fears that the proposed school will not have enough classrooms to meet Miller-McCoy’s desired teacher/student ratio. The RSD has said it will not add rooms to the building, but will leave a space for a potential future addition – at an estimated cost to the school of $3 million.

The board announced a net income of $10,000 from last month’s fundraising gala. The windfall was noted along with several changes to next year’s budget to keep it balanced. Last month the school announced that a significant increase in special-education students has strained finances.

For the upcoming school year, Miller-McCoy participated in the RSD’s centralized application process, which has yielded a much more accurate picture of next year’s enrollment and per-student state funding.

The school also has applied for a Medicaid number from the federal government. Schools eligible to receive Medicaid reimbursements can be used to pay for certified speech and physical therapists as well as a nurse to conduct vision and hearing screenings. By supplementing their allotted money for these programs with Medicaid dollars, the school can provide students with more services.

The board accepted the resignation of member Poco Sloss, though he will continue to serve on the board’s development committee. Sloss said time constraints make it impossible for him to do more than that. The board will seek a replacement.

Nine board members were present, including Tyronne Walker who joined by phone. The audience comprised a reporter for the Lens and a member of the general public.

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