Water and weather related woes just don’t seem to be easing up in the long term for the Atchison County Schools’ District.
Superintendent Andrew Gaddis and Ernie Bautista, maintenance supervisor, told USD 377 Board of Education members at their meeting Wednesday that the time has come to fix the drainage problem in the north parking lot at the Atchison County Community Junior Senior High School. The parking lot its drainage problems and potholes have been a topic of discussions during the past meeting in the last few months.
Recent rains and the extremely harsh winter earlier in the year caused a lot of damage. One of the problems is that winter’s ice is so to melt because it is located in a shady spot. The options considered ranged in price from several hundreds of dollars to about $7,000 along with varying degrees of longevity. The least expensive option was to mill off the top layer of asphalt and then continue fill in with gravel as needed until slope is corrected. Repair and re-paving the road is another is the most expensive option for a longer term.
Wedging in hot asphalt might cost more than $6,000, but it’s projected the road surface will be in service for another three to five years. This is what Baustita recommended, and what board members decided to pursue.
All agreed the dilemma is the projections are that within the next two to three years that is the area where there will be an expansion of ACCJSHS facility to accommodate a multi-purpose area. That will be a more optimum time to consult with engineers in effort to address the drainage corrections for a permanent fix.
There are also drainage issues placing a need for repair work at the baseball and softball fires. Gaddis has consulted with a sports field manager in another community to get some insight.
Although there is an offer on the table concerning gray shale to replace the existing red shale in the baseline, Gaddis told board members the brighter color is a visibility factor concerning balls in play. To correct the drainage will be more costly.
After some discussion, board members by consensus decided to install red shale for safety purposes, and to gather more information and options for a more permanent solution to address the drainage issues then develop a rotation plan to maintain the fields.
In other matters, board members:
By a unanimous vote, reinstated the Future Business Leaders of America Chapter, and approved a 2 percent stipend for Misty Poe to serve as sponsor for the organization. Poe was present to offer more information about the endeavor. Poe told board members that a chapter was active at the high school, but has been inactive for many years. There are 20 sophomores, juniors and seniors signed up to join, Poe said. Membership fees are $20 per student that includes a T-shirt and costs associated with attending District 2 and state competitions in McLouth and Topeka.
“We will need to do fundraisers,” Poe said. She added that she is hopeful to expand the organization’s membership within the forthcoming school years to include younger students. Poe is a second-year business teacher at ACCHS and was a FBLA member during her high school years at Jackson Heights High School, she told board members.
After some discussion approved by a 5-0 vote, Board Member Greg Smith abstained, to utilize BARK, an on-line safety monitoring service at no-cost to school districts through the district’s Google Suite that will monitor district-issued Chrome/Chromebook technology equipment.
Gaddis explained BARK will flag postings that appear to be suicidal, concerning to mental or physical health or of a threatening nature for designated district administrators to determine if the subject matter is appropriate in relevance to a school activity or classwork.
In the event of a direct threat, BARK will directly notify law enforcement. Parents may subscribe to the service for a fee to have BARK monitor their child’s computer activity while they are away from school and other personal devices. The free service was extended to school districts in 2018.
Observed a moment of silence in tribute to the thousands who lost their lives in wake of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 in the United States.
Heard a report from Activities Director Cy Wallisch, ACCJSHS assistant principal. Wallisch reported the current number of students puts the district on the bubble to make the distinction between Class 2A and 3A classification according Kansas State High School Activities Association standards.
Wallisch said it will be something to keep an eye on within the near future. Another issue that might soon be destined for KSHAA is consideration is separate leagues for parochial and public schools.
Each league has one vote. Wallisch told board members and administrators to let him know their feelings on the matter. Maur Hill-Mount Academy is the only parochial school in the Northeast Kansas League. Wallisch reminded board members about John Flores’ induction into the USD 377 Wall of Fame during halftime of the football game for the many years Flores served as coach and athletic director at ACCHS.
Recessed from the public meeting to discuss matters of non-elected personnel behind closed doors for 20 minutes. After public session resumed, board members unanimously approved a change to the parent teacher conference schedule. The conferences will be after school from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25 and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26 at Atchison County Community Schools.
Board Member Lori Lanter was absent from the meeting.