Student safety, nutrition and well-being were among the main points of interest when Atchison Public School leaders recently gathered for their regular meeting earlier in the week.
Board members unanimously gave their approval with a memorandum of understanding for Assistant Principal Lindsey Hansen and Science Teacher Sarah Tschauder, of Atchison High School, to proceed with implementation of Campus Cupboard through Second Harvest food pantry at AHS to ensure students and their families will have food to eat during the weekends.
Hansen and Tschauder told board members they have been exploring the option and have determined there is some space available in the Clothes Closet area of the building.
“A student’s achievement is low if a student is worried about their needs,” Hansen said, and added food is likely included in the need.
Both Hansen and Tschauder agreed there are volunteers who are ready to help launch the program and work the pantry. Second Harvest have obtained special grant funding to provide equipment like shelving and storage items for the food stock in supply for distribution.
Unlike the Backpack Buddies program that is geared toward healthy snacks for younger children to take home for when school is not in session.
Board members also accepted a $1,000 on behalf of Central School Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Healthy Habits for Life Grant administered through Live Well Live Atchison to focus on aspects of a healthy lifestyle.
The grant focus areas are that students participate in classes to show how to reduce cardiovascular risks through exercise, healthy eating habits and how to prepare healthy meals. Teachers are to receive free professional development to increase student movement and academic growth.
The Atchison Public Schools Emergency Procedures manual was presented for first reading that covers ALICE — alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate, crisis plan model; people emergencies like assault and battery, bomb threat, intruder, medical emergencies, death, suicide and mental health related; and other incidents like earthquake, fire, flooding, thunderstorms and lightning, tornado, hazards like gas leak, and utility failure; evacuations and lockdowns.
Board members also accepted from Blish-Mize Co. a donation of 160 Go Buckets and and 45 Go Buckets from Home Depot in St. Joseph, Missouri. Superintendent Susan Myers said the Go Buckets are related to the ALICE and the related emergency procedures.
Board members also heard an update on the district’s strategic plan from Curriculum Director Jacqueline Coleman. The plan’s goal is to ensure every student in the Atchison Public Schools system will obtain an appropriate 21st century education.
Board members also accepted the resignations of:
Jodi Miller as fourth grade teacher at Atchison Elementary School, effective Dec. 17, 2018, with liquidated damages related to early release of contract;
Amanda Clark as grade lunchroom supervisor at AES, effective Dec. 14, 2018;
Lauren Pierce as paraeducator, effective Dec. 27, 2018;
and Janice Kunkle – paraeducator, resigning for retirement purposes as of Friday, May 24.
Board members also approved the following recommendations for employment:
Eliza Hotham as paraeducator, effective Jan. 2;
Wendy Ritchel as paraeducator, effective Jan. 3;
and Mariah Hisle as 4th-grade teacher, effective Jan. 22, 2019.
Board members also approved an administrative supplemental to AHS Assistant Principal Lindsey Hansen to serve as district communications coordinator that became effective July 1, 2018.
The following supplementals were also approved for:
Craig Hanze as new teacher mentor for second semester at AHS;
Kara Soph as fifth-grade lunchroom supervisor, effective Jan. 2 at AES;
Mark May as assistant track coach at AHS;
and Rhonda Sexton as new teacher mentor, effective Jan. 22 at AES.
Board members heard an AES Site Council report from Brian Casey concerning review of the first semester activities at the facility.
Members also appointed Board Attorney Larry Mears to serve as chief negotiator on the team to negotiate the contract between the district and the Atchison National Education Association.
Board members, Vice-president Carrie Sowers, President Herb Gwaltney and Diane Liebsch were also appointed to represent the board for the 2019-20 schoolyear. Sowers was also appointed to serve on the Supplemental Group S Review Committee concerning supplemental contracts for the upcoming school year.
Board members unanimously voted to approve a change on the school calendar by moving an upcoming monthly meeting date to Monday, March 4 to accommodate the annual Spring Break. The meeting was initially scheduled for March 11 during week of the annual school break.