Atchison Public School educators are in for a pay increase that USD 409 Board of Education members unanimously approved at their regular meeting Monday night at Central School.

Board members ratified the 2018-19 agreement between Atchison National Education Association and the district that will bring a new salary schedule for teachers plus a one-step increase not to exceed a total of $287,633 from the district’s coffer.

The district and ANEA negotiation teams last met Dec. 4 and tentatively agreed on the agreement that board members approved before they adjourned Dec. 10.

Board members also unanimously approved a wage increase for classified and administrator for the 2018-19 school year not to exceed a total of $139,951.

Concerning some other matters of personnel, board members:

Unanimously accepted the resignation of Carla Blattner, reading teacher at Atchison Elementary School, for the purpose of retirement, effective June 30, 2019 and Janet Coco as Atchison High School Scholars Bowl coach, effective Nov. 28. Board members also extended a supplemental contract to Brent Corey to serve as AHS Scholars Bowl coach, effective Nov. 28, 2018.

Unanimously terminated Kim Alexander, a paraeducator, effective Dec. 10.

Unanimously recommended for hire three paraeducators: Madeline Streitenberger and Tracey Coots, both effective Nov. 29, and to Shawna Norris, effective Dec. 11.

In other regular business, board members:

Approved 6-1 the purchase of the Telecenter U Critical Communications alert/security systems for all schools for a total of $107,378 partially funded from the Kansas Safe Schools grant award that will cover less than $23,000 from the state.

The district is required to match the state funding $1 for $1 and the remainder of the cost will be paid from capital outlay. Board Member Rick Zumbrunn was the only board member to vote in the negative.

The action followed a presentation and demonstration by the system’s sales representatives. Zumbrunn said he was opposed because of the high cost for similarities in some facilities. Fellow board members and Superintendent Susan Myers disagreed. Myers said the installation of the system would lay a ground work to benefit all facilities for various situations.

Board members agreed that safety and security of the students is a top concern for patrons and parents.

Carrie Sowers moved to move forward to purchase the system, and Sean Crittendon seconded the motion.

Unanimously approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the district and Atchison Community Health Clinic to bring access mental health services by facilitating the presence of a mental health therapist in the schools.

The group, Unity in the Community, met in the aftermath of teenage suicides in the community. The group identified mental health services for young people and members of community as one of the needs. There is no cost to the district as the received services are billed through insurance or Medicad. The services will likely start before January.

Heard reports from Central School Principal Julie Crum and Matt Ramsey, of Central School Site Council. Students and youngsters in the facility are able to pursue their studies as individuals to fulfill their academic and emotional needs. Board members also viewed a video featuring the students and heard from some students in person.

Heard a report from Director of Technical Learning Lucas Hunziger, at Highland Community College Technical Center. Hunziger said there are 49 AHS students enrolled at HCC for the spring semester.

Plans are ongoing to expand the Diesel Technology program and to expand the Electrical Technology Program from a one year to a two-year program. Electrical Technology Program is housed in the former Bellevue School.

Appointed Rickey Ross to another 4-year term on the Atchison Recreation Commission.

Unanimously accepted the 2017-18 school year audit report as presented.

Mary Meyers can be reached at

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