Despite taking care of the needs at hand for the next school year, USD 409 Board of Education members are exploring the financial options to address capital maintenance and improvements along a course for the future.
Business Manager Lori Lanter presented the summer maintenance plan that will cover painting, concrete work and floor care in the district facilities that will cost in the $80,000 price range.
The long term technology plan has reached a phase to renew leases with Apple for the 2019-20 schoolyear that will bring all students sixth through 12th grades and all paraprofessionals an Apple iPad to use. The students will use the same iPad throughout their six years of study.
The last batch of iPads for students was purchased in 2012. All other iPads and computers will receive more storage capacity. Payable this year is $20,000, according to terms of the lease agreement.
Board member John Eplee asked Lanter if any of the needs will be addressed at Central School. Lanter replied that other than the regular summer maintenance, there was not, but she is studying options concerning the needs at Central School, and other costly projects to keep the facilities in good repair.
Board members unanimously by a 6-0 vote approved the capital outlay plan as presented. Board Member Diane Liebsch was absent.
Currently, the district budgets 5 mills for capital outlay, even though 409 has the authority to increase the tax levy to 8 mills, Lanter said. On the list of needs in the near future are several facility roofs replacements.
Lanter and board members agreed a bond issue might be something to consider. Lanter said she expects the rubber track will need some maintenance soon because it has not been touched within the 10 years she has worked for the district.
Superintendent Susan Myers mentioned the crown on the football field appears to be in need of some work. Lanter said she has not yet looked into costs comparisons, benefits and drawbacks between turf and grass fields.
Board President Herb Gwaltney said the football field is used for three different activities. A discussion ensued between board members that there might be some technical advances in sports fields to consider since the last upgrades were made.
Board members unanimously approved the 2019-20 school calendar as presented.
Concerning other matters, board members:
Unanimously voted to revise as presented on second reading board policies on special meetings, public records, emergency drills, sexual harassment, racial harassment employees, emergency safety intervention, use of tobacco, interrogation and investigation, student accidents and health emergencies, custodial and non-custodial parent rights.
The policies are in accordance with Kansas Association of School Boards recommendations. Myers advised them to review on first reading the “J Section” of the policies that will be subject to action in April. These particular policies address academic achievement, supervision of medications, medication administration at school, accommodating students with diabetes, transportation, use of surveillance cameras, school food service programs, vending machines, student activities, student organizations, student publications, gang activity and community activities.
Myers told board members that Policy JCAC that centers on interrogation investigation has been revised by Larry Mears, 409’s board attorney.
Recessed to go behind closed doors twice to discuss matters of non-elected personnel. The first session was for 15 minutes to discuss negotiations. Present were AMS Principal Chad Bilderback, Board Attorney Larry Mears, Myers and Lanter. There was no action taken as a result of the negotiations matter.
Board members then recessed and went into executive session for 10 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel with Myers present.
After their return to regular session, board members accepted a resignation from Kurt Schlanker from his role as Atchison High School student council coordinator, effective at the end of the 2018-19 school year.
Board members also:
Accepted the recommended employment of William Taylor White as custodian at Atchison Middle School, effective March 18, 2019;
Accepted the recommended employment of Gale Grable as preschool special education teacher, effective the 2019-20 school year at Atchison Elementary School;
Approved the supplemental agreements for Kevin Rieger and Jennifer Whyte as co-jazz band directors at AHS.
Board members also heard a report from Director Lucas Hunziger, of Highland Community College Technical Center. Hunziger told board members HCC is about ready to accept bids for the new electrical building and there is work going on with city of Atchison officials concerning surveying the present site of Parking Lot A.
The work would make way for the diesel technology program expansion. Hunziger reported there are currently 17 AHS sophomores enrolled to attend HCC Tech programs for the 2019-20 schoolyear; 12 AHS seniors are enrolled in 2-year technical programs; seven AHS students will graduate this spring; five former AHS graduates will graduate from a 2-year program at the HCC Tech Center in May.
A nursing accreditation team has visited the HCC Tech Center for about three days during the past week and it will likely be the last part of September or the first of October when HCC officials will learn if the nursing program has earned its national accreditation.