377 board

USD 377 school board member Greg Smith and business manager Meagan Gracey review official board documents at a previous meeting.

The long term facility wish list might come true with the help of a community–funded multi-purpose building addition recently proposed to benefit Atchison County Community Schools.

USD 377 Board of Education members present for the regular monthly meeting on April 10 unanimously approved the measure Superintendent Andrew Gaddis recently presented a Facility Master Plan for consideration as a sustainable goal within reach for the district.

Gaddis said recent site councils are in agreement there are financial and safety benefits to bring educational and programs and services on one campus. Fruition of the goal is contingent on completion of the newly organized ACCS Community Foundation’s endeavor of a multi-purpose edition at the Atchison County Community High School.

The addition would be an area for health and physical education classes, as well football, softball, baseball, wrestling, dance, cheerleading and other activities. The addition would serve as a Federal Emergency Management Agency compliant safe shelter.

There would also be provisions for sets of junior high boys and girls locker rooms for their PE classes. Currently the locker rooms are shared with the high schoolers.

If all goes as planned, then the area known as the wrestling gym in the Atchison County Community Elementary School would be converted into four classrooms to accommodate pre-school and kindergarten classes, Gaddis said.

After renovation of the former vocational agriculture/current weight and fitness room the district’s central office will relocate into that facility, Gaddis said. All facilities will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

After relocation, the current central office facility would close and offered for sale. Then a house located north of the ACCJSHS and the old bus garage located along the north side of the track would be subject to demolition.

Gaddis said the plan would reduce transportation expenses related to hauling youngsters between classes to the different facilities and would allow the children more time in their classrooms.

Board members Kelli Bottorff, Lori Lanter and Lori Jones were absent.

In other matters, board members:

Unanimously adopted the English Language Arts Textbook proposal as presented

Renewed contract with OPAA, the current food service management company that reflects a 1.7 percent cost increase that reflects a rise in the consumer price increase

Renewed membership with Kansas Association of School Boards to include base policies and participation in legal assistance program.

Recessed from public session and twice convened behind closed doors to discuss the recommendations concerning non-elected personnel and once to discuss negotiations.

After the public meeting session, board members took the following actions before they adjourned for the evening:

Approved by 4-0 the hires of: Debra Holuska, a substitute teacher; Troy Hoffman, head boys basketball coach and math teacher, per salary schedule; Andrew Eckert, junior high girls basketball, per salary schedule; Palmer Ratliffe, Preston Flint and Roxanne Cox — all custodians — at $8.50 an hour each.

Unanimously accepted the resignations of: Julie Dillon, junior high language arts teacher an head track coach, KAY sponsor and junior high girls basketball coach; Corey Hinz, cheerleading coach; and Steffenee Watkins ACCES teacher; all three effective as end of the current contract; and Custodian James Flint, who hung up his broom effective March 3.

Board members recognized the following students for the achievements:

Nathan Palmer as a First place Division 3 winner for his microbiology winner at the Kansas State Science and Engineering Fair;

Victoria Caplinger and Kyla Henning for being State Forensic Qualifiers;

Both Championship competitions and Festival competitors Noah Gregory and Seth Nehl;

Job Olympics participants Aaron Ricketts and James McDermed earned eight gold medals;

State Music Qualifiers — still in competitions — are vocalists, Joseph Liechti, Lane Scoggins, Noah Gregory, Trystin Myers, Tucker Smith, Seth Nehl, Austin Acheson, Ashton Jolly and Allyson Peterson; Noah Gregory and Allyson Peterson are instrumental qualifiers.

Board members also:

Heard a legislative report from Rep. John Eplee, R-Atchison, about the House Substitute for SB 16 and other updates concerning the current session.

Heard an administrative report from ACCSHS Principal Deanna Scherer, who announced Jaycee Ernzen’s selection as a representative of the district as a Governor’s Scholar.

Heard plans on prom for this weekend,

Heard plans on how high schoolers will present the play Clue during the coming week.

Heard information on how students are busy participating in the sports, music and science competitions. The May calendar pages are filling up with various functions: The annual FFA Banquet and Awards presentation will be Friday, May 3; an Art Show and ACCHS Vocal Concert are on tap for Tuesday, May 7. The Ministerial Alliance will host Baccalaureate for graduating seniors at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, and ACCHS senior graduation will be 4 p.m. Saturday, May 11. Junior High Promotion will be 6 p.m. Monday, May 20.

Activities Director Cy Wallicsh ACCJSHS, announced that the district will be hosting the Middle School North East Kansas League track meet commencing at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 2, and there is a need for volunteers to help with the event.

Wallisch also announced that the gyms in the schools will be closed for summer maintenance from Monday, July 1 to Monday, Aug. 5.

Wallisch said the following positions are open for the 2019-20 schoolyear:

At the junior high level, head girls basketball and volleyball coaching positions;

At the high school there are openings for assistant boys basketball coach, cheer coach, head track coach, sponsors for KAY Club, ACCHS Ambassadors and junior class sponsors.

There is also a need of a high school and junior high Scholars Bowl coach.

ACCES Principal Mandi McMillan reported the student council collected more than $385 to assist children diagnosed with leukemia. The preschool and kindergarten classes collected the most donations with a total of $137.20 for the cause, and have earned themselves a donut party.

The ACCES Student Council also sponsored a beverage container fundraiser earned a $651 profit off the $2,081 sale proceeds. The STUCO will host an “End-of-the-Year Student BBQ” with the funds.

ACCES will host a Family Math & Fitness Night at 6 p.m. Monday April 15, in the gym for pupils pre-kindergarten to sixth-grade. The Block Party Trailer will on loan for the event from Live Well Live Atchison and the Atchison Family YMCA and Cray Community Center.

The ACCES spring vocal concert for fourth-, fifth-and sixth-graders will be 7 p.m. Thursday, April 25, in the auditorium at ACCJSHS.

The ACCES youngsters have collectively read more than 4.8 million words as of the latest count on Tuesday, April 4.

Mary Meyers can be reached at


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