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Olds Re-Elected Board of Education President
By Hannah Alldritt
The USD 361 Board of Education met for their July session at 7:00 p.m.
at the district office. Prior to the meeting, the board completed the second of four work sessions on goal setting to prepare for the
2017-2018 school year.
Board members present were Kent Olds, Anna Ruth Blanchat, Tami Greve, Angie Higgs and Kristie Clark, absent was member Sheri Francis. Also in attendance were Superintendent Josh Swartz, Board Clerk Robyn Liebelt, CJH/CHS Principal Ken Henson, Athletic Director Cody Liebelt, HES Principal Bill Giesen, AES Principal Rachel Oliver, Buildings and Grounds Director Colton Hardaway, Jim Chromik, Martha Hadsall and Lisa Mathes.
Board members voted to adopt the proposed agenda with two changes:
election of Board officers and additions to the CHS carpet project that brought it over budget.
First item of business was election on Board President and Vice President. Anna Ruth Blanchat nominated Kent Olds for President, with a second from Angie Higgs. Olds was re-elected with a 5-0 vote.
Kristie Clark then nominated Angie Higgs for the position of Vice-President, Higgs declined the nomination noting “I have a lot on my plate right now.” Blanchat nominated Tami Greve who accepted. Board voted 5-0 to elect Greve as Vice-President.
Buildings and Grounds Director Colton Hardaway, presented an update on the Chaparral carpeting project. Due to differences in the underlayment, a 6” cove was needed instead of a 4” cove and two of the business classrooms (Burke and Dills) also had carpeting replaced for an increase of $5,843.34. This will lessen the expense next year, as more classrooms have carpeting replaced. Total extra expenditures (including work done in the auditorium) were $13,826 bringing the total cost of the carpeting project to $61,327. Board approved a
$14,000 addition to the project to cover the updated plan, for Pettit’s House of Carpet. Motion passed 5-0. It was decided to leave the PBL (Project Based Learning) classrooms concrete so that projects would not ruin new carpet.
Martha Hadsall, with the Hospital Board, as well as Jim Chromik- Project Manager and Lisa Mathes- Harper Hospital Board, presented an overview of the hospital merger plan and its impact on Chaparral. The “Together For A Healthy Future” team has contracted 60 acres of land directly north of Chaparral on the same section with the first phase of the plan the construction of a Health Center to serve both Harper and Anthony. Future plans include a separate Wellness Center and a community garden all on the 30 acres closest to the highway. The back
30 acres will be leased for agriculture. Hadsall shared that one of the goals with building so close to the junior high/ high school was to foster opportunities for partnerships, including career training, internships, rehab and physical therapy opportunities for athletes and a dining hall located on the south end of the hospital. There was discussion of a walking path or access road between the hospital and school, which would also provide a second entrance to Chaparral. There was also talk about incorporating a gym/FEMA shelter into the wellness center, similar to what was recently done at Mulvane Elementary.
An update on the Chaparral Redesign was next on the agenda. Jen Clark and Tuanua Swartz attended a website training seminar and a Project-Based Learning workshop with the goal of planning the first 30 days of PBL Academy classes. Currently, individual meetings are being set up with parents of students participating in the program. Meetings should be completed in July.
With 100 percent positive feedback from staff, the Board voted to move forward and apply for the KSDE Redesign program which supports the five Kansas Can initiatives including kindergarten readiness and post-secondary success.
The Board approved updates for early graduation and part-time student policies. Motion passed 5-0.
Following a 15 minute executive session to discuss an individual employee’s performance, the Board voted 5-0 to approve a resolution to terminate Leroy Matthews, USD 361 bus driver. The Board also approved the resignation of Morgan Grippin as Boys Tennis Head Coach and approved for hire: Allie Woods- ESL Para at CHS, Kyle Regier and Tia Regier, HS STUCO sponsors, Eric Kerschen- Assistant Girls Tennis coach and Hannah Alldritt and Adria Kasel- HES K-Kids sponsors.
Superintendent Swartz presented numbers on the collection rate of the
$45 enrollment fee. Previously, Swartz thought the rate was 60 percent, however the actual number last year was 87 percent, leaving
$4,715 uncollected. Board members discussed writing-off unpaid enrollment fee (which is actually a textbook rental fee) at the end of the school year. Angie Higgs suggested a “pay it forward” program, where parents could sponsor a student whose parents could not afford the fee. “If you are of the giving kind, you could sponsor a student,”
she explained. Board voted 5-0 to approve the 2017-2018 student fees.
Discussion of energy performance and utilities was the next topic to be addressed. Swartz, Olds and school administration will meet with Snyder Electric to see if there are savings potentials at Chaparral.
Unlike recent City and County meetings, budget discussion for the Board of Education is delayed until the Kansas Supreme Court makes a decision on if the proposed school funding increases are adequate. The deadline to send approved budget to the Clerk’s Office is August 25 but no budget hearing date has been set yet, pending more information from the State. Superintendent Swartz said if the Supreme Court approves the funding plan, the mill levy rate would likely not need to go up, “We would keep the mills very
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